When The World Paused-Debraj Bhattacharya

It is now a reality that post-COVID world will be starkly different from the earlier ways of life. Broadly speaking, the impact would be felt at two planes – one more cliched and materialistic, while the other being more subliminal.

Businesses would have to cope with the heat for a long time to come. The primary response might be to tide over the immediate disruption that was wreaked, more to regain Ground 0. This would be followed by a set of activities, CXO level down, on how to manage events like these, and probably do a whole lot of brainstorming along aligning the organization skillsets and policies to better attune to macro shocks. The heart of an organization is often it’s Supply Chain, and some areas that might be thought of to better operations could be as below –

  • Improved collaborative business planning – touching all organization entities, to enhance firm response times and resilience
  • Pre-emptive risk tracking – using digitally enabled tools, to manage responses real-time to demand changes
  • Agile inventory – to manage working capital better during uncertain times like these, aided by real time analytics
  • Intelligent demand planning – devising smart algorithms to deliver improved demand forecast based on externally captured market intelligence, macro signals, competitor data
  • Just in time replenishment
  • Intelligent sourcing – Using digital means, to have better supplier collaboration, supplier risk management, flagging off early warning signals in case of supplier disruptions
  • Better dashboarding, analytics – To have better and timely review alerts on demand signals and supplier scorecards, automated simulators to handle complexities better  

The second level of impact would be more personal, possibly making us step back, and rethink.  Looking back at the trail of clamour and rummage that this phase would have left behind, humankind would be tempted to reflect on a few things. We ofttimes consider the simple things, and maybe some luxuries too, in life for granted. Being blissfully unaware that there might dawn a day where those bits would be clamoured for, maybe at a price. We tend to sacrifice our personal relationships and family at the altar of professional life. While it is those familial bonds that can help wither uncertain times. We chase, many a time with the mindless scourge, our personal ambitions, which is not bad. Albeit, at the expense of shedding a thought to our community, which on a bad day would help tide over the unknown.

We would also be tempted to contemplate on who our real foes are. Is it the ones we encounter every day, be it that vitriolic boss who wouldn’t spare you, your relatives who always harboured that secret grudge against you, the friend who had tacit envy against your accomplishments, that neighbour who would go all out to bad mouth you. Or, the true enemies are the ones invisible – be it your inane anger, envy, lust, greed, ego, and the likes – or be it that minuscule microbe, that once upon a time, had managed to stall an entire planet.        

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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