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How can Businesses Recover from the Covid-19 Onslaught?

This article illustrates the survival strategies that businesses need to adopt at the current moment, along with future endeavours which must be thought out as the recovery mode is turned on.

After outlining a Rs 1.7 billion package for the poor who has been adversely hit by the nationwide lockdown caused by the COVID-19, officials have reported that the Indian government may dole out a second stimulus worth Rs 1 trillion catering to the MSMEs. A third package might as well be on its way targeted towards bigger companies and the amount of relief will depend on the extent of the hit faced by the company on proper evaluation.

A proactive government during a perilous time is welcome. However, self-supportive measures generate faster recovery especially when they are programmed prudently. Take Wimbledon’s example. Following the SARS outbreak in 2003, the organisation decided to pay $31.7 million in premiums for 17 years. The present day would see the ultimate value of that decision, as Wimbledon receives $142 million following the cancellation of the upcoming tournament.

How can Businesses Recover from the Covid-19

Tackling the situation would be difficult for everybody. However, those who have had business planning and management as the top of their priorities from the time of the foundation, stand a better chance of survival if they follow the measures we are going to delineate.

According to KPMG India, the current and the forthcoming situation would require companies to:

  • Identify current-assets and utilize them to dole out payments and meet operational expenses (if applicable) for the time being.
  • Re-evaluate the capital structure, identify account receivables that have done poorly and factoring them.
  • Eschew upcoming capital expenditures if they are non-essential and diversify funding sources.
  • Consult with experts in managerial accounting to set up a budget after identifying surplus expenses.
  • Make the balance sheet lean.
  • Alertness to Policy changes and New Measures

    India has so far seen quite a few measures taken by the RBI to abate the crisis. Businesses need to reshape strategies based on these changes. For instance, a lowered repo rate would allow businesses to have more freedom while borrowing. This could bring about better result in the future when normalcy is gradually regained, if backed by good management. According to industry experts, as the lending rates are pushed down, banks would inject money and liquidity into productive sectors to slowly start turning the wheels of economy.

    Evaluating Continuity Plans

    All businesses have continuity and crisis plans. However, the viability of those plans remains unrealized until tested. Therefore, a balance between what is already there and what needs to be done must be sought. When the 2008 recession hit hard, American financial corporation, E*Trade decided to go for a 1-for-10 reverse stock split to buy another day. Ultimately, the decision paid off and pushed the company through the recession.

    Questioning Inter-dependency

    The post-pandemic world might see a contraction of global/cross-border operations. Even if it is a temporary shift, this will adversely affect businesses who largely depend on global supply chains. Companies who would be at the helm of this restructuring as nationalistic sentiments move manufacturing and production closer home, will succeed in the coming days.

    Turning points of failures into success

    A crisis works as a great barometer in identifying individuals on whom the company can depend for critical processes or services and preparing key players for the future. This is also a great time to restructure and train on site processes such as calls, sales and demonstration to fit the framework of remote work, which might become the mainstream. Companies should focus on areas such as cybersecurity, work from home support, automation, cloud-storage for crucial data including finances, consolidation tools.

    Identifying emerging territories

    There is going to be a huge shift in customer behaviour in the post-pandemic world. Once companies hit the recovery mode, analysis of high-frequency data collected from sources such as credit card transactions needs to be performed. The demand for analytics tools would increase. Experts suggest studying the markets of China and South Korea as they are a step ahead of the global response to COVID-19 in terms of recovery. It is important to reshape the mode of business and adapt to changing trends as quickly as possible in order to stay relevant. For example, if work from home becomes the norm, a lot of the ancillaries of office-work will get disrupted. Public transport will see a negative growth. So, in this scenario, should a lot of public transport operators shift their focus to commercial transport? Some changes stick, some do not in the long run. So initially, businesses could focus on striking a balance or making slow progresses toward disruptive frameworks.

    Experts also recommends the analysis of smaller players and their sudden growth-spurt and success in terms of meeting new trends of customer behaviour. A crisis always makes leaders wary about making progresses. However, innovation should never be placed in the backburner. According to management consulting giant, McKinsey & Company, recovery is a five-pronged approach which includes Resolve, Resilience, Return, Recognition and Reform.

    Stay tuned as the upcoming topics would directly address various sectors of businesses in relation to what experts are thinking must be done in terms of reforms. Learn more about the changing face of business operations.