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Beyond lockdown blues, the silver lining !

Outfluent| Look beyond lockdown blues , the silver lining

“Ultimately, the greatest lesson that COVID-19 can teach humanity is that, we are all in this together.” Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Covid-19 outbreak, pandemic and aftermath! It doesn’t matter now, how it all started & who was responsible, much like World Wars. It was once in Century, hell of an experience! Somehow, days and nights, too turned long, as if there was no end to this nightmare. Most people in the world, actually lived the nightmare, through the lockdown, from day to day, literally. Iceage band captured the  anxiety and loneliness of quarantine and lockdown in their song “Lockdown blues”

Migrant labours the worst affected have reason to cheer now, with economy opened up! I could get opportunity to bring back at least dozen of them, to various sites of our company. Won’t stop ! Trying for more. They were so desperate, willing to walk few tens of miles to catch bus. Now, with livelihood back on track, they hopefully can look forward to modest Diwali !

For many years, BPO industry had been struggling to improve the “Work-life” balance of their employees. Lockdown made matters worse for them. Tens of thousands of them lost jobs. Many were forced to take pay cuts, in spite of Government orders to employers, to pay their employees for the period of lockdown. There are many anecdotal incidents, speaking about the pain faced by the people in the industry.  However, there is silver lining! With the experience of lockdown, businesses around the world would go all out on “Digital” for sustenance of operations, during such event in future. As the operations start again, Indian BPO industry could be in the sweet spot with its pool of talent in terms of skills and productivity.

Gartner study says that only 12% of the organizations were prepare for aftermath of Covid-19 outbreak and aftermath. However, business continuity plans of most companies in the world, including Fortune 500, were thrown out of window with the turn of events. The responses of Governments across the world were so swift, that nobody would have got time to plan a tactical response for this “Black Swan” event. Financial sector can make adjustments in their operations to  respond such an event in future. However, for industry, the business continuations will mean adopting Industry 4.0 solutions. People offering these solutions could turn out to be the surprising winners out of this pandemic situation. With maximum automation, companies can continue operations.  

For last 2 decades, IT industry led Indian economy to limelight with its talents, skills and shear reach. It reflects dreams and aspirations of middle class youth in India. According to many analyst, the impact of this could be temporary, due to travel restrictions and customers not operating. However, they will be more impacted by the response of Governments of developed countries, whom IT industry depends. USA has already responded to job losses, in a way that will affect the IT industry. However, on a long term, there won’t be significant impact. Fingers crossed, as far as IT sector !

Auto sector faced the brunt on two sides, first the supply chain disruption and second the demand destruction. The middle class and lower middle class faced the maximum brunt of lockdown. Their aspirations are down. Most would believe that auto companies will suffer as their potential buyers, would shy away from investments. However, the surprise element could be the good monsoon. That will definitely put some extra money in the hands of these prospective buyers of auto. To that extent, there is reason to believe that auto sector will throw some surprise and actually do well, this Diwali season and in near future.

Now, with high recovery rate and Vaccine on horizon, it’s time to look beyond these lockdown blues, in to 2021.

“So always look for silver lining and try to find sunny side of life!” – P G Woodhouse  

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