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As businesses and economies around the world reeled from the impact of COVID-19, Razer, the gaming company — which has interests in gaming hardware, software, and services, as well as virtual gaming credits and fintech — saw slow behavioral shifts that worked out in their favor, said Razer’s Chief Strategy Officer Lee Limeng.
“The last six months [proved] very interesting. With people unable to leave their homes, we noticed interesting trends,” Lee, who has been with the company since 2018, shared from his home office in Singapore. “People were really furnishing their work-from-home setup. Then we started seeing a new wave of gamers who started playing games again because they couldn’t engage in any physical sports or outdoor entertainment. We also saw parents starting to play games because they wanted to spend time with their children.”
A series of isolation-inspired posters with the words “Stay Home and Game On”was also released to encourage the gaming community — old and new — to do their part in curbing the spread of the virus.
Well-known in the gaming and esports communities for producing high-performance gaming peripherals, such as mice, keyboards, and headsets, Razer’s hardware business contributed to a healthy 86% of its total first-half revenue.
“The global ‘stay-at-home’ situation has boosted user engagement with gaming and esports to record levels,” Razer Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Min-Liang Tan said in an August statement.
The business has grown rapidly ever since its founding in 2005, but the pandemic has taken it to new levels — though not without some challenges.
Shifting and changing the supply chain
Globally, Razer has over 16 offices worldwide, including China, with dual headquarters in Singapore and California. “When the pandemic started [in China], everyone was wondering how it would unfold. Our supply chain did encounter some disruption,” Lee said.
First, Razer tackled its supply chain challenges, including finding ways to get their products out of China as the virus started to spread rapidly. Then, they looked at the immediate needs of their staff — the demand for surgical masks in particular, as worldwide mask supplies dwindled. They started looking for a solution for their staff in 16 offices, as well as business partners who also needed masks.
“We actually converted one of our [manufacturing] lines to start producing masks. [We faced] a lot of challenges like getting supplies of raw materials and supply of equipment, but we managed in the end,” Lee said.
Following that move, more than one million of those masks were donated globally. In a statement released less than one month later, Razer announced that its fully automated mask manufacturing line in Singapore — which was set up in a mere 24 days — expected to produce up to 5 million masks a month to meet the growing demand for masks in the city-state as well as in the larger Southeast Asia region. Production is presently ongoing, but Razer has not committed to any future plans for the facility.
Innovating digital payment solutions for Southeast Asia
Lee also leads Razer’s fintech arm, “Razer Fintech,” …read more
Source:: Business Insider