Adapting to the new normal, and how the real world will subsume in the newly necessitated virtual world is what will drive the way forward
Dinesh Chhabra, CEO, Usha International
The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on large and small businesses alike, across the world. When it hit and the country went into a lockdown, our biggest concern was safety of employees and ensuring business continuity. However, despite all challenges, this year has also provided huge learnings for the road ahead. India is on the cusp of an exciting socio-economic transformation, driven by the rapid adoption of digital technologies. As the world grapples with the economic impact of the pandemic, we believe we have an important role to play in the economic recovery and the revival of the industry in 2021. Below is my take on the focus areas for Usha in 2021:
Safety First – In alignment with the government’s guidelines of vaccination for employees, we will be supporting the initiative by ensuring our participation in the process of the supply chain of vaccine rollout. The decision is guided by our priorities for the safety and well-being of our employees and customers.
The ‘New’ in and around you – Adjusting and adapting to the new realities, working collaboratively while working remotely, taking advantage of new efficiencies put in place across operations, and cost structures – these are all extremely valuable lessons learnt during the pandemic that we need to build upon as we create the new normal. The digital influence is here to stay and will continue to grow. It is imperative to keep capturing this space and start owning the market as and when the trade reopens in a full-fledged manner for the organisation to stay relevant and competitive.
The ‘Normal’ Now– Adapting to the new normal, and how the real world will subsume in the newly necessitated virtual world is what will drive the way forward. Aligning to these will automatically add power and energy to the organization. Additionally, we absolutely must hold on to new efficiencies, the cost structures, and how they have been re-laid to ensure that we do not lose the cost advantage built over the last few months.
Micro for Macro – The spring of -10% of GDP to a swing of +7% GDP is a change of over 15%, and if not managed properly at the micro-level, it will allow competition to take advantage and gallop ahead. We also know that the digital economy share is set to grow and regardless of who leads it, we have to start owning the space more. Brands that take advantage of this space are the ones who will go a long way ahead. Additionally, the concept of centralised offices will get minimised and the decentralised office structure with multiple satellite offices will be the way forward.
Train to Gain – All of these – new ways of working, new office structures, new operational efficiencies, digitization, et al – the entire shift will need to be supported by IT departments along with training and development of employees, while ensuring their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Empowering employees to work cohesively will play a crucial role in the success and growth of the company. Office space must be re-designed for maximum collaboration and effortless exchange of ideas.
2020 has been a great leveler and as we enter the New Year, organizations’ need to focus more on enabling, empowering, and creating enhanced experiences for their employees. Innovation combined with technology will re-define how we grow forward as an organisation.