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Paradox of COVID-19 or resilience of economy or shift in the economic landscape?

Sachin Dabir | Founder & Director, Ashnik
USA, 21 Jun 2020
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21-Jun-2020

Time and again we have experienced that when any calamity strikes it brings enormous destruction. There is no exception to it – the calamity could be at personal level, family, city, state or at country level. COVID-19 pandemic has brought the entire world to a gridding halt. The globalized nature of our societies has made the impact of what started in Wuhan, China, a global pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of people have died, tens of millions are affected and worst of all entire world’s working activity has come to a standstill. Millions of people have lost jobs – from advanced economies to emerging ones no one is spared. The impact is not limited to just the economies, it has created enormous geo-political turbulence, too.

The wide-ranging destruction that has fallen upon the mankind is very sad, it makes one’s heart go out for those who have lost their loved ones, it goes out for the people who have undergone tremendous suffering. It is absolutely heart wrenching calamity for the entire humankind.

While on one hand, we are pained to see such large suffering, on the other hand, we see news about wealth creation in some pockets and that makes me wonder about this paradox.

We have read about how wealth of richest of the riches have actually increased in last 3 months, how some large organizations have grown their profits. We are experiencing that the stock indexes all over the world have soared. One of the other indicators of wealth creation – the housing prices is going north! Recent WSJ news tells that median housing prices in the US have gone by 8%.  Jim Cramer in his recent post on June 4th says that his pandemic has seen biggest wealth transfer – from poor to wealthiest.

To most of the human being, this pandemic brought in nothing but stress, anxiety, a big question mark on basic livelihood and sustenance, but to some select few this has been an opportunity to create wealth! This makes one feel very sad, makes one ponder about this paradox.

There is no denying the fact that we want to see the return of normal and happier life for all humankind. For that we definitely need economic activities to go up, we need livelihood opportunities to be created and we want to see some semblance of equitable growth. However, we need to understand some developments in different perspective. On one hand small, select group of people and companies have made opportunity out of this situation while for a large group of people and small companies this has been a very challenging time. Are these just the anomalies, are these cruel jokes or are these silver linings to the dark cloud?

Some economists are referring to the factors such as – new addition to employment data in the USA, growth in some companies’ business, 40% rise in US stock indexes over March 2020 dip – as resilience of economies as compared to 2008. Many companies have talked about how they are better prepared as compared to 2001 or 2008 economic crises. So, do we call it as resilience? Or, thinking more positively, do we consider it as silver lining to dark clouds and hope for the clearer skies sooner?

Some of the silver lining to the dark clouds is being attributed to the shift in the economic landscapes. The businesses that depended heavily on in-store traffic are affected badly whereas, digital platform-oriented businesses have grown in big ways, for example, most e-commerce and e-tailers have done better than brick-and-mortar models. Many digital solutions companies such as Zoom have seen huge demand and businesses have increased many folds. Similarly, most the software companies have done better than expected.

This is too early to analyze and draw conclusion, but it is clear that COVID-19 has given a new direction to the economic landscape as well as to human and healthcare activity. Let us pray for the well-being of all the humankind.

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  • Sachin is veteran in IT industry and brings over 25 years of experience in setting up new businesses, leading high performance sales teams and executing growth strategies. He is passionate about open source and is an acknowledged leader in open source in Asia. As a founder of Ashnik he is leading the growth initiatives and taking Ashnik global. His stints in Asia, UK and USA enables him to bring unique perspective to entrepreneurship and life. His interests in writing, reading and mentoring makes him an excellent networker. Currently he is learning to be a patient father to teenage sons and striving to be a good husband.

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