While the Scientists of the world are working day & night to find the vaccine for CoronaVirus, we the commonalty are concerned about the financial consequences that lie ahead of us in the year 2020 & beyond. Today when we read about world economics and recession, it forces us to ponder over what should be the right way ahead.
Sudhir Bahl is a senior healthcare professional, an active member of the Board of Directors for several growth-stage healthcare companies and an accomplished entrepreneur in the healthcare sector with twenty-seven years of management and entrepreneurial experience in global organizations, specialized in managing IVF networks, specialty hospitals, medical devices, and health IT systems.
Steps to manage resources
With money not flowing in, the start-ups are at a loss due to which they are unable to pay salaries to their teams. Sudhir explains how portfolio companies can manage their resources better during this pandemic and lockdown due to COVID-19 by putting forth a few steps for them to follow:
- Focus on the customers and activities that are in line with the company's core competency
- Have transparent and factual communication with all the employees and the customers
- Keep internal teams engaged by connecting through daily Tcons and skill-enhancing training programs
- Analyze the past data and share the information with teams to improve their skills
- Work on preparing the process and people for a high drive and results after the lockdown is over
Digital Health platforms
In this hour of economic slowdown, Sudhir advises the start-ups to keep their morale high, make future plans, and prepare well for when the economy picks up.
“The most important aspect to keep in mind and carry out is to keep your teams motivated and aligned to the business goals. In the healthcare segment, the start-ups need to focus on how they will operate once they open for business after lock-down. Start-ups should look at the possibility of pivoting their model towards digitization as Digital Health platforms providing services, as it would be in demand in the short and long term,” he says.
Entrepreneurs are used to uncertainties
It is a well-known fact that an entrepreneur's journey is always considered as a roller coaster ride in such a scenario, Sudhir suggests that how can the entrepreneurs make sure to balance things out so as to stay afloat till the tide passes.
“Entrepreneurs are used to uncertainties and hence they will be able to handle this crisis better than executives in structured organizations. Keeping a very close watch on cash flows and keeping the team together is the only challenge they need to overcome in the current situation,” he says.
Work efficiency improved with the Work From Home Culture
Since forever, the corporates are known to work from an office with dedicated office hours. With the IT companies coming into the picture, the culture for work from home (WFH) has been booming since. Sudhir in his twenty-seven years of healthcare experience has never worked from home. But now it has changed due to the COVID lockdown. “For the last two decades, I have been used to a very hectic travel schedule and multiple board room meetings and office interactions daily. The first few days of work from home post lockdown were tough but then I got used to Tcons and zoom calls with the teams and I can definitely feel that our work efficiency has improved,” he says.
“Life has become more meaningful and probably the first time in my life, I am able to have a relaxed time with my parents and family. I have reconnected with many old friends after ages and had an in-depth conversation about life. The ‘Digital Fatigue’ is setting in now and I am sincerely hoping that we come back to normal soon,” he says.
The right time for investors to invest?
Sudhir answers in affirmative. “This is a good time for the investors for buying, but one needs to be ‘selective’. As companies with strong balance sheets and business fundamentals will bounce back quickly. We will see many turnaround stories in the MSME sector. It’s also a time when the capability of leadership teams is being tested and only the best will deliver good results,” he says
(Edited By Rabia Mistry)