THE recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and the emergency takeover of Credit Suisse has sent shockwaves through the global financial system.

Experts are warning that this could be the harbinger of another global financial crisis.

However, as a wise person once said, “never let a good crisis go to waste”.

In the face of economic turmoil, community group buying and sharing economy can be our knights in shining armour.

When the chips are down, people tend to tighten their belts and scrutinise their expenses.

Food, being an essential part of our lives, is usually a non-negotiable expense.

But fear not, for low-priced food options, the community group buying platform, is a beacon of hope.

Community group buying allows individuals to pool their purchasing power to get discounts on groceries and other essentials.

This is especially helpful for those who are struggling to make ends meet during tough (economic) times.

Community group buying has become a popular practice globally, enabling individuals to purchase goods in bulk at reasonably lower prices while promoting social cohesion and building relationships.

China, with its history of collective action, has seen a surge in the popularity of community groups buying organised via social media platforms such as WeChat.

One successful example is Pinduoduo, a social commerce platform that has become one of China’s largest e-commerce companies.

Its innovative model is based on group buying, allowing users to form “team purchases” with family, friends and community members to access steep discounts on groceries, household items and electronics.

Pinduoduo’s success in rural areas, where access to affordable goods can be limited, has helped improve the standard of living and created a new model of social commerce emphasising constructive action.

In addition to facilitating community buying, Pinduoduo has innovated in other areas, including social engagement, gamification and personalised recommendations.

Its referral system encourages users to invite others to join and big data analytics have improved logistics and supply chain management, providing an enhanced consumer-to-business shopping experience.

For those seeking fresh and healthy food options, community group buying theory combined with farmers’ markets and community gardens are the go-to.

Not only are these solutions financially “healthy” for our pockets, but they also allow us to support local businesses and reduce our carbon footprint.

By buying locally-grown produce, we can reduce the environmental impact of transporting food over long distances.

In the context of Southeast Asia (SEA), the online grocery shopping platform AirAsia grocer should replicate Pinduoduo’s success.

They should make better and localised business models for the communities in Malaysia, Singapore, and across SEA.

As for our mobility needs, carpooling apps are another area where we can save big bucks during a crisis.

Unnecessary expenses, such as luxury cars and taxis, are usually the first to go.

Instead of having to hop on ride-hailing services, the carpooling option can be the perfect solution.

It allows co-workers, family, friends and even ordinary people to share rides and save on toll fares, parking and gas money, it also contributes to reducing traffic congestion and air pollution.

Cities and small, medium and large corporations should start to aggressively encourage, promote and incentivise carpooling programmes.

Thanks to Toyota’s mobility platform – KINTO Join.

KINTO Join has been designed to revolutionise the way people and co-workers commute from point A to point B.

It allows offering drivers built-in incentives, making it easier than ever to save some cash on transport.

In summary, the potential for another global financial crisis is a scary thought.

But we can take control of our own lives by being smart with our expenses.

Community group buying and carpooling platforms are just two effective ways of saving money without sacrificing the quality of life.

By making small changes in our daily routines, we can make a big impact on our finances, our communities and our planet.

So, let’s not sit back and wait for the crisis to pass. Instead, let’s take advantage of this opportunity to make smart choices and create a better future for ourselves and everyone around us.