While the country continues to be in self-quarantining, the economy makes an effort to come back to normalcy.
Medianews4u reached out to experts to understand how this has affected the businesses and the solutions to this global menace.
Prashanti Malisetti, Founder and CEO, Pixel Pictures
Just like the rest of the world, we at Pixel are carefully following the news and statistics about Covid-19; taking advised precautions, worrying about the economy, our friends, our family members, and our minds being paralyzed; doing our best to adapt to the current conditions, and working hard to be able to shape our future. The M&E industry, by itself largely works with a great number of people, all our shoots, in-studio or outdoors, have 150-200 nos, and it is impossible to work on the ground in the current situation.
Despite not having episode banking, in the safety of our cast and crew, we have stalled our shoots in Hyderabad too. I am sure the economic impact would be both immediate and long term. It’s a great challenge to be asked to wait patiently for weeks at home to fight an enemy you can’t even see, but the need of the hour is to stay calm, and rational. Humanity, patience, and determination people are showing to fight this war and keep their loved ones safe is awe-inspiring. We are eager to be part of it until the end.
Rohan Bhansali, Co-Founder & Director, Gozoop
Businesses and economies all over the world are directly or indirectly impacted by a coronavirus. No business, industry or country is immune to this pandemic. Of course some such as travel and hospitality are more impacted than others. As far as the advertising industry goes, brands are rightly being cautious of their marketing spends in these times. Many brand campaigns have been put on hold until the uncertainty settles. However, we are also seeing some brands that are smartly leveraging this moment for long term branding.
While some sectors such as online education and online gaming are increasing their marketing spends, most businesses have reduced their spending by 20%-60% and will reduce further if the situation worsens.
Companies should naturally prioritize the safety of their team first. We started our Work From Home phasing on March 13th. We also advanced a part of their salary to each employee to buy supplies for their homes. We are encouraging all internal as well as client meetings over videos.
Having prioritized safety, our second focus is business continuity. Cash Flows are king at such time. A strong eye on cash flows is key. Companies with Stronger balance sheets will be able to ride these times better. By its DNA, Gozoop has always been a financially conservative company – zero debt with cash reserves.
Kabir Siddiq, Founder & CEO, SleepyCat
The pandemic has affected the globe. While it is necessary to take precautions it is also important to remember not to panic. The virus has caused a major rift on businesses and economies around the world and its trickle effect can be felt at each level. Thankfully, we anticipated and kept ourselves prepared for such emergencies. By and large, the pace of the business has been affected but our production and supply have not stopped. We see that there is a demand even during the pandemic. And since we have the resources we will make sure we supply to the best of our capability.
We are taking steps to make sure our team members are safe during the global outbreak. We’ve provided a work from home facility to those who wish to take up the option. We have also equipped our offices and each member with the right sanitary facilities. We’ve instructed everyone to maintain utmost hygiene at each level – right from manufacturing to shipping to delivery.
Sahil Vaidya, Co-Founder of The Minimalist
Across sectors, most companies are reeling under the unforeseen blow dealt by the Coronavirus. That said, all we can do is wait and watch how things pan out in the month’s to come. The Minimalist, our employee safety is of paramount importance, and we have taken the work from the home route, as well as deployed new-age digital tools to power the remote working culture.
Besides rationalization in investment decisions, companies/investors must look at the current pandemic as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prepare comeback strategies and forward-thinking measures. Furthermore, it is important to maintain a sense of equanimity in the face of turmoil (by practicing system thinking) instead of knee-jerking reactions, which will not just benefit businesses but the larger ecosystem as a whole.
Mandeep Arora, Managing Director, UBON
The impact of the deadly Coronavirus outbreak in China is likely to be contingent on business activities. However, we are fully equipped in India. And hoping for the reversal of the situation, companies at present are monitoring the evolving situation and trying to stabilize the supplies for now. We are fortunate that we have production facilities in India and will not let it cause more disruptions. Also, we have ample flexibility at our backend with a reasonable surplus to keep our operations flowing. Besides, keeping the needs and requirements of our customers in mind, we are steadily ensuring that the Indian customers don’t have to suffer the consequences of this malice.
Praveen Dhabhai, COO, Payworld
The COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire and as of now impacted the economy drastically. Several sectors like aviation and Auto industry have been majorly impacted. When we talk about the fintech industry, the immediate impact is going to be very minimum since our business model is on financial transactions through AEPS and essential utility services but the implications will be huge for our business in the long run because the economy and our business are dependent on each other, if the economy is stable people would want to use services such as money remittance to transfer funds from one place to the other and similarly, if the economy is shut the transactions will keep on decreasing.
Nikky Gupta, Co-founder, and Director Teamwork Communications Group
With factories shutting down, airlines being grounded and cities being put on lockdown mode, the novel coronavirus is having a grueling impact on the global economy. As the disease outbreak spreads in India, there is bound to be some impact on all businesses. However, the PR and communications industry are not expected to witness any significant slump, at least in the immediate future. Most businesses and large corporates are expected to continue their communication and PR plans. They may put off investing in advertisements for a while but they are not holding their PR strategies since the latter is a relatively low-cost investment. Similarly, several small organizations that may be considering hiring PR agencies are likely to put their decisions on hold for a while untie the outbreak subsides and revenues stabilize again.
Husain Habib, Co-Founder, and CMO, Hats-Off Digital Private Limited
Implications and the impact of coronavirus is several. But what has kept us going strong is attending to our clients and employees. We understand our responsibility towards our clients as well as our employees in these critical times. Hence despite the isolation and social distancing we are continuing the work from our end through work from home and making sure of the safety and security of our employees as well. Our meetings are being scheduled through video calls and conference calls and hence the impact has been less as we are making sure that things are moving in a smooth function despite the situations.