While I was working in a Public Sector Undertaking, my stenographer was very efficient. It was the time when we were introducing desktop computers to replace the typewriters. We were providing training to all stenos so that they can have better equipment for their work. Just compare a typewriter with a computer. You may say that there can be no comparison. But guess what, all stenos including the one with me had shown great resistance to this change. As in this case, you will agree with me that change is often faced with resistance. With Covid-19 spread, however, a big change is on its way and will surely affect our life. The million-dollar question is: HAVE YOU PREPARED FOR THIS CHANGE?
Covid-19 has affected the lives of each and everyone on this globe. It has created a situation about which no one including the great scientists, the fortune tellers, the intellectuals, and the rulers of the Nations could have remotely imagined.
Apart from the personal and family lives of individuals, it has affected every other aspect of life viz. professional, economic, social, political, business, & financial, relationship and spiritual, etc. What you are doing during the lockdown period, of course, is important as this is the time you must put your efforts to strengthen the foundation for your future. But more important is what changes you will bring in your life after the lockdown is lifted. Be assured: You will have to bring changes in the way you are living today to cope with the rapidly changing world. The sooner you adopt the change, the better it is.
The important aspect is: Are you preparing yourself during the lockdown period to launch aggressively in the upcoming After COVID (AC) scenario?
CHANGE IS INEVITABLE
Just imagine what will happen when the lockdown is removed?
Consider a few points:
- There is going to be changed in the way you meet people at home, office, market places, picnic spots, and hotels, etc.
- The way you travel in intercity buses, trains, or airplanes may see a lot of change. This is evident from the way the train and air services have started recently. Imagine, what will happen to the travel industry as a whole?
- Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy has revealed that 27 million youth in the age group of 20-30 years and 33 million men and women in their 30’s have lost their jobs in April 2020 due to the nationwide lockdown. How do you expect them to live a respectable life in the future?
- It can be observed that meetings, gatherings, and celebrations are being replaced by webinars or online chats using digital platforms.
- People are likely to become more conscious of health and immunity.
- TCS is coming up with a plan for 75% of its employees working from home by 2025. If other companies also work on similar patterns, what will happen to giant office buildings, presently towering in the metro cities?
Also, what is going to be the future of upcoming office spaces?
These are only a few of the possible areas for change. The actual list has no end. Believe it or not, life is going to be much different from BC to AC.
DIFFERENT WORLD AFTER COVID 19:
1. HEALTH & WELLNESS:
People will now be more conscious of health and wellness. Yoga and other physical exercises that can be performed at home will gain momentum. Additional knowledge will be required in the field of natural ways and the use of natural food and food supplements to improve the immunity system. More professionals will be required to guide and counsel people in these areas.
2. HOME BIAS FOR INVESTORS & TRADERS:
“The whole world is a single market” concept may get a big jolt. Investors may prefer to make their investments in their own country rather than going far away offshore.
Similarly, traders may prefer to build a business with companies that are not too far from their place of origin.
Prime Minister Modi’s mission of Self Reliant India will also bring a great difference in the business pattern of the country.
3. WORK FROM HOME:
More and more IT companies are now realizing that work from home (WFH) is a better option. A debate is already going on about making it a mandatory condition for new joiners. Wherever applicable, this may help to attract more talents and bring down costs by reducing the need for real estate and other related expenses. Google and Facebook have already announced that their employees will work from home till the end of 2020 and have provided support of Rs 75000 for managing work from home.
4. DIGITAL COMMERCE TO GROW RAPIDLY:
In order to protect the health, it may not be considered good to go out in retail shops personally and come in contact with retailers and other customers. This trend may continue even after the lockdown is removed. A recent study by Mckinsey in China infers that consumers will prefer online shopping especially for grocery and personal care products even after the COVID 19 effect comes to an end.
Retailers with physical shops were already having business challenges from malls and online stores. In the present context, their survival will depend upon ensuring home delivery services based on e-orders. As a customer, you will have to depend more on e-commerce rather than personal shopping. You need to be more conversant about placing online orders.
5. ONLINE PLATFORMS:
Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Zee5, Hotstar, and Voot are some of the OTT (Over-the-Top) media services. They provide streaming directly to viewers via the internet without cable or television platforms. Their role has increased in the current situation created by COVID 19 spread. A recent survey by InMobi has shown that 46 % of viewers are watching more content online. Tarun Katial, CEO, Zee5 India, has indicated that this platform has recorded an 80% increase in subscriptions and more than 50% growth in time spent in recent times. Certainly, more and more people will use OTT platforms in the future as well. Responding to this change many film studios are planning to release their big-budget movies digitally rather than in theaters.
At a time when all around the world, shows and trade fairs were being postponed or canceled, Shanghai Fashion Week was held digitally with catwalk shows and teleshopping. On an opening day, it attracted 2.5 million views which totaled to over 11 million views by the end of the program. It could generate a business of over $ 2.82 million. With the grand success of this show digitally, organizers for similar shows are now thinking about the logic of flying thousands of people from one country to another and making a large expenditure for conducting such shows. The point here is that the world is now moving to OTT platforms. Are you ready to respond appropriately?
Even, going digital, reading newspapers on mobile is becoming a habit of many people undermining the need for hard copies. Similarly reading & listening books online is becoming a trend as compared to reading hard copies.
These are only a few of the changes that are going to take place After Covid-19. The world is going to be much different than Before Covid-19. So, why not learn some new skills which may be useful in the coming time?
LEARN THE SKILLS:
This is the time when you should focus on learning the new skills. Let us familiarize with some of these skills:
1. IMPROVING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM:
In order to stay healthy, it is necessary that you keep your immune system strong. Taking care of one’s health has not been a priority for many of us. But COVID 19 virus may vanish, but its effect is not going to disappear in the near future. And to safeguard you from the danger of this pandemic, the most important way is to improve your fitness level. Exercise, nutrition, and food supplements will play a major role. Some sort of physical exercise is a must every day. You have to plan some specific time every day for a workout. Better, decide now, and start practicing. What you eat and when you eat is quite important. Healthy food should now be your choice rather than junk food. Include green vegetables and fruits in your daily diet. Still, your requirement of vitamins and minerals cannot be fulfilled completely by food alone. As such the shortage has to be taken care of by food supplements. Start learning about supplements now and select the best, natural, and organically produced supplements specific to your body requirement. You may have to do some new learning in this regard. Do it now.
2. SOCIAL DISTANCING:
Social distancing is now going to be a norm in the country. Shaking hands is now dangerous. Practice Namaste with all those whom you meet. Before COVID 19, we used to love being close to each other. But now, the doctor’s advice is to maintain a distance of 2 meters from others. This will not be an easy task. We have been close while on two or four-wheelers, inside our office, home, lifts, markets, malls, public places or theaters, etc. Now each moment we shall have to observe social distancing and be cautious that no one is coming close to us.
3. DIGITAL LEARNING:
Digital commerce will grow in a big way. If you own a shop there is a possibility that no. of customers coming personally to your shop may reduce. In order to maintain your business, you must plan to receive orders online and deliver the same to the customer’s addresses. As a customer, you should learn how to use different marketing apps and place orders online.
Getting conversant with different social commerce platforms is the need of the hour. Get yourself familiar with the use of social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, etc. to build your business and learn new techniques. Learn to have video conferences with your team members and impart online training and have communication with people based at geographically different places.
4. NEW TRENDS IN PROFESSIONS:
There are several cases where a young employee has to resign his job in a big city and join a less paying job at his home town, primarily to overcome some family challenges. The good news for such people is that big companies will now be looking for talents even if they can perform from A small city or village. Work from the home concept will allow companies to pool talent from villages, small cities, big cities, or foreign countries. So, sharpen your knowledge and be ready as such opportunities are now very close. Big cities will not remain as busy as these are today.
In case you are a part of industry other than IT, your company may still require you to have adequate knowledge for working digitally. Example: If you are a salesman, you will be required to develop videos and pdfs for communication with your prospects and customers. This will replace your personal contact with them. Just like this, think about your own profession and decide about the changes that may bring growth in the After COVID scenario. Take training, if required, and prepare yourself for the upcoming change.
5. ADAPTING CHANGE WITH SPEED:
Winners are always those who adapt to change with speed. The Japanese company, Sony, has been a pioneer in developing electronic and entertainment equipment. Akio Morita, the co-founder of the company has explained in his autobiography titled, Made in Japan: Akio Morita and Sony, that their focus has always been on doing something new a little before their competitors can do the same. The lesson is that if you can adapt change before others, then you can be in a winning position.
Bill Gates has authored a book with Collins Hemingway, titled, “Business @ the Speed of Thought”. It explains that business and technology are integrated and digital infrastructures and information networks can help people to get an edge over their competitors.
So, let us not keep thinking and analyzing. This is time to CHANGE. And, change fast. Change with speed. Let us change our mindset, our ways to perform, and the way we act. Do it by adapting a new thought process, new techniques, and new behavioral patterns.
BC TO AC SHIFT:
COVID 19 or its effect is going to stay in our life for a long time. As long as it is there to whatever extent, we cannot live life as it used to be Before COVID 19. To live a healthy and happy life some changes are essential in our lifestyle and are discussed in this post. The purpose of the post is just to caution you that change may be knocking at your door, right now. Let us acknowledge it and be vigilant to adapt these changes fast so as to overcome the fear of this pandemic and carry forward our life happily and move ahead.