Rewriting the Rules: Businesses have to be driven by technology & creating digital assets is a must

December 9, 2020 4:15 AM

Many industries have accelerated the shift to full-fledged digital delivery models. Take, for example, the education sector, where online platforms and apps are the new accepted modes for learning and teaching.

With digitisation, the world has become one whole ecosystem.With digitisation, the world has become one whole ecosystem. (Representative image)

By Rajiv Sabharwal

We have come a long way in our tryst with the pandemic. Over the last nine months, we have braved our way through the challenges and come to terms with the new way of living and working. Covid-19 has impaired economic growth; while the IMF’s projections for India’s economic outlook in the first quarter of FY21 depicted 9-10% contraction, it is our resolve to combat the situation that will help each one of us bounce back. I believe we will emerge stronger and better, with the effects of Covid-19 weaning off as we move on to Q4.

But what next?
India is not new to weathering crises. The Asian crisis of the 1990s, the global meltdown of 2007-08 or the more recent liquidity crisis all put businesses to test. Each brought a spectacular show of able leadership, resilience and determination that helped the economy bounce back. Given this learning set, how do we write the future on a new slate? How do we ensure businesses are better prepared?

Restore, rebuild and rethink

Restore: Reinstate the lost confidence in your people, preserve the interests of your business and its operations. The aim is to restore normalcy.

Rebuild: It’s about managing the in-between phase of rebuilding what’s lost and broken.

Rethink: Growth and business models need extraordinary thinking; after all, these are truly exceptional times.

Here are a few guiding points that can help businesses in their journey to adapt to the new normal:

Reset: This is the time every facet of the business will need a thorough re-evaluation. So, reassess your resources, relook at your priorities and change your plans suited to the current situation. The pandemic is here to stay for a while, so make the required adjustments so that the business is ready for a smooth sail. An example is how financial services companies shifted from only focusing on growth and risk to costs and risk as a response to the initial lockdowns and the subsequent moratorium.

Investment in technology, analytics and digital: The pandemic has reinforced the fact that businesses have to be driven by technology and creating digital assets is a must. Also, companies will have to work towards creating and nurturing a data-driven environment. All this will help in more ways than one; from seeking new opportunities to grow to making faster decisions than ever before. Many industries have accelerated the shift to full-fledged digital delivery models. Take, for example, the education sector, where online platforms and apps are the new accepted modes for learning and teaching.

Engage with stakeholders: With digitisation, the world has become one whole ecosystem. Engage, speak and interact with your stakeholders, peers, government officials, employees and customers. Living in a collaborative environment will not only open new avenues, but also help each one traverse their own path successfully.

Empathy quotient: Customers in these times need more empathy than ever before. Listen to them more, offer support, show that you care, and this will go a long way. Relook at how you service your customer and do all that it takes to make your customer’s life easy and hassle-free.

Be a student, always: Bring out the student in you—learn to unlearn and relearn to learn. The aim is to invest in yourself and the organisation you serve.

Today, with the plethora of remote learning options, one can keep learning anytime and anywhere. Companies, too, are playing their role well and are encouraging their people to upskill and adapt to the changing dynamics.

A crisis or a tough situation usually has a hidden opportunity somewhere; this is a good time to seek one. Reimagine what will drive sustainable growth for your organisation and how businesses can create value in the new world order.

The author is MD & CEO at Tata Capital

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