Letter to BS: Firms will have to return to basics and make a fresh start

Social distancing has brought with it about a new economic hurdle, especially for retail business
This refers to “Leadership challenges after Covid lockdown” (April 13). Restoring normalcy to an organisation after several days of functional paralysis is a challenge in itself. The increase in demand for non-essential consumer goods cannot be expected overnight as consumer confidence has been severely affected. The present consumer mindset is focused on necessities rather than on comforts and luxuries. The restoration of smooth connectivity between wholesale and retail trade will thus be possible only when consumer confidence is fully restored to pre-Covid-19 scenario which cannot be done overnight . Social distancing has brought with it about a new economic hurdle, especially for retail business. It calls for restricted wholesale purchases to reduce costs in the wake of limited consumer demand. Further, Covid-19 is a biological hurdle rather than a purely marketing problem calling for a long-term solution. The abrupt fall in economic activity which forced retrenchment of labour in its wake cannot be expected to restore itself to earlier levels.

Business strategies accordingly have to be revamped, both in large and small industry. Capital investments have to be further diversified in view of hygeine and social distancing. In this context, the hotel industry, as rightly pointed out, will lose customers if additional capital investment is not made to ensure hygienic conditions.

Management planning and budgeting can be possible only in phases .Market strategies have to be revamped with the redeployment of capital for commercial revival. This is essential for future business progress as the focus has to gradually return from essential to non-essential goods for all business enterprises.

Further “work from home” has upset organisational interaction not only among its employees but also with its customers. This environment has distanced the employer from the employee but organisational feedback should be prompt and decisive. Organisations will have to return to their basics and make a fresh start which can be speeded up with careful planning.

C Gopinath Nair  Kochi

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