Covid-19 has impacted the Globe with an unrivalled challenge. It is something like never before. It has the clutches of the destruction of old norms which we are habitual of. Covid-19 has delivered to the world an unprecedented challenge not foreseen by anyone nor can we foresee the end! It has the power to destroy the old and usher in a new world. It has led us to question the business norms we are all familiar with. It has brought the cycles of the world economy to halt, and left us almost helpless dealing with something very new and unprecedented and unpredictable.
Deepak Menaria Sir, the CEO of Lemon Ideas organized a session at this issue on Sunday as the format of Lemon Gupshup. As a kind gesture, Deepak Sir invited everyone to put their thought on this. Naveen told in the meeting that after the numbers of lockdown, business jumped down. Only 20-30% of that is working. Without proper planning, lockdown is affecting the revenue of MSMEs and retailers. People are dependent on their previous saving. One of my friend’s father is a lawyer in the session’s court. The court is not running due to proper setup of online stuff and thus father is jobless from March 2020. He is breaking bread on the earnings of past practices. Priyaranjan told us that business is all about quick decisions. If you don’t hold guts to change your strategies as per the situation demands, then you’re are not an entrepreneur in true means. He also took the example of Ganga. There are so many initiatives took by the government and by the peoples and NGOs as well. Ganga Action Plan in 1986 and Namami Gange mission in 2015. But No substantial results are here. Hundreds of millions have gone in vain for this. But during the lockdown, it’s clean enough to drink. Saharanpur, a town in Uttar Pradesh is waking up to the Himalayas after 30 years. It is visible because of less air-pollution.
Piyush told us that productivity has gone degraded. Actually, this point is very subjective. Productivity mechanism has been remaining different for individuals. People are painting and sketching and farming and returning to their hobbies. We can say only those thing productive that generates revenue. Ashwin Sir, an essential pillar of Lemon Ideas told us that online trainings and activities have got a boom-rise. So many applications got launched in lockdown. Plenty of online courses are open to everyone to improve skills. Faizan returned to his hobbies in this lockdown. He did a lot for his mind and inner happiness. Siddharth concluded the participants thought very beautiful. He told us that lockdown taught us what is necessary and what is not. In post Covid-19 era, people will return to the real things. Vaibhav talked about security aspects of people in this Covid-19 era. He told to participants that people are preferring securities over risk taking. They are preferring for government jobs. This unprecedented situation of economy and fluctuation of this scares them.
Actually this is a world-changing scenario that has become the new normal and that comes us after centuries what we have to rethink life. But this also presented an opportunity before us. This buy and sell concept is never going to end in this Marketism. Actually, market itself is controlling us. Customers will continue to buy; only their behavior and need will change, and new markets will emerge. This has opened up an opportunity for start-ups that will thrive innovation and cost-effective businesses. It has demanded a need to build strong businesses: capital efficient, with a fixed top line and bottom line, a focus on unit economics, cash-flow focused, etc. Start-ups that remain standing through such difficult times have a higher probability of success. Entrepreneurs who get through these tough times are surely the horse of long run.
There are emerging perfect ecosystems for startups in some fields. More interesting is the opportunity for existing start-ups too. It is even more critical that these businesses think about how they can prevent ‘wind-downs’ in this lockdown. This needs some very agile and smart thinking to not only stay afloat, to stay survived but more importantly grab the market need and ensure there is a going business. We are seeing that happen across the ecosystem—many start-ups have created Covid-19 related products by innovating for the emerging needs i.e. ventilators, sanitizers, PPEs, etc. They have become front runners in the fight against Covid-19 and are also in the race to grab market share. Famous companies of designer dresses are making masks as per the need of time. This pandemic has given a strong message: entrepreneurs have to pivot or perish. There really is no third option. And this pivot could include a complete change: change of the product, rethink or refocus on a different market, a different business model, and even the designing of new delivery mechanisms. Some companies are thinking about Drone-Delivery too. It’s the time of self- assessment. No matter it’s an individual or it’s a setup. To train the mind for this situation is the only solution for the paradigm-shift.
This social distancing and have shown that technology works. It has not only saved the day for many businesses during the Covid-19 current, but it is also the driver of the future. The world has not only gone digital and virtual, it is fast enabling the new world. Tech has now become completely horizontal: It is enabling innovation across all sectors, be it manufacturing, textiles, agriculture, healthcare, retail, fashion, water or clean energy. And India, with its huge think tank and executive talents, is extremely well placed to grab the leadership and build not world-class products, but local-products of top quality, and at competitive prices. This is Ātmanirbharta at its best and this also places ‘Made in India’ products extremely right for global markets.
Therefore, while many of them think Covid-19 has dealt with a cruel hand, entrepreneurs, full of life, see this as a new opportunity. There couldn’t be a better time to start a business for completely new products. In last, our CEO concluded the discourse. He told us that Covid-19 helped us a lot to be un-baggage ourselves. It told us what is not essential to carry. It forced us to think about mental health. He also talked about different ballgames during the examinations during the COVID. Technology helped a lot for this. Evaluators are having sessions on zoom and google-meet for viva-voice. So definitely, COVID taught us to carry only essentials on our back.
Hindu College. University of Delhi
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