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    Shaping recovery, while hanging in the balance

    Shaping recovery, while hanging in the balance

    Shaping recovery, while hanging in the balance
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    By CNBCTV18.com Contributor  IST (Published)

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    As we witnessed COVID-19 engulf civilisation in its grip – the pandemic induced overnight ‘lockdown’ of the economy - slowing it like never before, with the national GDP for April-June quarter contracting by 23.9 per cent year-on-year (National Statistical Office).

    Herbert Clark Hoover, American politician, businessman, and engineer, who served as the 31st president of the United States from 1929 to 1933 famously said, “The most essential factor for economic recovery today (1932) is the restoration of confidence”. The words of a very wise man, close to a century back, hold true resoundingly in today’s world.
    As we witnessed COVID-19 engulf civilisation in its grip – the pandemic induced overnight ‘lockdown’ of the economy - slowing it like never before, with the national GDP for April-June quarter contracting by 23.9 per cent year-on-year (National Statistical Office). This further spelt out an annual projection of 9.6% contraction in GDP (World Bank) and 7.4% fiscal deficit (International Monetary Fund). As the economic impact of the pandemic further plays out, it is imperative for business and industry leaders to embrace new models and techniques of operating. Business conditions have drastically changed during this time, leading to a situation where yesterday’s practices are no longer valid and organisations have had to reinvent the future in the present - fast forwarding everything!
    As the country unlocks – a solid astute recovery plan is the evident need of the hour.
    While there is this palpable tearing haste to achieve pre-crisis growth levels, leaders need to be judicious of not inducing additional stress on resources. A new trajectory must be traced with a fresh timeline, keeping in mind the constraints and feasible solutions available. Looking at things with long term benefit than focusing merely on short term gains, is essential. Use of technology, altered business models and a flexible style of working may prove to be more proficient and competent for advanced recovery than just cutting costs and profit to record and report.
    We are in a business era where technology disruption has made its way into a spectrum of businesses. More and more organisations are now optimally leveraging cutting edge innovative solutions efficiently, rather than a hassled run behind ‘pre-pandemic’ numbers.
    With digital transformation, in things small and big, being par for the course - several technological disruptions have come together to create powerful tools that are reshaping industries across the globe and reinstating optimism in business continuity. Businesses are finding novel and safe ways of functioning ‘normally’.
    As some sectors report near 90% (Nielsen India) pre-pandemic levels of demand and growth – private public partnership, progressive & inclusive government policies (contributing to ease of doing business) and unique processes developed by some organisations, have possibly paved the initial thinking for ones ‘waiting and watching’.
    The government has taken highly commendable steps in the economic revival of the country. Impetus on digitization, self-reliance and Make in India are encouraging organisations to realise the potential of unchartered, unexplored market opportunities. Though the lockdown did trouble the supply chain in the country, it is being re-established through a series of unlock guidelines. However, there is always room to do more and, cracking down on economy denting aspects like illicit trade practices, which loomed large at the back of the lockdown, will also be incrementally beneficial.
    Experts have indicated a demand constraint in the market till early 2021, but with the right structural change this too can be controlled - if Logistics players are ready to invest in the emerging potential of multimodal logistics, with a first-movers advantage in the sector.
    While I am no fortune teller nor do I have a crystal ball, but it does seem that we are at the cusp of a new technology led economic disruption that has already reoriented our way of life, completely. It might need some time to sink in and ripe itself, but a positive outlook can help us co-create this ‘new normal’. The right resolve and determination coupled with a dynamic adaptable attitude – with a pragmatic achievable, tangible expansion plan is the path that business leaders will have to walk on, to ensure we ‘don't just survive, rather, in the long-term, thrive
    .’
    Article authored by - Alexander Reisch, Managing Director, IPM India Wholesale Trading Private Limited, (country affiliate of Philip Morris International Inc.)
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