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  • Forging Ahead in Troubled Times

    April 14, 2020

    The world is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic trying to control the social and financial fallout. The already struggling financial markets have nose-dived due to the world economy coming to a grinding halt. Social distancing is being practiced across the world to flatten the infection curve and give the government and administration a fighting chance. Pharma companies are working tirelessly to develop the vaccine, which is estimated to take about 18 months for it to hit the markets.

    History shows us that humans have been through multiple pandemics and every time we emerge stronger we adapt to the new environment and find a way out to tackle the new challenge.

    We are going to come out of this situation in the due course of time. The normal that we knew pre COVID-19 will change for sure. This might be a good time for business leaders to think about how the post COVID-19 world would look like. Businesses especially the financial services industry have shown tremendous resilience. Banks, stock markets, and other financial services are still functioning.

    Operational Efficiencies

    These businesses are using technology, resourcefulness, and creativity to ensure they keep moving. The current business structures have unconsciously replicated the factory model of the industrial revolution. Even though the proliferation of internet and telecommunication has challenged the existing model, we have let the factory hangover continue. We still witness inefficiencies and rigidity in the business processes.

    Today it is not necessary to assemble a large group of people in one place for them to work. Work is becoming more fluid and physical presence is not required to get things done in the digital world. Remote working, Telecommuting, web-conferencing, offshoring, and outsourcing should become the new norm. The required technology to enable it already available and the leaders should actively push to make these mainstream. Imagine the amount of time that can be saved and the reduction in pollution and the reduced stress on an average employee. The organization holds on to the idea of physical offices as a proxy for Data Security and privacy protection. The current crisis has proved otherwise.

    Process Optimization and Automation

    The current downtime should be used to strategize on how to become a more efficient organization. It is a good time to identify repetitive tasks and redundant processes and look for areas where automation can be deployed. The focus should be to make the organization more resilient and use technology to reduce busywork and let the employees focus on more value-adding activities.

    Change is here – be ready

    The traditional mindset will change. It has already become clear, those companies that have adopted the digital modes of business, would have continued to serve their customers without much disruption. Going forward leaders will have to drive digitalization and this might be a good time to start as any.

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