From Risk to Opportunity

Written By: / Articles / Wednesday, 02 September 2020 19:06

Covid-19 has not only had an impact on the health of people at large, the economic damage that it has rendered and will continue render may be more damaging than the disease itself. For a 1.3 billion –people country, the virus-positive and death cases seemed too low to warrant a drastic action. The developed world finds this too good to be true. But people living in India can resonate with the truth as we have not heard of any hospitals getting overwhelmed or people dying unattended of fever or shortness of breath. India’s democratic social media won’t spare any such cases. Now with the lockdown, we reduce the risk to an even lower level ensuring high probability of normal life after three weeks. One idle month in life of an individual or nation cannot be devastating unless not handled well. Coincidentally, the crisis has come at a time when India’s economy was struggling in the midst of one of the worst slowdowns with gross domestic product growth at sub 5% per annum. In such a time, a lockdown in a country where 700 million people live at subsistence level (with very little savings to fend for their families for a month without income) will exacerbate the pains of slowing economy. India is between a rock and a hard place. The lockdown have not reduce the increase in Coronavirus spread and its economy has cratered.During the course of this pandemic, business continue to be significantly impacted, liquidity remains tight and so does the scale of operations. New strategic alliances or business partnership are dwindling during the period Covid-19, has certainly impacted the Indian’s economy to a great extent. The government is focusing on meeting hyper demand for essential items like health care infrastructure and facilities while non-essential items are seeing a steep decline. On top of that the restrictions on movement imposed by government for the purpose of containing the virus have forced many sectors to pull their shutters down. Even though the recovery of the underlying economy will be slow but now most sectors have accepted this to be the new normal. While the overall economy has taken a hit because of the government lockdown, some sectors have converted this threat into an opportunity and are set to see immense growth in the post Covid-19 era.
During the course of the pandemic people have started using digital medium for commitments, education and entertainment. Online platforms for work meetings have seen a massive rise in popularity. Meeting and video calling applications have come up with innovative features making it conducive for professionals to work from home. This has also facilitated Schools and Universities to start online education and assessment. The lockdown has restricted events that require a massive gathering of people like sports, music festivals, theatre, movies etc. resulting in these sectors taking a hit. Due to which, online platform for digital contents has become a huge hit with many movies and shows seeing digital release instead of theatrical release. Due to lockdown, this sector has really seen a boom time like never before.
Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and retail sectors has seen a growth in this tough time. With continue fear of complete lockdown, food-based retail chains and essential commodity providers have emerged as winners. Given the heightened need of health food and immunity –boosting products among consumers have further broadened the scope for the companies are revamping their growth strategies with a focus on providing a value proposition to consumers in existing categories launching new products in the food and health categories, enhancing the direct distribution reach in the rural market, door to door services etc. Which will help them to achieve the growth in the medium-term. By this, companies have been trying to broaden their product portfolio and reducing dependence on seasonal offerings. Leading brands like Dabur, Patanjali, Zandu and other organic brand have launched more products and variants in the health food segment. The lockdown and social distancing requirements has forced consumers’ behaviors to shift from eating outdoors to home –cooked food for or ready to eat items. Also, the deadly virus has led to the growing need for quality immunity building products like Chwanprash and immunity boosting health drinks. A number of these initiatives were already in the queue but as per the situations demanded these companies have taken the opportunity for the expansion and launched new products.
Increased need for cleansing and sanitation has catapulted the demand for hand sanitizers, disinfectants and surface cleaners. India’s largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies have rolled out a range of home cleaning disinfectants and personal hygiene products as they anticipate a surge in demand for such items and the Covid-19 crisis. Companies such as ITC Ltd and CavinKare have rolled out surface disinfectants. ITC has launched a Savlon-branded surface disinfectants spray, after a hand sanitizing liquid, Savlon Hexa. Also Marico Ltd announced to launch of “Veggie Clean”a fruit and vegetable wash. Also, increased demand for the disinfectants, drugs and medicines due to the pandemic, has given an opportunity to the organization manufacturing chemicals required for manufacturing these. Hence organization dealing in specialty Chemicals are expected to see spike in demand owing to increase demand for disinfectants, drugs and medicine by the customers.
Health care sector have faced hardships owing to the lockdown and all non-emergency treatments taking a back seat. But this sector shall see immense investment in the aftermath of the pandemic. The World would now realize that the threat of a pandemic is very real and investment in the sector to safeguard will be done in the near future. The rife spread of the virus has warranted people to take precautions to save themselves from this deadly disease. Demand for certain medical devices like Oximeters, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits and mask have seen a rise as infected patients with mild symptoms under self-care and isolation need these basic devices for self-monitoring. The market to these specified sectors is expected to see growth owing to this pandemic. Some are converting this into an opportunity by changing their product mix. New brands are coming up with essential supplies like hand sanitizers and disinfectant cleaners. While these brands are taking advantage of this opportunity established brand that have built trust over the year are leading through the rat race.
The world has seen something like never before. The Covid-19 crisis has ultimately lead to an emergence of new FMCG products, a change in consumers behavior and a shift in the market’s focus on health protection and hygiene. In order to get the business and economy back on track, the companies are moving forward by taking the situation of the pandemic as an opportunity. Some are coming up with innovative ideas and resultantly getting the first mover advantage, whose impact will entertain a long-lasting impact on the market. For the survival of the business, growth plays a vital role and it depends on its internal and external environment. The internal environment is the strength and weakness of the business entity whereas the external environment lists all factors which affects the business and is the uncontrollable factors eventually budding them into opportunity.In fact, the current covid-19 crisis provide a window of opportunity for promoting sustainability transition across the globe.
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About the Author

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. Presently, he is teaching Mathematics at JCRE Global College. Jugeshwor can be reached at: [email protected] Or WhatsApp’s No: 9612891339.

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