Industry leaders advised that enterprises should adapt to living with COVID-19 and make small changes in their approach to tide over the crisis.
Healthcare leaders said the medium and long-term outlook is good, but the sector will need healthcare-oriented policies to survive the short-term.
Experts praised the Aarogya Setu app for tracking COVID-19 patients and advocated its use for other diseases such as TB.
At a time when businesses in India across the spectrum is anticipating staggering losses due to the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown that is now extended by two weeks, industry leaders at the IHW Council’s web summit advised that enterprises should adapt to living with COVID-19 and make small changes in their approach to tide over the crisis.
“COVID will become a part of our life so enterprises have to focus on new safety norms such as regular sanitization, social distancing, wearing a mask and make these a part of the work culture. Employees working from home and tools for enterprise resource planning (ERP) will play a crucial role – in the new norm, redundant tasks will be eliminated, smaller teams will be formed and those who take an extra initiative will survive,” Dr. Vivek Bindra, Motivational Speaker, Founder & CEO, Bada Business.
Discussing the challenges faced by the private healthcare sector since the beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Dharminder Nagar, Managing Director, Paras Healthcare, said, “These are very challenging times – private hospitals have suffered a loss of INR 7,000 crore in April and are likely to lose anything between 12 to 21,000 crore in the first quarter. While the medium and long-term outlook is good, we need to survive the short-term. The strategy now is more political, social, and economic, rather than healthcare-oriented. We need policies that will help us overcome the shock.”
“For businesses, this is the time to show character – stand by your partners, stakeholders, and employees. Cut down on unnecessary costs and travel, and restructure the organization to a certain extent to make it more efficient and productive. There can be small, short-term blips but the situation will stabilize in 2 or 3 quarters, there will be a rebound around December or January, in terms of market, jobs, and economy,” said Mr Paresh Chaudhry, Corporate Brand Custodian, Adani Group.
Speaking about the slow uptake of technology in the Indian healthcare sector, Ms. Savitha Kuttan, Founder & CEO, Omnicuris said, “In the healthcare, we have been a laggard and our uptake of technology was rather slow. Technology adoption is key for the making our doctors skilled to deal with a situation like the ongoing pandemic and the authorities should look for ways immediately to ramp up the capacity of our doctors through technology so that they can effectively handle increased screening and diagnosis, which is why some universities have collaborated with Omnicuris for their students. Besides, tech-based platforms such as Aarogya Setu app that screens for COVID-19 patients and has a high adoption can be used for surveillance of other diseases such as tuberculosis.”
The virtual summit on discussing ways to overcome the crisis caused by COVID-19, organized by the Integrated Health and Wellbeing (IHW) Council, in association with Omnicuris, India’s largest online platform for continuing medical education (CME), was also attended by Dr. Shuchin Bajaj, Founder Director, Ujala Cygnus Hospital, Mr. Vivek Tiwari, CEO, Medikabazaar, Mr. Sridhar Ranganathan, CEO, Helyxon Healthcare Solutions, Mr. Anshu Gupta, Founder Director, Goonj, Mr Rajesh Aggarwal, Managing Director, Insecticides India Ltd, Dr. Radha Rangarajan, Chief Scientific Officer, HealthCube, and Dr. Atul Kapoor, Managing Director, Regency Healthcare.
IHW Council, a premier think tank that advocates for a healthy world through multilateral stakeholder engagement, has been organizing online conferences since the beginning of lockdown in March on various aspects of the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus.
Mr. Kamal Narayan, CEO, IHW Council, said, “The pandemic was a sudden disaster nobody was prepared for. As a result, people are suffering not only because of the virus but also due to the prolonged suspension of businesses and earnings. This humanitarian crisis has also altered our priorities to a great extent which will drive organizations to humanize their businesses. The situation is so dynamic that formulating a ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy to open and revitalize the economy seems inadequate. The rural economy will need a special focus – this can be an opportunity to revive the agriculture sector to ensure long-term food security and give the farmers the importance they deserve.”