How is business in india in the era of COVID 19’s New Normal?Bits
The pandemic is a reminder that events like this will continue to happen in the future. It had severe economic consequences across the globe. The major change is how business act and consumer behave.
Kumar and Pooja were working couple in a firm with a guaranteed monthly salary and were ecstatic that they got a break from the mundane routine. It was great initially but slowly work from home became normal routine. But the announcements of complete lockdown were sad news for Satya Devi, who sells vegetables in the streets for the survival and the only breadwinner for the family. Vijay invested his lifetime savings and took new loans from different banks to open a restaurant, which was his dream. Now he did not know how to pay the EMI’s and survive with the family. The surfacing of COVID-19 in China and the rapid expansion of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, have questions about business survival tumbling after. Will lockdown continue? Is COVID-19 more infectious or transmissible? Will people consume the products as before?
Many countries acknowledged by declaring emergency lockdowns in a staggered or abrupt way to save life prior of saving economy. The commercial activity of the people was disrupted affecting business progress. The pandemic has altered individual behavior like social distancing or obliging to wear mask. The long-term effects include redesigning of consumers and travel behavior. The investment of business has drastically taken a hit. The transformation has revolutionized the approach to work, business organization and business models. The pandemic has driven the business entities to shut down in each country on the globe. This has negatively impacted the GDP of every country.
More people working from home, the demand for technology that enables online group meetings and streaming services have grown rapidly. Shares of the companies like Zoom, YouTube, Netflix have skyrocketed since the pandemic. As the people grew through pandemic, the fitness sector became a key household consumption.
The pandemic has given the opportunity to redefine strategies and hone the risk mitigating tools. MNC’s have embarked those in their agenda. Global companies are losing business but not all companies are losing business. Markets like higher education, retail, healthcare, cash flow, marketing, internet usage, social media and tourism have been revolutionized by the crisis.
India have been the global distributor of the vaccines. We will face logistical issues as most of the API’s are dependent on other countries like China. But the global demand will ensure the supply chain is uninterrupted. WHO and India have the vision to help poor countries with cheaper vaccines. The current scenario has flourishing and profitable future. If the demand of the infrastructure is looked after, then the employment rate will boost.
Tourism and Transportation
The travel industry struggles with empty hotel rooms and airlines reducing workforce. It is one of the most affected sectors. The pandemic has reshaped the framework of the transportation industry.
Education and Entertainment
The internet and screen usage have drastically increased among all. Universities opting for virtual classrooms and remote online collaboration have led to massive spike in multimedia usage.
School going kids engaged in online classes, work from home situation outstretch the working hours, fitness classes like yoga booming during the weekdays. The weekends are also extended in entertainment usage of screen time. Rise of different OTT platforms streaming contents and gaming streams have hooked the people in spending more time indoors. Social media browsing has risen substantially for the news update and entertainment.
The pandemic has forced people spend most of their time in home. But people at risk such as old adults, people with chronic illness and young children are affected the most. Telemedicine and telehealth have become normalcy for attending patients. Most of the physicians have embraced the digital transformation. Even though, its in a budding stage in India, health sector has already inculcated the virtual reality and artificial intelligence (AI) in tracking and treating patients. The business deliveries have changed as per the consumers shifting demands.
The social distancing enforced the habit of usage of cashless transactions to public. Country like India, where cash are preferred mode of payment for lot of people due to many issues like lack of awareness and high-level security for the transactions. It is also the easiest way of payment. But current scenario has encouraged the people to use mobile wallet for payments.
The economic consequences due to the pandemic is severe leading to product orders cancellation and manufacturing delays. The vulnerability of the business and supply chain has compelled for different approach and tactics. The retailers should understand the pulse of the customers. Customers sentiment and needs must be addressed in innovative way. The likes of AI are need of an hour in every business. The organizations with cyclical time orientation rely heavily on the past experiences. During current crisis, they will be heavily hit if innovation does not get assumed in the process. The unprecedented path will be harder but not applicable. The e-commerce had new user demographics. The field have and could explore in the transport business where the commuter’s preference has shifted from public to private transport support. Still majority are dependent on the public transport, but their unavailability during the crisis have coerced to alternates. COVID-19 pandemic has seen certain business inflating prices and making false claims about products.
Sales/Marketing of Consumer products
The restrictions have affected normal sales and marketing activities of business. The advertisements are still hot but venturing in other platforms like social media and OTT platforms will be great as consumers demand in old way have mitigated dramatically. In initial days of crisis, panic triggered stocking of consumer goods. Who can forget the toilet paper fight in US supermarkets, which is a rich nation problem? But the purchase pattern of the consumer has reexplored a new trend with rise in purchase of cleaning products and sanitary products. The shelves are filled with recycling products. In one way it reduces the carbon footprint and saves the nature. The right strategies would diminish the imbalance in supply and demand of production and distribution. Logistics interruptions can take the edge off most of the issues.
The lockdown had a great impact on café’s and restaurants resulting in empty buildings. But the sector is an important for the survival of humans. Ordering online and home delivery is booming. Significant food waste can lessen.
The business must evolve as per the demand in marketplace. The impact should reflect at the micro and macro level for economic revival. The unemployment is something will be a major factor to be considered due to automation. The current pandemic has highlighted the need for effective solutions to reduce burden and to reach the clients. All sectors are interloped and most consumption have moved on from physical to online means. The abundance of new products, channels and services will determine the survival of the business. Digital marketing is been employed to target customers in all sectors. The market will have to reexplore the business process and relax the multi-channel effort in supply chain.