COVID-19 has a silver lining

By: Muniba Shafique

“Every cloud has a silver lining”, a famous maxim that we have been quoting on and off in our daily lives. Contemporarily, COVID-19 has brought the whole world to a halt. Worldwide activities have either paused or postponed. Similarly, production and distribution lines have also suffered badly. But, there are certain aspects of businesses which have been favored by the pandemic. Distribution channels are still functioning in some areas. It is necessary to provide food to people so it seems impossible to stop supply chain of food. Developed countries are worried about the spread of the disease and some of them could not controlled it like in Italy and Spain, there are more than two million cases that were reported, while developing countries are coming at the edge where they can be over whelmed at any point. When we talk about Pakistan, there is a tight rope in front of a weak economy. Many startups have been shut down and businesses; be them infant or established, are facing challenges related to their supply chain. Production in such circumstances seems to be relatively feasible activity but there are many hurdles in supplying, distribution and transportation activities and operations. As most travelling is required in such activities and due to the current lockdown situation, they cannot be continued. The economy of Pakistan has already suffered a lot and due to country-wide lock down it would be very difficult for businesses to sustain as they were before. But when things don’t go in your way remember that every adversity has a seed of opportunity within itself. People are getting pessimistic due to the fear being created in the environment. However, for the sake of survival, we need to move towards learning and alternative ways. Time has come to change the way of livelihood. Same for the businesses that if they want to be successful in upcoming days, they need to be more creative. Traditional way of running businesses will not work. Even if businesses are able to produce but they will be unable to deliver them to end consumer. As Khurram Husain, business editor at Dawn has talked about the business recently that businesses will not work like the way they were working before. He also wrote about establishing close coordination and working with creativity in businesses. It reflects the strategic behavior of organizations that some businesses are capturing the opportunities and have changed their strategies according to market patterns. If we take example of Pakistani brands, they have adopted an online medium for selling their products and services. It is not that demand of consumers has decreased. If we look closely in market behavior, there is a huge demand but gap is created in the distribution channels. In order to fulfill this gap businesses needs to take one step forwards towards customer demand, perspective and choices. This pandemic left opportunity not only for sanitizers and soap industry but in many other industries such as of electronic industry and telecommunication. Online meetings and conferences have boost up online chat services and video telephony meanwhile telecommunication industry is also gaining benefits from this condition Ashfaq Ahmad said “Our hidden power is much stronger than our visible impotency. We are just unaware of it.” Businesses can still take advantage of this situation in many ways. It only needs to be more creative, bold and to think behind the mountains.

-The writer is Business student at Air University