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30 May 2020

Business Hit by COVID 19: Think Again

Ajay Binani

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If the last 3 months of lockdown – COVID-19 have hampered your business to a large extent, then your business is not meant to be in the business. 

If you may find this rude or exaggerating, do a self-analysis of your business once again. Ask yourself the vision and the mission of it. The terms which always sounded as mere book chapters, mean the world to few. 

A business with a vision (which is supposed to be a long-term thing), would not get shocks of COVID19 (the impact is minimal). There can be delay in the mission, but again, that would be a temporary phase. 

The only people who are facing the impact are the ones who didn’t change their way of doing business with the change in time. Undoubtedly, the market would take a hit due to the lower consumption at the consumer end, however, things would just be postponed, not cancelled in the longer term. So, the ones who are digitally equipped, would be ready any time their customers are ready. But how many of us are digital equipped? Or for that matter how many of us are digitally literate? 

Digital Literacy in India

India: World’s second largest mobile growing market. Yet, 90 percent of the Indian population is digitally illiterate. What is the use of giving smart phone to a person who is not smart (by smart here I mean digitally literate)? Digital Literacy refers “to an individual’s ability to find, evaluate, and compose clear information through writing and other media on various digital platforms.” Source : Wikipedia

Now how many of you think around us are digitally equipped (have Internet) but not digitally literate (don’t know how to use it)? Understanding and Using Internet

The so-called word “Internet” which you keep listening 10 times a day or are definitely using for almost more than a decade now (be in whatever form) has been around the world for more than 35 years now. In India, Internet was introduced 25 years ago in 1995 on Independence Day. Ironically, businesses didn’t free themselves from the physical world.

Undoubtedly, here are the results: 50 percent of the Indian small business do not have an online presence (website). Most of them site cost as the reason while building a website has come down to as low as INR 10,000. I would like to believe that it’s the Lazy Leadership and not the cost that’s keeping the businessman to take a step ahead in the digital world.  

75 percent of the people say they trust a professional email address. Yet, most of the small business houses are having free Gmail ids instead of professional ids. While there is nothing wrong in using the free ids, but that definitely shows lack of professionalism at the consumer end.Perpetual habit of going physical: When we talk about digitization, it is not just about taking your business online. It is also about using online platforms to save our time, energy and cost associated to the task.

The task can be as small as doing a RTGS to the beneficiary or making a purchase payment. What we still prefer is going to the bank and doing the task, or going to the physical store to make the purchase. While I am not against the local purchase (I encourage that), I would definitely like people to save time on payments which can be recorded with the help of digitization instead of self-travel. 

We also need to understand here that consumer is not the only one to be blamed here. What the professionals have done is built an aura of huge marketing expenditures. When most of the companies just need an online presence, they are having proposals of detailed digital marketing. Most of the times, being on internet is enough i.e Online Presence. Digital Marketing is secondary and is necessary for growth for multiple returns, but is not necessary for survival (most of the times). 

Conclusion:

In a nutshell, the best you can do for your business at this point of considerably free time is to give it an address in the virtual world.

Come Online. 

Read more blogs from the author at www.ajaybinani.com

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