May 19, 2020
Our partners at Gurtam have arranged a series of meetups to discuss COVID-19 issues and their effect on telematics. Peter Chalhoub – Business Manager at MaliaTec joined the meetup, alongside experts from different countries to share anti-crisis ideas, give advice, and support one another.

This article will allow you to dive into the most important information discussed at the first meetup. You will get expert forecasts on the future of telematics; learn about the emerging opportunities and how you can turn isolation into a fruitful time.

The Experts
Omar Hatmi, CEO at Active Telematics, Malaysia
Benjie Javier, CEO at NFINITE IT SOLUTIONS SERVICES INC., the Philippines
Peter Chalhoub, Business Manager at MaliaTec, Lebanon
Pradeep P. Kumar, president & CEO at Fleetilla, the USA
David John Jphcott, Co-owner & Sales Director at IOT Solution Srl, Italy

The state of affairs in the countries where the experts live
The reduction of demand due to the lockup has affected all the panelists' companies . Pradeep Kumar from the US optimistically describes this situation as small turbulence in the customer area. Benjie Javier from the Philippines admits that this dis decrease has been expected in his country as only 10% of all businesses are operating there now.

Disrupted recovery of Lebanon
Lebanon has just started to recover from the revolution that happened there a few months ago.
"A new government took charge of the country in January. they have just started working on fixing something, and then corona hit. so we've been hit twice in a row", Peter Chalhoub says.

The experts discuss the current impact that the pandemic has on businesses and share their predictions for the long and short-run

Fierce competition in the market
Omar Hatmi is sure that the telematics market is going to see very tough competition. There won't be many new market players to show up, but the already existing companies will be striving to save their client database.

The mandatory installation of tracking devices 
The government of the Philippines obliged everybody to put a tracking device on all the vehicles in the country. These conditions are likely to help businesses specializing in telematics. Now the installations have been slowed down because of the lock-down, but Benjie Javier believes that the process will be restored in a month. 

The growth of local carrier business and personal tracking
David John Jephcott supposes that the world will start coming out of the crisis somewhere between July & September. Businesses will start to regenerate. On the other hand, some once-promising  opportunities will probably exist in the 12 months' time, e.g., car hiring business will go down.

The speakers talk about the new projects that have come right into their hands as a result of pandemic.

Solutions for Tele-medicine
Medics are at the front of the fight against the pandemic now, and they need stet-of-the-art and cost-effective solutions for facilitating their work. Omar Hatmi mentions that Active Telematics is working on GPS watch and Wi-Fi, RF, and geo-fencing. This product will help doctors monitor their patients' health conditions remotely.

Temperature and Humidity sensors
The panelists agreed that it would be a mistake to ignore a skyrocketing demand in the online delivery services. Service providers  should analyze the needs of the delivery companies to be able to work out the appropriate solutions for them.
Peter Chalhoub notices that MaliaTec received several requests for temperature and humidity sensors from farmer and FMCG companies delivering goods. He also admits that MaliaTec uses the combination of Logistics and Wialon to provide clients with a proper online delivery service.

Solutions for security
David is worried about the possible increase in crime caused by the decrease in the world economy. As a result, a lot of tracking solutions that ensures the security of both buildings and vehicles will be needed.
Peter Chalhoub says that MaliaTec is receiving requests from banks. They send staff to fill the ATMs and need security for their vehicles.

Personal Trackers for Lebanese prisoners
Peter Chalhoub is delighted with the fact that MaliaTec is a Wialon partner. One of the reasons is that the scope of services is not restricted to just vehicle tracking. A lot of new opportunities emerge for Gurtam partners thanks to this, sort of, technological freedom. For example; the Lebanese government is looking for ways to reduce the number of inmates in jail. According to this project, less dangerous prisoners can stay under the house arrest and be monitored remotely via tracking devices. 

The experts made several predictions on how the pandemic will impact the world of telematics:
- Severe competition will hit the market;
- There will be high demand in tracking solutions for delivery services, security, and healthcare;
- Integrators should get ready for the rise of personal tracking.

- Build a strong relationship with customers;
- Educate clients;
- Analyze steps in the past and a current place in the market;
- Expand the company's services scope but take any serious decisions with a cool head;
- Focus on the needs of your current clients.

You can watch the full meetup video by clicking here