Author’s name: Lal Devesh
Author’s affiliation: University School of Management and Entrepreneurship, DTU
Author’s contact info: [email protected]
It hasn’t come to a full circle yet….we haven’t reached safe shores yet! But, where our ship has sailed until now is a place, or is a period which may define the future generations of mankind. Negative has become the new positive, doctors have become the new avengers and the masks too are no less than a sixth sense organ! So all of this implies that from now on, change is the only constant and we need to evolve our lifestyles and methodologies to form a sustainable and enjoyable world!
Businesses no doubt have been hit the worst this pandemic, be it any field. Anyways, it might be getting slightly better now as the downfalling economy has prompted governments to open up the malls and shopping complexes across the country.But,the question which still remains unanswered is that how are all these businesses going to get back all their earnings which the coronavirus had robbed away from them?
The two Ps (I have just created them!)-Profit and Precaution have to naturally now go hand in hand.What I personally want to suggest is that just like the Arogya Setu app which has been created by the government,the big malls too need to create their own apps to manage their two Ps.For an instance a mall can develop an app which gives users the information regarding the total number of people in the mall , at each particular shop,and the number of covid cases nearby that shop.Along with this,the main feature of this app should be the GENERATION OF A QR CODE OR ENTRY TICKET for the customers on this app.What this does is,that the malls can set a specific barrier for the maximum number of people inside the mall and only generate the entry ticket to the people when the number is less than the set barrier or target. Now one might argue that how can a business or a mall gain profit if its inviting,say,only forty percent of its strength inside it?For this very thing,the QR code or entry ticket generated should only be valid for a stipulated amount of time,say one hour per ticket.This ensures that the number of people entering the mall on a particular day is maximum as well as the customers too can get their needs satisfied easily and quickly due to the better management of the crowd. Another way to expand business here can be to charge a cost for every entry ticket or every spent hour(though this may not be favoured by everyone!)
Now another point is digital marketing , but that is something about which most of the businesses have already put a great deal of light on .So now,what I want to discuss more about are the businesses or schemes which can be really profitable in the long run and one such business can arise from the field of robotics.As we all aim to reduce physical contact or human interface in several sectors,creation of ‘intelligent robots’ really serves the purpose as such robots can be easily utilised to perform atleast those activities which involve a lesser level of intellect and moreover,these robots can easily contribute to the transportation or mobility related work which would mean that people won’t be required to go out of their homes amidst this pandemic.If such a ‘robolution’ indeed happens,it would be productive for all types of businesses as demand for their goods will be on a rise since people would know that their products are safe and easily accessible.
Now the above mentioned suggestions I made might require a certain time investment or capital input to actually come in practice but there are also some simple things which we can take care of. Firms, especially the private ones should continue to keep faith in their employees and not dismiss them anonymously in the name of pandemic. Measures like dismissing might help these firms in filling their pockets or enjoy other luxuries right now, but, in the long run, only those establishments will flourish which ensure faith in people and believe in cooperation/collaborations. The whole world has fallen together over the past few months and can only stand up again if everyone holds each other’s hands. Therefore the burden of the pandemic, be it in the form of reduced wages, more working hours, etc. should be shared by all.
Pandemic has also had harsh implications on macroeconomic variables. The current GDP of India is expected to decline by 10.3% as per IMF. This contraction is biggest among the countries in South Asia. Investments too are expected to fall by about 2% and not rise by much until 2025. Even the per capita GDP of India is likely to fall below Bangladesh in 2020-21.So basically, the country has fallen in a big pit. But, if we look closely at all these variables, there is just one factor which needs to be taken care of and that is ‘employment generation’. We are definitely in need of another industrial revolution which generates employment, upgrades utility of products, fulfills both consumer and producer demands as well as ensure the sustainability of the ecosphere.
Another aspect which I would like to focus more on is soil. Many don’t know that soil is actually the most vital element of our planet. A rich soil with humous would ensure healthier vegetation, lesser erosion, smooth flow of rivers(without any droughts, floods) and a fresher air to breathe. We as humans need to realise that we can only live here if we coexist with nature. Therefore planting of trees along river basins and mixing of stubble burns with the soil will make a huge, huge difference in every sector especially agriculture. In India, the number of people allied or contributing in the farm sector is close to 50%(despite contributing a very minute share in GDP) and even for the other countries, this sector is really essential, so, if there is upgrade in the agro-based sectors and the utility of those 50% people in India or even maybe 10% in other nations is increased, the economy is only going to go upwards because if you look in a particular manner, agriculture is a sector which is immortal, I mean, that irrespective of the world situation we will always need food to stay alive! So, all in all, if every person on this planet can just contribute one plant, or one sapling, it can lead to a big change!(Because with each planted tree, floods and droughts would be prevented and the quality of soil will also stay intact)
Summarising, I would like to conclude that the world at this point of time should be concerned only about the 2 Es-Employment and Environment. Achieving these two Es would mean that the other things would automatically come to their place! And, talking about ways and solutions, as I have mentioned throughout, we just need to look around ourselves, focus on small things and most importantly, stay together. So right now we might be up against it, but we all can together can fight it! The sky is not that high!