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Business Outlook Post COVID

25th May 2021

The world is going through a great upheaval with people who have been locked down in almost every country and the World economy reeling under the burden of this grave situation. This economy fallout is not new to experience; the world has encountered economic Crisis in the past too. However, this time India would also get its impact which would last long. As in some countries, prevention was introduced very late but the Indian Govt. was able to sense the presage of COVID pandemic beforehand and took it extremely seriously and imposed complete lockdown almost in every corner of the country. However, this lockdown also brought in an economic crisis as before the lockdown, the Indian GDP was expected to be 6% for the year 2020 – 2021, but now it has been slashed to 0.8 % which has caused a huge impact on the economy for a vast country like India. It has also been assumed that the Indian economy will lose around 18 Lakh Crores till the economy stabilizes which would slacken the growth speed of the country. Due to economic breakdown, companies are forced to lay off their employees. Almost every day, we come across to headlines where companies have asked employees to look for other opportunities or put them on the bench due to low business movement.

Everyone is trying hard and striving to do their best to pull out India of this COVID situation and I believe that in the next few weeks or months, India would be free from COVID along with other counties too. However, the shaken-up economy of every country would take a minimum of 1.5 years to stabilize and kick start growth again. But this economic stability and growth kick-off would not be the same for every sector. This will be divided into three segments such as Growth, Recovery and Sustainability.

Sectors running for Growth -



The companies who are operating in Retail, Pharma (Medicine and Equipment), FMCG, IT, Banking, Agriculture, Engineering and Healthcare domain would be the companies to follow growth path as the demand of these things would trigger big time. These companies would have a great opportunity to lead the market and take maximum advantage of the situation. Retail, FMCG, Pharma and healthcare have already started on the growth stage to cater to the enormous demand. When the lockdown was introduced, these sectors experienced a spike hike in demand and doubled their production from regular count to meet the market need.

IT, Banking, Agriculture and Engineering would also get exposed to the growth stage when the lockdown gets over as then lockdown would left-back COVID fear and lot of opportunities. Companies would like to boost production and try to enlarge the market size from the past. In the run to boost production, Companies would need business loan, raw material in large quantity and Business and operation level software to maximize the outreach. The bank would introduce business loans with new Flexi offers to attract customers. On the other hand, IT demand would also be increased because of social distancing mindset. People would prefer to work remotely and avoid personal meetings which would bring the demand for software solutions to make people work effectively with less dependency on going out and physical interactions. The Agricultural sector would also see good growth due to an increase in the demand for food products and thereby the production of more raw material will be required to meet the same. These sectors would get exposed to unanticipated opportunities which could double or triple the companies' revenue and profit if it would be handled wisely and actively. To get to this stage, one has to forecast operation and business processes as per the company's current situation and be ready to work on firefighting mode when the time comes.

Sectors Struggling for Recovery -



On the other hand, companies who are into manufacturing, Telecommunication, BPOs, Construction, Mining and Distribution would be in recovery mode as they would get a very big impact on their business and bank account. The operation of these companies would be more or less stopped due to short of funds and manpower at the workplace. These kinds of companies would be struggling to join the cubes together to make a comeback in the business and fuel their business to start the ball rolling again but it would be complex and critical for the companies to reinvest and restart the business where the fund is low and the manpower is a question with no answer. These companies would reach out to the bank for a loan on bank's terms and end up adding more money in the junked vehicle but that is going to be the only and last option for them. The companies have already reckoned the future and started laying off employees, cutting their pay, reducing operational costs and recovering payments from the market. These precautionary actions would help them in landing less money from the bank and utilize saving to restore their business. Having said that, it would be difficult for the companies to recover the loss and join the journey with growth runners in less time.

Sectors fighting to Sustain –



When the growers would be running at first position followed by recovery runners, there will be some sectors fighting for their existence. The companies who operate in Insurance, Investment, Transport, Real Estate, Clothing, Trade, Furniture, Hospitality and Infrastructure would be the most impacted and low in demand. These companies would not just lose demand but also funds to invest to generate the demand. From the day lockdown started, these companies have seen zero movements in the business as their business runs on people interactions. When the lockdown would be over, some people would be looking to get a new job and some would be trying to overcome the unnecessary expense they have been through to fight COVID situation. In this state, people would avoid or have less money in pocket to go for psychological needs. Even these companies would not prefer to go for a business loan as there will be very slow movement in the business and they would end up paying EMI from their pocket which would be a high-level risk to go for. To sustain the situation, Companies might have to change the complete operation and business model or introduce some breakthrough strategies which would set short term and achievable milestones. These companies should not have high hopes from the future but to be energetic and progressive to sustain and withstand to reach to the recovery stage. Going digital with small investments could be one of the major action these companies can go for as the digital presence will be a new and smart weapon for them to fight the battle. If the companies can have virtual platforms for the customers to experience buying journey, then the slow business movement could be transformed into fast growth.

Thanks & Regards,
Ankit Gupta