The COVID-19 global pandemic did throw businesses into an unfamiliar playing field and left many scrambling to find a way out of this crisis. Although, we have seen the steepest slowdown in the global economy (3%) in 2020, since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the world community has moved mountains to settle down by implementing prevention and safety measures to re-start the industries. It is the perfect time to identify the best path towards industrial transformation that can reduce the impact of future crises on our industries and socio-economic growth.
The Scenario and the Importance of a New Start
Although, the advanced economies across the world seem to have been hit the hardest and due to their position in the world economy, slowly but steadily they are changing the gears to reach previous production level.
The scenario of urgency created by the pandemic makes this time frame very important for us to work towards taking positive decisions that will lead us towards a sustainable future by making industries agile and adaptable to future crises.
Supporting SMEs and larger manufacturing-oriented businesses seems to be crucial to return the world to its own pace, albeit with tried and tested safety measures in effect. In India, Government’s announcement of Rs 20 lakh crore as economic stimulus, big-bang systemic reforms under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, making new announcements like 500 GW Renewable Energy target by 20301 , & by increasing the PLI outlay to INR 24,0002 crore from previous limit of INR 4500 crore, and adding enhanced PLI allocation of INR 19,500 crore for solar will surely help India become a manufacturing hub.
Navigating the New Normal
To strive during this crisis, industries are developing trust-based cultures with employees. The new work guidelines are appearing to be based on- transparency of right information disclosure, strategic implementation of remote work and consistently improving safety processes to protect the workers and clients.
Organizations are starting to focus on creating standard operating procedures during short term and long term crisis scenarios. Transparent communication focused on safety of the employees and clients while maintaining control over operations and systems are being developed.
A few trends to see to Secure Daily Operations:
- Digitization of the daily work processes
- Implementing sanitisation facilities at transport, entry, during work hours, and exit areas
- Distribution of protective gears
- Forming a fast response force to handle health crisis
- Getting local medical support team on-board
- Effective and tested plans to help infected employee get medical support
- Checking financial resilience of the company
- Coordinating with long term planning to maintain safe work process within a crisis scenario
- Investing in training employees to adapt to digital platforms
Continued Government support would be needed to create a manufacturing and business favourable environment with availability of financing solutions, more awareness, completing old projects and introducing new ones, and creating demand to boost the market. Since India has more than 50% of working age population, with proper training and encouragement to the workforce, India would be able to walk towards energy rich and sustainable future.
Automation in the industries and transparency in communication will act as the major components in these new strategies/operations. We are entering a new era for the international organizations where business entities need to take back control over market forces and respond effectively to customer demand.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of having and practicing short and long term crisis scenarios to predict possible changes and get ready to adapt to the unpredictable. India has been making the right choices by allowing industries to open with re-enforced safety guidelines in play. However, the organizations also bear the responsibility to make that happen, by employing positive practices to influence positive work environment.
- We need transparency in conversations at organizational level to instill and earn trust within employees and clients
- Allowing your employees and clients in/of the organization to understand the ‘big picture’ or the objective/agenda behind company’s pursuit would help everyone become a real team
The crisis triggered by COVID-19 pandemic is much like the 1991 economic crisis, which was a harbinger of a paradigm shift via liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. Post-Covid-19 era has already ushered in unprecedented opportunities, provided we work now to transform our industries into more agile and adaptable business entities that are prepared for challenges and can minimize socio-economic impacts brought on by crises.