An age-old saying stands to be the biggest truth in the current COVID-19 pandemic. It goes “in every adversity lies an opportunity”. Adversity is an opportunity in disguise. The saying is particularly true for developing countries, especially for India.
The modern progressive democracy we are in has tied us down with the brutal opinions and traditions. Some of the traditions in India do not seem to have meaningful existences. They only cause hindrance to common logic and what’s correct. Most of the deep-rooted opinions exasperate political outlook, primarily.
Urban and rural divisions religiously believe racial discrimination, language discrimination, and caste-based discrimination. Only situations of great adversity, like the current pandemic, unifies the country. Although this adversity is unfortunate, a slight hope may bring the necessary reforms needed to curb the deep-rooted traditions into changes that may help people live easy.
Compared to the other developing countries, India has coincidentally suffered less crisis than most of the developed leveraged economies of the world. Coping up with the ongoing crisis up to a measure never witnessed by humanity before has left the governing bodies of the world galvanized.
This pandemic has caused an existential threat keeping recovery farthest. Given the sentimental value of Indian citizens, deep reforms are keeping pandemic measures at bay. To bring about changes through conventional sensors, opportunities are paving ways. Both the houses of the Parliament have the ruling party.
The only challenge now is significant planning, imagination, management, and organization. A major theme of hygiene and sanitation has taken over previous concepts stuck to beliefs, that had ignored the importance of sanitary health.
People are now looking for better healthcare along with the emergence of a better supply chain system, storage of emergency supplies and primarily being self-sufficient.
Introspection Of Opportunities
Alongside chopping onions, dicing garlic, and cleaning coriander leaves, we are all finding ourselves joining hands together across the world. The contemplation of the future and what COVID-19 awaits has left the current situation as a purposeful oracle. It is only revealing our past.
Ignorance is standing between humanity and disparity. The tasks we perform as “work from home” are now tasks of substance and not profit. We do not leave our kitchen dirty and sleep anymore. Once we are done cooking, we clean, go to bed, wake up, clean again, and start afresh.
We are asking for help without disguising it in the name of collaboration or partnership. Today with the world sticking to the screens of its glowing devices, a small community on Facebook sharing simple recipes for this lockdown has grown to be a 2000 + peoples group.
Everything is in the introspection of opportunities. The choice is no more the solution, choice has become a compulsion. Your behavior is tending towards the “next is what”. You are constantly looking for something to fill your mind. Today, political nuisance, personal grudge, and lack of commitment are of no value.
You are only looking to strive better, earn better keeping in mind the forlorn hope of your job to sustain.
With increasing choices you get an increased number of matches. The higher the number of matches you have, the higher you are on the ladder. Try connecting, however, don’t commit. You know your destination well. This only feels tedious in a world, where once to get lost, meant to commit to an open-ended journey. And now you are lost amidst the crowd.
But We Can Finally Find Ourselves
This confrontation is hard but it is the right time to confront yourself and ask what next? Today, privilege is the difference between the rich and poor, the expectant, and the non-expectant.
Some are happy about the French omelet being served every day, and some are cherishing the return of dolphins in Venice. Today this pandemic has given us a choice that had almost paralyzed us.
If we prefer rewinding to a prelapsarian era, the days of Doordarshan playing Ramayan and Mahabharat would still be much more appreciated than the world of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest we depend on now.
Looking At The Bright Side of Life
Every cloud has a silver lining. The darkness of the coronavirus pandemic with people dying, companies going bankrupt, stock market collapsing, overloading of the healthcare system, and millions of employees losing a job. COVID-19 is the biggest seizure triggering years of uncertainty.
The upsides rather than the silver lining of the cloud have given some of us opportunities. For example, now for all the work from home meeting, companies like Zoom, and Go To Webinar has built virtual meetings options.
Today as of recent reports, Amazon has planned to hire 1 lakh employees. Because of the increasing number of orders and deliveries to meet the need of the hour. This all of the sudden hiring by Amazon may sound more like a threat however it will employ a part of the population instead of keeping them unnoticed.
Here Are The Major Opportunities This Crisis Has Given Us
The economy of the country is overheated. Time has emerged to be the most valuable and sparse item. We had the entire week full of social gatherings, theatre visits, parties, movies, festivals, and concerts. Suddenly all of them seem to be the forbidden fruit.
This has given us a significant amount of extra time. Even though we are not able to live high on the expectations, our lives are going on. This shows how easy it is to just divert our minds from the busy schedule we were living in and engage in productivity.
This does not apply to the health care workers or workers associated with the entire sector providing health assistance and restoration work. Although it applies to the majority of us, this time can give us ideas to conduct DIY, writing, reading, and contemplate the current situation.
The key to better utilizing this free time is reserved for something productive, leave no scope for an idle mind.
Breakthrough Speed And Innovation
The organizational work-life balance suffered from rigid hierarchies, slow procedures, and complex bureaucracy. This led to the making of work-life balance into the utter disturbance.
The immediate plan for “work from home” has given the opportunity to these organizations to break through the glass of rigidity and act instantly. Suddenly the slow procedures can be readily skipped the rigid hierarchies can be made autonomous without formal approval.
Suddenly planned, unplanned, casual and sick leaves have all been approved to a new “work from home” model without direct supervision. The strong stimulus driving necessary changes has made it clear that metal can be melt without fire. Remarkable innovations can take place without much contemplation.
For example, a recent change in the delivery option by restaurant delivery partners has been the “no contact delivery” mode. The delivery guy specifically drops your package at the doorstep upon confirmation of the residence.
Suddenly schools have shifted online classes, of course by mandating attendance. Innovations can now maintain a constant work-life balance even during a crisis.
Also read Effect of Coronavirus on the economy
Bond Over For Better
Given the constant pressure we were all in for work, waiting for the weekend to relieve ourselves of all the stress we run through for 5 days. Detached are our social connections. The challenging time today is an opportunity to bond over and connect with people.
Previous visits to restaurants, movies, theatres with family and friends have left feelings of loneliness in some cases. But remember we are in this together. This simple thought can trigger interesting ways to connect. For example the most viral social connection has been in Italy. Videos surfaced the internet where people have been seen singing together from their balconies and windows.
In India the government took forward the nine minutes at 9:00 p.m. move with the provocation of sound in the form of claps, bells and other instruments to make us all aware of the active mindset we are all living with. The need of the hour has emerged to become the need of the future. Activities building social coherence will live even when the crisis is no more.
These initiatives have given a medium and opportunity to show how people are caring for their families, hoarding food, medicine, and essential to keep the loved ones under the blanket of love and care.
Clean Environment Better Environment
With almost no industrial activity the virus has shutdown modes of pollution and improper hygiene. Factories are now operating below the capacity with little or no transportation. Traffic has reduced radically. Satellite images of the sky have shown how the past few months has cleared the air, water and brought back our natural habitat.
Overcrowded cities such as New York, Amsterdam, and Venice are witnessing the emergence of rare animals that were thought to be endangered. Greenhouse gases, pollutants in air and water have reduced significantly. The lockdown and shutdown have impacted positively on our nature.
Although for the short term our environment is breathing clean and safe. This is an opportunity to make cleaning habits a part of your life. The line of previous opportunities runs parallel with the habit of keeping your environment clean.
The crisis has shown how an opportunity like this can help us reconsider our life and organize it in a way that has a less negative impact on the planet.
Before the crisis hit us, the World Bank shared the learning poverty indicator. This indicator measures the percentage of children unable to read and understand at the age of 10. Previous to the pandemic, the percentage of children stood at 53% and now people have forecasted the situation to worsen.
These children are suffering from loss in their learning aspect, dropout rates may increase and some of the children being served with mid-day meals will lose the most important meal of the day. The availability of a laptop or a computer has made it possible for educational institutions to reach out to children from better-off families.
All possible delivery mode should be put to use. The crisis has given the ministries around the world, time to formulate strategies, to deliver educational information to children. The ministries are planning on using podcasts and other resources which use fewer data compared to zoom classes.
Recent thoughts have been given to radio and television to act as the source of education. Remote learning is not only about learning from home or online learning. Ministries are now planning to make remote learning all about mixed media learning in order to reach as many students as possible. This will help keep students engaged and passive about education.
Winners Of The COVID-19 Pandemic
The global economy has been driven into a tailspin. The unprecedented recession has caused catalytic changes. It has kept industries challenged from being reformed, and restructured. The new era of business we are looking at will highly depend on scalability, automation, and agility.
Industries growing with these virtues will be clear winners. With economic packages being pushed from the government, some forms of liquidity are brought into the market. It will help the economy stay afloat and dodge a recession once the lockdown is lifted.
However reports suggest better capitalization of businesses to benefit over small operators. The economy shall be seen as a competition between the incumbent and the upstarts. COVID-19 will force the rebirth of industries that were in lockdown previous to the pandemic.
Companies have got the opportunity to raise and re-imagine, increase modes of consumption, productivity, supply, and interaction has already boomed business. For a few the shift of paradigm against existing threats will either keep the economy accelerating or not.
If you have noticed, the cashless mode is booming already, rather clearly accelerating. Approximately 31 countries have lifted the limits and restrictions of cashless payment to keep social distancing measures in place.
The trend of bringing your own device is already in business and is seen as a supercharging session conducted daily. People are now socializing remotely and all of a sudden tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and even the Houseparty app are known to support millions of corporate interactions.
The demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other medical essentials has spiked, leaving the supply chain to organize and reconfigured themselves in real-time. For example, the Royal Mint is now producing medical devices whereas Dyson is producing personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators.
Controversy Of Good And Bad
The economy of India is bound to suffer in FY 2020. Majorly because of weak demand, no export business, acting together leading to failing revenue modes of the country. With the extension of lockdown, India has hit a recession in no time. The government is trying to put a fiscal stimulus as a cushion against the economic setback. This initiative will help entrepreneurs and industries to keep up with their operations.
The purchasing manager’s index (PMI) of India has fallen from 51. 8 to 27 points. The normal market census is measured at 42. This shows how India is struggling below normalcy to cope with what’s lost. The projected increase in 2021 is 51, however much has to be done.
The second quarter this year is expected to pick the lost run which will also witness supply chain streaming all over again. At present, India has approximately 231 special economic zones. The government is coping up with provisions of incentives to meet capital inflows and Indian competitiveness. India’s SEZ policy has allowed foreign investments and foreign operations in the form of FDI.
The micro small and medium enterprises hold another sector that acts as the backbone of the national economic structure of the country. Of the total number of operating industries in the country, approximately 97% of the industries fall under the MSME category. This segment of the industrial development pools great economic development, employment, along with innovation.
MSME is known to contribute more than 30% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of India. This sector is badly impacted due to the COVID-19 lockdown. The current contribution is below 25% and some of the firms in this sector are already on the way to permanently shut down.
The Government is trying to keep these sectors alive with initiatives like the “Make In India” all for better reasons. It is now known that the new normal will not only enable the manufacturing sector to grow better but also drive better technology and employment opportunities.
The Ministry of Commerce is putting their hands together to conduct a well-coordinated effort along with the state governments.