Adoption of digital tech key priority for corporate India post COVID-19: McKinsey & Company report

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Updated: Jun 24, 2020 6:10 PM

According to Rajat Dhawan, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company, a "sober, pragmatic outlook" emerges from discussions with dozens of CEOs and senior executives in recent weeks.

"Executives are planning for a prolonged economic downturn and for an uncertain next normal that could follow an eventual recovery," he noted.“Executives are planning for a prolonged economic downturn and for an uncertain next normal that could follow an eventual recovery,” he noted.

Adopting digital technology and analytics to transform legacy businesses will be one of the key priorities for corporate India in the post COVID-19 period, as such technologies can generate enormous value, according to McKinsey & Company.

In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, consumers in India have reported major increase in the use of digital and low-touch activities across categories like delivery services, at-home entertainment, education, food, staples, shopping, communications, health, and fitness.

According to Rajat Dhawan, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company, a “sober, pragmatic outlook” emerges from discussions with dozens of CEOs and senior executives in recent weeks.

“Executives are planning for a prolonged economic downturn and for an uncertain next normal that could follow an eventual recovery,” he noted.

Dhawan enumerated five priorities for corporate India in the next normal after COVID-19. These include making balance sheets and cost structures more resilient; reshaping business portfolios for greater value creation; embedding digital and analytics to transform legacy businesses and build new ones; building greater safety, flexibility, and productivity into operations and embracing systems thinking in corporate decisions.

“The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the weaknesses and the strengths of India’s large businesses. Now executives have an opportunity to make changes that will see their companies through the downturn and position them for long-term success,” he noted.

On digital technology and analytics, Dhawan said adoption of these technologies can generate enormous value and cited a McKinsey Global Institute estimate in 2019, according to which such technologies could create some USD 1 trillion of value in India alone.

Dhawan further said several executives expressed the view that the pandemic has come as a wake-up call to embrace advanced technologies and CEOs are keen to digitise sales and customer experiences in both the business-to-consumer context and the business-to-business context, Dhawan said.

Companies also hope to rapidly digitize their supply chains and manufacturing operations, he noted.

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