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Education

Updated on: Thursday, September 23, 2021, 03:34 PM IST

COVID-19: How organisations have reinvented themselves to face the 'new normal'

Representative Image | Pixabay

Representative Image | Pixabay

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To reinvent something means to change it so that it seems different andnew; to redo, to make completely new.

The year 2020 will be remembered in history for a long while; until February, most companies were busy planning their long-term business strategies, busy setting ambitious growth targets, strategizing their value chains and adding new products to their portfolios.

However, an unpredicted calamity- COVID-19, brought the entire world to a standstill. The sudden event forced governments and organizations to hit a pause and reset button all over the world. While uncertainty prevails over what the future would cause, what is clear is that it would be starkly different from the world we have known.

Thankfully today the vaccines are made available to counter the virus, the requirements of social distancing, wearing masks, connecting socially online, in short, the need for restricted movement will continue.

We have seen a tremendous shift in the mindset of people. Though physical distancing is forced on us and we are connected electronically the need to stay relevant is all the more propelling. And, this is a major transformation. Organizations are preparing for the new normal by changing their core organizational hierarchies, structure and their operation.

While work from home has become the new normal, organizations have invented functional strategies to make distant working and remote client servicing a reality.

It’s amazing to note that many small, medium and large organizations have quickly reconfigured their product and service offerings and have transformed their business models. Remote working is further expanding the scope of remote access to everything and greater security against cybercrimes.

Amid the ongoing upheaval, many organizations have seen opportunities and are reinventing themselves to rise above COVID-19. Electronic gadgets are ruling our lives like never before. We are forced to keep updated with a lot of technology shifts and organizations have had to evolve along with them. The companies that have survived are the ones that know this important lesson of listening to the customer always.

The print industry has been the most affected industries since the technology boom. Many newspapers and magazines have either closed shop or have gone in fully digital. National Geographic, however, has embraced technology. Its magazine is still in print and the brand has millions of loyal Instagram, Twitter and Facebook followers, both for its account and its photographers' accounts. National Geographic has over 65 million followers; it realized that to stay firmly planted in its print ways would have killed its business. So, it went to where its customers were, which is online.

Another great example is Netflix. It has primarily altered the way TV is consumed. Netflix is in a true sense the catalyst that drove the shift toward over-the-top television, helping pave way for many other OTT platforms.

People nowadays want to consume content anytime and anywhere. Netflix experienced a lot of hiccups. Its original business model was subscription-based, where people could rent as many movies as theywanted, keep them as long as they wanted and trade them in fornew ones after mailing them back. Netflix included streaming video, which even further encouraged its popularity. But, in 2011, when it split into two companies, Netflix and Qwickster, its spin-off continued delivering only DVDs by mail and increased its prices, people were put off.

Netflix quickly realized its mistake and reverted back to providing both digitally streaming videos and DVD-by-mail under one roof, and under one bill.

The message is to give the customers what they want. The pandemic disrupted $100 billion off the auto industry’s profits. Restaurants have reinvented and added innovation to their menu anddelivery – cloud kitchens are the in-thing. Swiggy and Zomato are heroes.

For banks, the pandemic has brought in only challenges; risk management teams are running hard to catch up with cascades of credit risk, among other challenges while customer care is most challenging.

Mergers and acquisitions are driving the insurance sector. Insurance technology is the new in-thing. COVID-19 has hugely accelerated thegrowth of digital healthcare. India’s Apollo Hospitals, which comprisemore than 7,000 physicians and 30,000 other healthcare professionals,launched a digital health app, Apollo 24/7, in early 2020. Within six months, the app had enrolled four million people, with around 30,000 downloads a day. Public-private partnerships are accelerating and theywill be the future of healthcare. In education, the pandemic has amplified existing challenges aroundinclusion, inequalities and drop-out rates.

Remote and online learning might become a permanent feature in higher education. The education sector has reconfigured in the physical and virtual space. Soon large lecture halls might be replaced with flexible working pods. The academic calendars are redesigned and recalibrated.

Human Resource Departments in organizations have started changing thework setting to match the hybrid work culture enabling people to workefficiently and productively. Organizations have realized that they canfunction optimally by designating specific teams to work in-house whileothers work remotely. Some organizations stagger individuals’ in-househours throughout the day. Gathering feedback from employees canfacilitate alignment with their personal needs and preferences whichworks wonderfully.

The best part is the world is moving forward.

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Published on: Thursday, September 23, 2021, 03:34 PM IST
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