Crisis provides an opportunity to look into the fragility of current processes and habits which are formed due to consistent tinkering in day-to-day life. Even though no one likes to experience crisis but it is this time only which provides us insights so that we can know the futility of some of our actions and course correct them. Some of my learnings after reading various articles and doing self-reflection are summarized below.
Sitting at home in lockdown, we can witness that Facebook is still running without any issue, Zoom is witnessing exponential growth and Netflix is having more usage than ever. Seems like tech companies have managed to stay ahead of the curve and current situation of lock down has actually helped them thrive.
Then there are companies in ecommerce, logistics, food supply etc. which have faced increased burden due to panic buying and increase in demand for home delivery options. They also had to face regulatory issues because of lack of clarity on government response, volatile policies and lack of compliance because of multiple reasons. So far these companies have managed to handle the situation because of agile planning and hardworking folks in their organization. These companies have managed to stay on the curve if not ahead of it.
Then there is third category of companies which are majorly in manufacturing which are hurt the most. It has happened because of over-optimisation in manufacturing due to globalization. Suddently we are exploring options to create indegenious products as supply is halted. Key components in various machines are manufactured only in China and these products are no longer available. This provides us a chance to appreciate the value of decentralization and self sufficiency. In future we can witness a push to move towards decentralized manufacturing policy while correcting the mistake of overoptimization in global manufacturing.
Now people are doing the work at their home while spending quality time with their families. Every company is forced to explore work from home option and review their policies. Some of this will continue even after lock down is over.
Jobs which are helping the society run in current crisis were considered as low skilled jobs and people in those jobs did not get much appreciation from the society. This lockdown is going to change that. It may also open gates for policies advocating better wages and status for these profesionals.
Metro cities are more connected with the global events irrespective of country. In addition to the economic leverage which comes by adopting latest world class technology, cities are also more vulnurable in events like corona. With increased restrictions and paranoia of keeping people healthy, masks can become the new norm. In general, interdependence will increase the anxiety in city dwellers ( Infection due to home delivered food, Always paranoid of getting unknown infection from others, touching surfaces etc.). This can make suburban and living in villages more attractive. If there is no economic reason for a person to stay in city (check the earlier point of tech companies which are thriving and they don’t have to be based in a city) they might prefer village.
Lastly, arguably for the first time in history, entire world is facing a common enemy and fighting this crisis together is going to make us better collaborators rather than competitor. It can be considered as the crisis before the arrival of a new dawn and as we say in India, we will move one step towards the ideal of “वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्”.