BenCham PRD – Coronavirus update and Interview with Jack O’Dwyer from 1421 Consulting Group

Author: BenCham PRD

BenCham Coronavirus COVID-19 Update:

While the COVID-19 outbreak is continuing to spread across the globe, world-wide stock markets are diving and the first infection is reported in the Netherlands, in China we are experiencing an easing of coronavirus infections and a country that is resilient and wants to get back to normal.

BenCham is receiving feedback from our members companies that the overall impact of the virus is severe and that companies are suffering various consequences based on industry, business scope and market. At the same time we are also getting positive feedback from our members who are starting up again and are confident in a solid recovery after the first quarter.

BenCham Coronavirus Survey - Wave II


BenCham is conducting a business survey regarding the COVID-19 situation and we kindly ask all our Members, Partners and Followers to fill-out the BenCham questionnaire. We would like to know how the current crisis is affecting your businesses and which risk factors members are experiencing.

The survey is anonymous and takes less than 3 minutes to complete.

Access the survey via the QR Code below


Coronavirus Series – Interview with Jack O’Dwyer from 1421 Consulting Group


Just before the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) BenCham visited Jack O’Dwyer, the manager of the South China branch of 1421 Consulting Group.

1421 Consulting Group is a China based, European run consultancy operating for nearly ten years across China. They currently have 4 global offices, with their head office in Beijing, two other China offices in Chengdu and Shenzhen, and an Amsterdam office in Almere

Please click here to know more about 1421 Consulting Group

Interview with Jack O’Dwyer on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Jack volunteered to join our Coronavirus Expert Team and we caught up with him these days to ask him about his view on the current situation and how their company and office are dealing with the Virus

Jack can you tell us something about how 1421 Consulting group has experienced the Coronavirus outbreak and what kind of methods your company has been using to safeguard your employees?

Because our offices in Beijing, Chengdu & Shenzhen work in the service industry (accounting services, business consulting & corporate services) myself and my whole team has been working from their home remotely since Spring Festival ended. We have been using Zoom to communicate, and we have been using Team Viewer to access our servers in the office. We have gone to the office several times since the end of spring festival to either receive necessary documents, our chops, install Team Viewer on computers where necessary, etc. This allowed us to fully support our clients whilst working from home. When somebody from the company must go to the office, they are required to report to the office building admin one day in advance. Our staff would be provided with sanitary equipment in the office.

Jack what about resuming the offices in China and when are you expected to be fully operational?

Decisions on resuming office or how to proceed the week after are sent on a weekly basis and can vary per office. For example, our Beijing office worked 2 days from the office and 3 days at home this week while our Chengdu and Shenzhen office are still working from home.

How are you dealing and communicating with your clients and in which way do you inform them about the impact of the virus?

During the most recent height of the virus, we were issuing nearly daily virus updates to our clients, with location specific data on infection rates and total people confirmed and suspected infected.  Also included in this update would be several “news flashes” and then a boiler plate list of prevention techniques included in each email. Moreover, we tried to schedule meetings with all of our clients to see if we could support them in one way or another. Frequent communication, with both clients and colleagues has proven to be crucial and we schedule frequent meetings.

What is your main advice to companies dealing with the crisis?

Our advice to everybody is first and foremost to follow the government and do not take any risks. To check the local regulations, at the national, provincial, city, district, all the way to the individual building. They may all be different, and if conflicting, follow the list from top to bottom.

Lastly, there are some government assistance and protection programs that may benefit your company at a local level. Check with your local official as to if there is reduced or removed office rent, VAT exemptions, social security, force majeure, etc.