The New Normal!

The rampant escalation of COVID-19 outbreak, across the world, has acutely impacted almost everyone, in one way or the other, and triggered significant downside risks to the overall global economic outlook.

Business is operating in the fear of impending collapse because of the financial crisis and what makes it even worse for the developing countries like India is the volatile situation that is clubbed with the on-going sluggish economic growth with increasing unstable market conditions.

No doubt, that the pandemic has changed the working cycle of the whole world and not only India, but the whole world is also going through really rough time handling the disease, and coping up with economy is another big concern which is yet not addressed properly.

The Indian economy has affected people more than the coronavirus itself, especially, if we talk about the labour class in India, they have lost nothing except everything. I have been reasoning, like many of you have, if things will go back to normal?

What are the significant changes that are going to take place in the functioning of business and economy? After reading a few reports, I figured that the next few months are going to be a plain struggle.

In this process, many businesses will die and many will stuck but with a thin thread, many people will lose jobs and many will lose hopes but as with economic adversities of the past, a new hope of recovery will come and new businesses will emerge once again, new industries will be formed and so would be the job market.

Everything will be normal again; it is just that we’ll have to change the definition of normal. Welcome to the New Normal! – Where trends will change, and the ways will change, once again.

With the changing time, technology has become the frontline requirement for most of the businesses. Many lives have been on stake, and eventually, it has forced governments of different countries to introspect on their respective policies for businesses in the country. Also, be ready, work from home is going to be the new normal; however, there will be an adverse effect on employees because the extra burden of infrastructure cost will fall on them rather than the firm.

Firms are realising that working from home is much more feasible for employees because, in these few months, it has been witnessed that the productivity is equal in both the cases accompanied with a lot of savings on firm’s end.

Here are a few sectors that, in my view, have been affected the most from this pandemic.

The textile industry: has been affected adversely because of the restricted demand due to limited movement of people and purchasing ability. Moreover, the disruption in labour supply, lack working capital and the cash flow adds further onto the tough times.

Aviation and Tourism: It is one of the highest contributing sectors in the Indian economy, and yet, there is a high probability of it going under unlikely circumstances because people might not travel except for a very essential travel.

Building and Construction: businesses are generally leveraged and hence will face the dual challenges of high-interest payments and lack of sales.

Many businesses will be forced to rethink their strategies and start focusing on sales rather than profit-making. Not to forget, ‘Make Local, Consume Local’ is the new motto that our right-wing government has modified out of Make in India, which is going to bring the comfort, once again, in the arms of capitalism.

There are a few sectors with a possibility of hype as well.

Digital Economy: Online services and products companies will take over the market in the post-COIVD time.

E-education: Studying and taking classes’ online will be the new normal and increasing online-skill development will become part of the student lives.

Online groceries: No doubt if there be a sudden spike in the demand for online grocery delivery companies because in these few months, what most of the youngsters have learnt is to purchase groceries from the ease of their home.

Pharma industries: Pharmaceutical firms are set to witness growth shortly and even the firms dealing in chemicals are going to see a jump due to increased demand for disinfectants, drugs and medicines.

Like all the counterparts across the globe, even the Indian government has announced few measures to cope with the situation and to prevent total collapse. As our Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman said, “how much we may do in these times, it won’t be enough for the circumstances.”

This may be one of the toughest times of our lives but we can still take this as an opportunity to rethink over the patterns that we have been blindly following over a few decades. Maybe drawing references from the previous pandemic pattern might help make wise decisions. If we do things right, we may be able to fix the challenges that humankind is facing.

By  Karishma Gwalani

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