The Striking Shift In Terms Of Business Orientation During Covid-19 Pandemic

The Striking Shift In Terms Of Business Orientation During Covid-19 Pandemic

M Nagesh Kumar, Managing Director, Celon Labs, 0

Nagesh has been associated with Celon for over a decade now, prior to which he held the role of General Manager Finance at Shantha Biotechnics.

In recent times, as entrepreneurs around the world were still reeling through reviving their businesses following the Covid-19 blow, one thing became very clear that the 'new normal' is not only to do with the people and lifestyle changes alone, but that businesses are not spared either with the pandemic giving them a run for money like no one ever did before. Each one had to navigate their paths to bounce back, thrive or simply return. Of course, there never has been one formula suits all. Nor has been a standard to define the gain or loss, because for the businesses to survive, the lockdowns only showed the grit of the entrepreneurs. But those who chose the paths wisely fared better than others.

While innovating and remodelling businesses could have sounded like a viable option, what did it mean to the various sectors? Did the sudden closure of factories and businesses leave enough time for hitting break even point or simply hit the wall? Ironically, not every healthcare segment survived, just as people would have loved to believe. Several people in dermatology and anti infection divisions walked out of the doors with pink slips. Door to door sales in various sectors stopped. But so did several startups grapple with meeting their targets and the corporate giants who announced a cut down on bonuses with the lockdown.

Surely, things were not rosy for businesses that appeared strong on the surface. Yet, the innovative minds sailed through the tumultuous times and helped themselves to become the brands to reckon with. Here's how they achieved it:

Finding Opportunity Amidst Chaos
During the Covidlockdown, most companies were challenged with the availability of stock at the right place. There was little to no movement of the team to meet the required clientele or stakeholders. An example of how some segments in the healthcare sector dealt with it is worth being noticed. It had impacted the entire coverage on the clients and their interaction with healthcare professionals that impeded prescribing the necessary tablets to needy.

The next challenge was meeting the huge demand for certain Covid related products. The demand surged 15x because of the panic, and the majority of the hospitals found a sudden need for Covid management products. Hospitals procured three months of stock in advance and pooled in five months of inventory to keep the flow in an event of treating the Covid patients. With the second
wave in India being disastrous, it also catapulted the demand for life saving drugs.

Upscaling the production levels of certain products and halt the production of the non-moving products had become the order of the day. Only moving products had become the focus. Those with hindsight had managed to supply goods, which meant taking care of the surging demands and improving the business outcome rather than harping on one’s niche market.

Most companies now have come to believe businesses sectors can flourish with an Amalgamation of digital and physical promotion

Utilizing Virtual Platforms for Reskilling & Using Training for Employee Retention
Let's say a company takes the stance to pay the salaries on time with a human touch and boosts the morale of the sales team amidst a looming and unpredictable lockdown. The top management of the company decides to not cut down on the salaries to do justice to the employees. While most people were working from home, sales do not happen from home. The company must tap into the potential that's dormant by training them on Covid management therapies, besides softskills, negotiating skills, and the general industry trends and product training. These employees can contribute to the sustenance of the company by networking and marketing through virtual platforms with newly acquired skills. It comes as a two way benefit for both the employers and the employees.

It turns out that most companies now have come to believe businesses sectors can flourish with an amal gamation of digital and physical promotion, as it will become much more fruitful for all the stake holders including organisations and end users.

Adjusting to the 'New Normal' of the Industry Behaviour
As an emerging market, India has found much demand globally. However, the new normal in the industry will mean that the traditional methodologies embrace a balanced level of digitisation. Although people are more sensitized now than before to keep good health and boost immunity, too much digitization can bring about other problems such as mental health issues, eye sight problems and others. The element of human error will always be there.

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. When traditional tools did not show their effective ness during the pandemic hit times, gaining traction and the eyeballs was sceptical. While social media and certain digitalplatforms provide the opportunity to gather the right attention, there are no metrics attached to it. To make the noise and increase visibility in the public domain, digital promotion must go hand in hand with physical promotion.

Every cloud has a silver lining. It might seem over whelming for businesses to bounce back, but those who went beyond merely surviving have shown the way.