May 7, 2020
The outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has taught us many valuable lessons and there is no doubt that it will teach us a few more in the days to come. During these unprecedented times, we will have to look up to any available resource to find solace and the energy to keep going with a positive mindset. I believe, that the Indian way of life 'simple living high thinking' with a modern vision of the new India in the present global world are few aspects that let us accept facts as they are.
Please note that the coronavirus will continue to stay for years like dengue and Ebola and we will have to learn and manage to live our lives around it with 'positive mindset'.
The lockdown will probably continue for another 100 days and lockdown may not be a long term solution. In short term manufacturing and supply chain of delivering the product to the consumer has stopped. Managing this is a big task. Skilled employees have to come back for production goals. The need of the hour is a clear policy on 'COVID Management' in working place and for easy movement..until a vaccine comes through. We should intelligently evolve to adopt the social distancing methodology in the next 2 to 3 months. Governments should figure a way to open schools, colleges and work areas with sufficient checks and sanitations. Life may not be back to normal immediately. It may take till year-end.
Going forward, it is best to inculcate our learnings and ensure better and easy management of these sections of society. Healthcare divisions and hospitals can be better equipped and technologically elevated. The village panchayats, taluk and district level administrations should be empowered and trained in order to reach out to every stratum of the society. Governments can also employ a co-operative model to work at an area or street and village level. Rules and regulations for travel plans as well. Travel within cities and countries have to be controlled. Health management cells can be designed to keep a check on the population flocking to cities and in slums where social distancing might not always be a practical option.
There is a need for a strong mass communication cell to reach the ground level and make everyone aware of the situation and the ways to protect oneself. Non-governmental organizations like Red Cross, National Service Scheme, National Cadet Corps, the Scouts and Guides can be allowed to take responsibility for social management when needed.
As mentioned earlier, the coronavirus is here to stay for a while and one cannot afford to be ignorant. It is hence important for each and every shop, malls and places of public assembly including religious spaces to display clear tips on the importance of personal hygiene and facts on nature and spread of COVID-19.
Impact of COVID-19 on the market
This is a time of evolution and consumers understanding the subject will take the lead. Brand loyalty will take priority. We will see brands becoming internet savvy and also focusing on data management and below-the-line advertising. The job market will have a paradigm shift and productivity will become imperative. As a matter of fact, a mere long-term lockdown will be an economic disaster and make way to one more disaster. It is hence vital to come up with a workable solution within the next 30 days, while the coronavirus creeps destructively around us.
Over the years, I have worked with multiple sectors and types of businesses. But the uncertainty of this measure is unheard of. Unless we brave up and take measures to control the damage, it might be too late to brace for impact. With a positive mind and with available resources and my experience, I foresee a positive impact on some industries like:
- Agri industry: The coming days will see an increase in demand for Agri products. New ways of cultivation, water management, Supply Chain Management can help better yields and produce.
- Healthcare and Ayush: There is a wave of awareness on health and hygiene today. This shift to positive health habits may lead to more people opting for natural treatments. There will also be a demand for health care, nursing and manufacturing of basic health care kits. Paramedical staff will remain our heroes. Participation of Non-governmental organizations in health management is the need of the hour.
- Stock market – Change has already impacted investments in gold and bonds. We will also see a general impact on trading.
- Online education and training are going to be the next big thing.
- Insurance sector is going to become more streamlined and systematic.
- Spirituality will be the next way of life. Meditation/Jotishya and value-based religious content will take the front seat.
- We will also see a boom in the artificial intelligence, robotics and automation industries.
- Ways and medium of entertainment will change. More online and phone content will see the light.
While some sectors will see a drastic change in their functioning and also see an overall shortfall. The primary sectors that will take a hit are:
- Travel and Tour – This includes hotel and restaurants, flights, holiday planners and assistors. Imagine the worse and one will also realize that if the travel industry gets affected, it will affect trades in tour destinations, countries and states dependent on tourists.
- Real Estate –The demand for real estate is already low and it will be lowest and demand creation may take many years. Rentals and commercial spaces will be available in plenty because of work from
- Automobile – Already the shift and change in the process, Cars/Petrol/Luxury cars/Spare parts etc
- Banking and Finance – The role of Non-Performing Assets, inducing fresh equity and Co-Operative banks will become imperative.
- Media and entertainment – A big change needs to be managed in this sector. COVID-19 had impacted the print media, cinemas, news networks and the television sector.
- Branded retail stores – Malls will see lesser people in the near future. Luxury electronics, food and appeals will take a long time to get back on track.
- Logistics – Production, demand and supply chain management may take time. The logistics industry will take a drastic hit and will include car rentals and aggregators.
- Events – Sports, weddings, conferences and other large gatherings will not be an everyday affair anytime soon.
Few thinking on public administration:
- The concept of 'Bharathiyatha' will have a new definition and historic values, parampara and Vedic positives will have an edge.
- The public administration will be the panchayat – Taluk level and district administrations will be powerful and rule with more involvement from people. General social behaviour can be expected.
- All policies will be developed based on local needs and development will become a one-point agenda. We may also see politics changing hands and making way for a new generation.
- Government organizations/service and facility organizations will have more demanding work and will grow.
- People will depend on local schools, colleges and hospitals. Their daily needs and will be around this. An outsider may not be appreciated by villages.
- There could also be an increase in frictions. Economic levels and layers could be the main reason. Robbery, stealing and crime rate will grow higher and will stay for a long time.
- The world war, tension will continue.
However, the co-operative model and social entrepreneurship will grow. To add to the bright side, we will see the service industry and job oriented courses getting into the limelight. The employees will need to adopt a new culture into their mindset. They will be more project management focused and will be goal/task-driven work. A positive mindset will go a long way.
There will also be more demand for practically oriented work. Environment-friendly practices within industries will see great results. Health-conscious food and medicine will be sought after.
One will also see an increased use of jargons like ‘process’, ‘time management’, ‘business analytics’, ‘TCM’, ‘TQM’, ‘Kaizen'. The focus will be on ‘value creation’ and not wealth creation. Effective work from home practices will be implemented JIT(Just In Time).
As for job opportunities, the internet-savvy mindset will be preferred as an edge.