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.
Rahul Namjoshi COO, MY FM
As the global economy braces for an impact due to the current scenario, I think it has become more important to be optimistic right now. Market speculations have already hit the global stock markets and its effects can be witnessed here in India as well. However, although the impact is large, it is bound to be temporary. The situation right now demands to be patient. We cannot be myopic right now. The need of the hour is to invest your money, time and energy wisely and support the government in every possible way. At the industry level, I think we have a moral responsibility as well to spread positivity and hope. The situation will get better in the coming months. Maybe not until Q1 2020, as it will be the worst hit quarter, but Q2 onward I see slow but continuous growth.
Pankaj Krishna, Founder & CEO, ChromeDM
We are going through a rough patch and this has been on for a while now. Consumption of television and any form of digital engagement will shoot up in the days to come. The challenge lies on the revenue front which is all skewed to advertising. With a country lockdown, the off-take of consumer products is crashing, and as a result, advertisers are pulling out of their campaigns, which will have an adverse effect on the entire industry. The government has already sent out a circular towards invoking the force majeure clause and I think clients agencies, vendors and partners will all have to co-operate with each other to steer through the further recession. If this period extends beyond April, it would lead to huge costs cuts, across rentals, maintenance, carriage fees and salaries to the level of basic livelihood, which I believe is a better option as against laying off people.
Sunil Rallan, Chairman and Managing Director, J Matadee Free Trade Zone Pvt Ltd.
The coronavirus pandemic is greatly impacting supply chains across the world. The first phase was the shutdown of Chinese manufacturing for an extended period early in the year. This represented one-third of global production being effectively switched off overnight. It is difficult to quantify on a global scale but from the Chennai port alone, import cargo volume was down by 60%. We have experienced a dip in trade volumes through Chennai Free Trade Zone as well.
The impact on the Logistics sector is also significant, due to the massive disruption in trade and freight, shipping container availability has become an increasing problem and logistic costs have increased substantially.
The second phase will be a demand problem. As coronavirus is proliferating in the western countries and decreasing in China, the supply and demand problem shifts to the other extreme. Manufacturing capability will increase just as consumption is decreasing. This too will cause significant strain on the logistics sector. This situation has exposed a known weakness in the global supply chain. Manufacturing was too centralized to one region.
Phase three will be to de-risk global supply chains. It is vital to diversify the location of manufacturing across the world and India is in a unique position to accelerate make in India to a global audience looking for solutions.
Pravinkumar Bhandari, Chief Business Officer of ePaisa
Every Business has a risk, but this Global economy slowdown was unexpected. To mitigate the medical issues, Govt is working on control measures but as a company, we should be medically equipped and use advanced technology backup for all means right from communication to execution. Companies should start building a cloud environment that can be easily accessed from anywhere in the world like Automationwhich requires less human intervention. Adding to it, companies need to adapt to work from home policies for employee safety and smooth workflow.
Due to this sudden epidemic, there is a slow down on every business growth globally. But this slowdown also gives every Industry to take a back seat and rework on some product developments, employee training, etc. As from the Fintech industry, I would say it is boosting digital payments since the COVID 19 is spreading through human contact, hence every payment company is promoting Digital and Cashless payment option as a major step to avoid further spread.
Pawan Gadia, CEO, Retail & Online, India, UAE & Singapore, Ferns N Petals
As a responsible brand, we have taken all possible measures for the safety of our customers, partners, and employees. To reduce the risk of exposure to the infection, we have enabled Work from Home in all the possible departments and encouraging employees to avoid any external meetings and cancel travel plans. We have suggested our workforce to keep calm and take the precautions wisely to fight the outbreak of Coronavirus. The office premises is being regularly sanitized with the disinfectants, kept disposables masks and sanitizers at all staff touchpoints. Apart from this, we are providing sanitizers, masks and gloves in our retail stores of infected regions and also instructed the staff to sanitize their hands before delivering the product.
To further educate the customers, we have been putting posts on our social media channels on how to keep themselves safe from the virus.
Anindita Gupta, Co-Founder of Scenic Communications
The coronavirus is definitely going to impact the communications industry and business. Before the pandemic itself, the Indian economy was in a bad state, now with the virus, the situation is going to be even worse. The period of Feb-March is always slow for us because that is the time the financial year ends and from April the business picks up since new marketing budgets are allocated for the next financial year. Now looking at April it seems very difficult that the business will grow. On the other hand, there is a looming fear of losing business because for most companies marketing budget is the one that is tightened first and foremost. If situations don’t improve and things continue to be like this then at least the 1st quarter will be badly affected.
The maximum companies can do is to have as many precautionary measures as possible. It is not possible to ward off the virus completely but by taking care of personal hygiene the risk of contracting the disease becomes much less. At Scenic Communications, as an organization, we have asked all employees to take personal hygiene very seriously. Instead of once, the entire office is cleaned twice with disinfectants. We have provided face masks and alcohol-based hand sanitizers which are said to be the most effective. We have also made all the employees aware of the do’s and don’ts and have made sure employees coming by public transport do work from home for everyone’s safety.
Hitesh Dhingra, Founder, and MD, The Man Company
The impact of this global pandemic is on lives and businesses too. We like any other industry will have to give our first quarter targets a second look but we are not worried about that right now. There are bigger topics on our mind right now.. Keeping the safety as the foremost agenda the offline manforce has been impacted but as a conscious humane brand, these things are done for the larger good and safety of the public. These are tough times and businesses have to stay aware and conscious of the need of the hour and what is of importance right now. Keeping this in mind we have made a special edition Hand sanitizer available across platforms at nominal cost to fight the shortage. This is our way of giving back to the public we serve.
The risks are always pertinent in any business. These are the times to re-evaluate the business objective, stay calm and stay positive. The employees who believe in the purpose of the business will always stand by during hard times. Working from home, minimizing the risks and keeping the safety of the employees will always take precedence over targets.