We have seen one the worst ‘pandemic’ of the century. One invisible virus has wreaked the entire world to a standstill. This has brought the entire activities, operations, and commerce to a pause mode. Slowly things are opening up and all of us are in the revival mode.
The covid-19 pandemic has left its impact on all sectors of the economy but the most impacted are MSMEs of India. MSME’s have been the backbone of our economy with estimated 6.34 crores MSME’s, employing work force of 11 crores. MSME’s were just settling down after two major setbacks: the demonetization 8th Nov 2016, and GST 1st July 2017
The world economy is in worst recession phase, a regressive growth rate of 3% is predicted. GDP is expected to be around 0.8 – 0.9%. Adverse outcomes looming large on the economy. India growth rate is projected for 2021-22 is around 7.4%.
The five badly hit sectors are:
- MSME – contributing over 30% of the GDP
- Hospitality & Tourism, 1st to suffer and will be last to benefit. KPMG report estimates 4 crores loss of job.
- Aviation – down by 66% and a loss of 5 lakh crores with 4-5 crore job loss.
- Automobile and its impact on ancillary industries
- Real Estate- housing sector 30%-35%, commercial 13%-35% with an estimated loss of 6-7 lakh crores.
The economy is slowing opening and Unlock 1.0 kickstarted from 1st June 2020, and from 8th June 2020, things are going to open up further, which literally brings back all economic activities barring few key segments.
covid-19 India tracker progressively points our alarming number of increasing cases post lockdown 4.0. We have another major challenge to foresee and avoid; the pandemic moving from cluster to community.
We cannot rewind, our life back. What is that best we can do. “Get up, kickstart your business and conquer.” “For things to change, you have to change”. Do not get carried away or dejected by all the predictions of business, GDP and all the stuff. Put yourself on the driver’s seat.
All of us have two very important task in hand (a) take care of you and your loved ones and (b) revival of your business. Balancing the 2 will eventually determine your prudence in handling the crisis. This requires lot of positivity and resilience from your end. Remember “Losers let things happen, winners make things happen.”
The next 6 – 12 months will bring a paradigm shift in the way we think, believe and act. We have to be innovative and reboot our organization. The most important thing, you must take care of, your TRP – Time, Resources and Processes.
Digitization is going to the mantra and social distancing becoming the norm, post pandemic world will wake up to a new business culture. Social distancing in workplace for majority of the MSME’s is going to be a challenge and lean staff, especially in a production line is impractical.
To revive your business, cultivate a new norm and practice the 3 C’s:
- Cash Flow Management
- Cost Cutting
- Choosing the Right Technology
The first 2 C’s, Cash Flow Management and Cost Cutting is what to do? The 3rd C is How to achieve?
A few quick suggestions on managing the 3 C’s
Cash Flow Management:
- How soon can you recover the debts from the market, prioritize your overdue bills, can you offer discount on immediate payment or committed through post-dated cheques.
- Can you sacrifice your margins for cash down or lesser credit lines?
- Evaluate the loss of interest on your overdue outstanding.
- Credit rate your customers, retain good customers
- Continuously monitor cash flow and cash projections.
- Maintain lean inventory
- Automate your procurement planning
- Explore the possibilities of salary restructure, with exodus of the migrants, it is critical to maintain and foster your key work force.
- Renegotiate with your vendors and customers on pricing, credit line etc.
- Concentrate on local supply to reduce supply lead time to help maintaining ‘Just in Time (JIT)” inventory.
- Reduce marketing spend
- Go online, look around to see what innovative ideas your peers, competitors are offering in the marketplace.
- Relook into your business model, ask this question, should you want to collaborate or compete?
Choose the right Technology:
- Assess the power of your existing business software and leverage the features or options to assist you in managing your cash flow and help you in your cost cutting techniques.
- Adopt any technology, that are cost effective and can be easily integrated with your systems for timely information aiding in making ‘Informed Decision’.
- Do not be technology shy, explore, use the power of internet, and look out for tools and apps to automate and assist your business
- Build/enhance your website, leverage social media
- Drive your commerce online
Automation and online strategy need to be adopted faster in your businesses. The development and implementation of technology solutions to combat the covid-19 are rapidly taking share around the world, every business, Government, Institutions are working to deploy new innovative solutions as quickly as possible.
“ Life is designed not to give what you want. Life is designed to give what you deserve.” The 4 A’s to conquer; “Adapt, Adopt, Affirm & Accomplish”.