Good news first ! I’m going to spare our readers, by not mentioning about how and where the Covid originated, how it spread, the statistics of fatalities across the globe etc.
Millions of bytes are being written all over the World about the economic slow-down and the consequences people are facing as well.
Still, am writing this section from the point of view of someone who constantly mingles with people from different walks of life lock down or otherwise, over phone, webinars, WhatsApp, FaceBook and other social and professional media…. to briefly cover the ground realities of what is happening and how we are going to get back on our feet, after falling flat on our face.
This Sunday, I happened to drive out of Bangalore for two hours on the Bangalore – Mysore highway – my first outing in six months of lockdown.
Normally, on Sundays, the techie population of Bangalore used to drive out of the city on Friday evening and return only on Sunday night.
During these two days, the whole stretch between Bangalore and Mysore will be very active with all wayside shops, hotels and restaurants doing brisk business.
However, this time, I found most of the shops closed, hardly a few popular eateries were having a thin attendance in terms of parked vehicles, which is the indicator of crowd inside.
This is just one example of the state of economy we are in, presently. No doubt, the World economy is limping back to normalcy but then in terms of growth, production levels, profitability, etc my guess is that we have gone back by a decade and more.
To regain the erstwhile 2018-19 levels, it may take another two or three years, provided the pandemic comes down so that Governments can turn their attention from Covid – related to much more pressing problems on hand and work towards crystal clear solutions.
There is always a threat of Covid – 19 coming back in a different form as a sort of second wave during March 2021. Nobody can guess or predict, when and how or whether it will happen at all. There are always the If’s and But’s.
The positive fall out of this pandemic is even the smallest shops and offices, people have become hygiene conscious, and many are scared of close proximity with their own family members.
Work From Home (WFH) has come to stay and in many leading organisations, this has been extended till June 2021.
People involved in catering, transport, pantry service, office maintenance, even landlords having additional space let out as PG accommodation are in anguish with the impact of this pandemic.
Educational institutions are closed indefinitely with the Management clueless on what next regarding admissions for the next Academic year. Children lost their physical movement, social interaction with other kids. Online education is a torment for kids, teachers and parents alike.
Many teachers lost their jobs alongside school van drivers, nannies and others. Colleges and schools are on sale across the country. Malls and Cinema halls follow them. It is no more a profitable business venture. Hopefully, the next academic year should be a normal one for schools. Migrant labour (or guest workers) have started returning from their native state to greener pastures. Many employers have now felt that such workers need to be well taken care of.
Had they been practising this before, migrant labour wouldn’t have gone back to their home towns. It is a strong message for many employers. This is also applicable to many state governments as well. Such work force are part of the unorganised labour building infrastructure in a remote state miles away from their homeland. Now there is a need to bring them under organised labour category with better living conditions, lesser exploitation, more dignity etc.
Many industries in India and other countries largely depend upon China for finished goods or even raw materials such as key chemicals. It is high time, the world has realised that dependence on China will impact other countries in many ways – industrially and economically. Our neighbours like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan are examples. The global industry should think of sourcing from other countries which produce equally good products from now onwards.
Employees in general, who are working from home, have started missing office politics, team spirit and are bogged down with salary cuts, reduced skill levels and so on. A lot many employees require counselling for domestic quarrel, physical and psychological abuse, violence, children related obesity and confinement to online gaming etc.
It is high time for employers to provide re – skilling, up – skilling, On-the-job training etc. which needs to be started at right earnest. If we wait for Covid to vanish and then to start all activities, it may be too late.
Entrepreneurs, businessmen, organisations have to start their preparations on top gear and look forward to a better, healthier, virus – free World for everybody to live happily ever after !
Photo credits : To the respective publishers
About the Author
Shri. Sundaram NK is the Founder and Chief Consultant of R2R HR Services, Bengaluru. He is also a Soft Skills Coach for In house and Public Training sessions for domestic and overseas clients. With his 4 decades of MSME and large industry experience, he has extensive know-how implementing change strategies for the economic slowdown, performance solutions, succession and manpower plans, establishing ‘green field’ HR functions, creating major Management Development Centres of Excellence for Corporates and delivering seminars and workshops. He is also an Instructor / Coach for Udemy Online Learning Programs and Mentor for EduReka.
Based in Bengaluru, he can be reached on Mobile # + 91 – 98440 08049 e-mail : [email protected] Skype: nk.sundaram1 Linkedin : https://bit.ly/3iN8OFL. More about him on FaceBook : https://bit.ly/3jV8FBB; YouTube : https://bit.ly/3lBrnyD and CiteHR : https://bit.ly/33O4WjM … Premium Instructor – Udemy, Softskill Mentor – Edureka