This has been the first week of getting back to business as the lockdown is relaxed after 70 days of an unprecedented panic caused by a virus for which no one was prepared.
It was a difficult decision to get back to work, considering our line of business which happens to be luxury clothing for ladies....top influencers being:
- of course the fear of the pandemic
- cannot imagine our previleged class of consumer stepping out amidst all the scare and uncertainty
- weddings and social gatherings were cancelled or reduced to no one's invited affairs
- the workforce had migrated to their hometowns and there is no way to get them back... except flights. For a little education the trains and taxis which go to Bihar from Delhi are not carrying people back from Bihar to Delhi
Now the enlightenment which made me open the business, at the risk of sounding foolish or brutally business minded aiming to pick the last bones from the ground
- this could not be the way forever
- there are couple of clients who are still getting married though the guest list is 20-30 from 2000-2500, the destination weddings have been rescheduled to Gurudwara weddings and much more
- workers were suffering having not been paid for two months now....given our financials and standing
- fear of being a late starter and losing out on customers share and in-house trained staff
Now that we have operated for the first week with close to empty studio and borrowed work force, the thoughts on top of my mind as I write this are
- showing up and opening work has been the right thing to do...
- it will be difficult to get back to the regular workload and operations as consumer behaviour changes
- there is an inherent chaos and uncertainty due to the sudden infections and sealing of areas... sometimes your workers will not be able to come, sometimes your workplace will be sealed...thanks to the containment policies
- no one knows what should we be designing for upcoming seasons
- should we hold back the cash or invest in new stock
- would we be able to sell things ???
Now towards the end...having made it sound so individualistic I would like to share my thoughts what to my mind should be a coordinated collective effort in the society...
- guys it's not just one business it's the entire nation we are talking
- small business owners and shopkeepers can also duck inside their homes and turn down workers, so if they open shops as part of their responsibility to the economy, consumers also need to step out and show up
- it's not about profits, successes or in fact even about covering expenses...none of that is happening... it's about breathing life into the economy of your local markets, cities, countries and the world
- it breaks my heart to see social media flooded with business owners demonstrating the safety measures they have in place to keep you safe...people please be responsible for your own safety wear a mask and carry your own bottle of sanitizers and don't bump into people on the road...take a bath once you are back home...
- make sure to take appointments to avoid unnecessary going out and giving a chance to the business owners to have your deliverables ready to ensure social distancing...
- Everyone needs to step out with responsibility...