3 Founders shared how Small Businesses Coping with Situation of Covid Outbreak

Ashwini Ashwini
Apr 20, 2020 4 min read
3 Founders shared how Small Businesses Coping with Situation of Covid Outbreak

Covid-19, which has shaken the whole world has brought everyone's life at halt. This highly contagious disease is spreading so fast that Indian Government has ordered 1.3 billion residents to stay home. In this lockdown period, all malls, theaters, companies, shops, restaurants, manufacturing units are shut. This will affect businesses and economy badly. Many companies have told their employees to work from home. But, its not possible for all companies like manufacturing units, theaters, malls to let their employees work from home.

People are also scared of going out. This coronavirus has made people's lifestyle slow and it will take time for everyone including companies to come back on track after this long period of lock down. COVID-19 has put slowdown to a business everywhere. Travel, Hotel, Events, and Entertainment are the sectors that are suffering.

Many small businesses may close because of many issues due to losses. We asked few founders of few companies about how small businesses are coping with situation of coronavirus outbreak and business closure.

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Small Businesses Coping with Covid Outbreak

How are small businesses in manufacturing coping with business closures?

Surmount Business

Surmount Business practices targets to become a strategic partner to entrepreneurs and enterprises to help expand businesses beyond their existing roots, professionalize their operations and enhance their Capital Efficiency. We talked with Niraj Bora, Founder, about how small businesses in manufacturing are coping with business closure.

Few people in Manufacturing I know have pivoted to produce some or the other essential commodity / product in F&B, healthcare, etc. That might not be possible for everyone, but the said situation warrants us to pivot from one thing to other to cope up with the losses and keep it going. On one hand, workers want to work but are out of jobs, and on another hand essential factories face labour problem due to migration to hometowns. Mobilising manpower with other factories to utilise manpower and reduce burden of salaries is another way to beat the market lockdown.

upGrad Education

Founded in early 2015, upGrad offers online programs for working professionals. We talked with Mayank Kumar, Co-founder & MD, about how small businesses in manufacturing are coping with business closure.

The current COVID-19 situation has brought economies across geographies to a standstill. Especially businesses involved in manufacturing where units have been shut, supply chain has been disturbed, and all imports have been stalled. While the companies are trying and testing new policies and undertaking relief plans to revive from the clutches of the current pandemic and keep their workforce intact, the Government must also take necessary measures to cushion the adverse effects, especially for small scale businesses, as compared to the larger companies who operate with extra cash flow.

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How corona Outbreak has affected Ecommerce startups and how they plan to recover?

Xboom Utilities

A one-stop E-Commerce startup based in Bangalore that provides safety and security products across categories ranging from vehicle safety, women’s safety, home safety, personal safety to defense. We talked with Vishal Saurav, Founder & CEO, about how corona outbreak has affected Ecommerce startup.

First of all, I urge all of the readers to follow the guidelines and stay safe in this dire situation. As the impact of the pandemic is global, the trade has slumped and most of the economy is hit hard. Our economy is no exception. Even e-commerce players like us are facing the blow, logistics and human resources issues add on to our lag. Export and import has been severely affected and speculations are that the situation will continue for another couple of weeks (or more), when the business is expected to be slower. Both demand and supply are low as people are prioritizing the basic needs only and not prepared mentally to buy other things, be it offline or online.

Most of the states have announced a lock-down and numbers are going to be grimmer this week onwards. We are adapting to the situation but it will take a bit of time to get back to the normal. To speed up things, all companies should adopt the work from home policy, which we had already implemented and wait until any remedy becomes available. Β On an individual level everyone should look out for oneself and the families, stay home, stay hygienic and stay safe. In this adverse situation, if all of us, individuals and corporates alike, follow the basic rules and cooperate, then we should be able to work and stay safe at the same time.

upGrad Education

Founded in early 2015, upGrad offers online programs for working professionals. We talked with Mayank Kumar, Co-founder & MD, about how corona outbreak has affected Ecommerce startup.

Talking about online education sector at large, seems, it took a global pandemic to bring online education into the mainstream, which has otherwise played second fiddle to the offline model. As per our recent statistics, the current situation has been a net positive for us. The inflection point was the second last week of February 2020 (17th Feb - 24th Feb) followed by the week next, when we started witnessing exponential traction towards our platform.

In the last week of Feb, leads (~interested learners / prospects) increased by around 34% compared to the week before. It further soared as the country started to move towards the concept of social distancing. In the first week of March, our interest went up by 75% as well. Two to three weeks ago, we used to get 2,500 enquiries a day, but there has been a 50% upside with over 3,800 enquiries per day. Β Therefore, to conclude, I would like to mention that the only way to move ahead is by adapting to the evolving environment as quickly as possible, else businesses would fall prey to such uncertain times and consecutive circumstances.

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