It is a cliché now to say that COVID 19 will change the world. What was right till now may not remain the same post COVID 19. Mr. Raghunath Mashelkar, former Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and ex- Director of India's National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) has so rightly pointed out in one of his articles that it is time to reinvent, rather than to only focus on recovery.
There have been many examples of companies who have changed their line of business, re-engineered their products in these trying times. They have now come out with products which will help serve the need of the hour rather than limiting themselves to their core competencies.
Below is a random, non-exhaustive list of a few companies who have reinvented themselves. They are fighting to stay afloat and alive in this battle for survival.
> Asian Paints , a well-known house paints company has started manufacturing hand and surface sanitizers.
> Adidas a leader in sportswear and sport equipment has witnessed a near zero demand for its products. It has on the other hand seen a surge in demand for Yoga Mats.
> Rolls Royce the world famous luxury car company is using the lockdown period to manufacture the world's most exclusive honey from its apiary.
> BHEL, a dilapidated state run company has invited expression of interest from foreign companies to set their manufacturing facilities by using the existing infrastructure of BHEL. This will definitely help India's efforts in attracting companies shifting base from China.
> Many sugar factories and distilleries have started manufacturing hand sanitizers.
> Levi's, Louis Philippe, Peter England etc. have introduced face masks to their fashion line. High end designers like Prada, Ralph Lauren etc. have also jumped on the bandwagon.
> Marico industries, best known for Parachute coconut oil has introduced a fruit and vegetable wash to clean the produce of insecticides.
> Go Digit, a private general Insurance company came out with a COVID specific health insurance policy.
> Mahindra, Tata, Maruti Suzuki have let their vast production capacities for mass manufacture of ventilators, PPE kits etc.
> TCS has led many IT firms to rethink their business strategies by planning to shift 75% of their workforce to a WFH (work from home) model.
There are so many names that can be added to this list. All the above companies are huge corporate houses with vast capital, state of art R & D facilities, expert production & marketing teams at their disposal.
Why just concentrate on large corporates? One instance that I cannot erase of my mind is that of a roadside panipuri vendor who shifted to selling masks made by his wife, after his stall had to shut shop due to lockdown restrictions. Also, a house-maid who was not able to go to work started making papads.
Change is the only constant. The one who changes with time survives. COVID19 has shaken our school of thought. It has made us question the things which we thought were indispensable to our survival. It has made us press the RESET button.
As the unwritten rule of the jungle, survival of the fittest holds true, we too are a part of that animal clan. We as human beings have been able to distinct ourselves from the rest of the clan members because of our ability to think out of the box. That ability is what will help us sail through these difficult times.
The new mantra of survival will be to concentrate on priorities and priorities only.
Besides working as a Trainer for banks and corporates in areas of general management, investor awareness programs, customer service etc., Shephalika has also worked as Manager (Customer service and Retail Operations) for more than 6 years with IDBI Bank. She also has been teaching at various management institutes and commerce colleges in Pune for the past 11 years.
While pursuing PhD, she concluded that knowledge about money matters in simple, local language which is easily understandable is lacking. The level of financial awareness about investments and savings is worrisome, not just with adults but also in the young earning group. Managing one’s corpus needs a holistic approach keeping an eye on the various environmental factors. It is this need and her passion to educate people on matters of personal finance, led her to start sharing tips and writing for the layman. Her simple writing is hugely popular and widely read.