Will my company be the same? How will the business scenario be? How long will this uncertainty last? The thoughts of losing control over the business. It's not in our hands anymore is the feeling. We are all wondering how to deal with the uncertainty and at the same time figuring out how to use the lockdown more constructively. For oneself and for business. But it's hard not to think of how the future scenarios change. The big question I am asking my self right now:
Should I work on my dream? Somewhere along the focus and passion to do something is getting lost in the drum droll in the air around us.
A few months ago, the economy was slowing down, all over the globe. And India was a little better off. There was a hope that we could see it through. Now the COVID-19 decides the fate of our life and our business. We are not talking of market conditions anymore. How to manage sales and supply chains and how to keep the manufacturing lines and staff engaged in production? How do we repay? Thoughts are more focused on the immediate.
In the manufacturing sector, especially in the MSME sector, with limited automation, ‘work from home’ is a far fetched dream. So my thoughts are on:
- Managing social distancing without affecting production lines
- Managing supply chains. To create local suppliers to keep the supply chains going, will take time, especially in India, where we depend on the import of components especially in the ESDM sector.
- Managing without some key staff who have been asked to stay at home and quarantine for at least two weeks, maybe due to just a simple flu.
How to measure our performance especially in the last month of the financial year filled with unexpected challenges?
Business sustainability is a far fetched word too. How will be able to meet demand. Will demand come back. When will it come back? The ripple effect will be seen in a few more days, from now.
But new strategies have come into existence and I am thinking about them. For example, in adversity we are brainstorming using technology. It's reasonable, it's effective and gets the work done. Did we think of this or use this enough earlier?
We have started using technology platforms for meetings. It's all on Zoom etc. So much of time saved on the road. And the carbon footprint is reduced. Easier traffic on roads, less pollution. This is what we need and we should continue, when things get better too. How many companies can, is that thought we need to focus on. How will work change?
Just realized how effective we are on communication now, in order to avoid that meeting with customer or supplier on issues. It's important to be agile now. To change as needed. It's time to disrupt and restructure.
New beginnings, after three decades in manufacturing …that's my perspective. What's yours? Share.
The views expressed are the author's own. Uma Reddy runs a manufacturing unit in Bangalore.