Future Generali

What must SMEs or small businesses do differently to fight this economic crisis?

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Rakesh Wadhwa:

So many possible scenarios that may merge out of this crisis. And, from most of these scenarios, it appears like large businesses with strong balance sheet and resources show more resilience and they grow faster once the dust settles down. The challenge is higher for small businesses and the ones who are using the profits to invest in the growth. How do you see those businesses responding or what would be your advice to those SMEs? And let's say growing businesses who don't have access to large pool of capital to fight this crisis, what must they do differently?

 

Ajai Chowdhry:

The first thing that they need to think about is how do they take their business online? And if that they can do, then they can definitely survive. And in longterm, this online thing is going to be a very, very big thing. Tou have to look at online everything. So that should be your mantra. Point 2, If your existing business is in trouble and you don't see a way out for the next 12 months, 16 months, you need to buckle down and survive. And that's the only thing that I would suggest to them because it's not that that business is dead, it's going to come back. When the cash flows starts, the supply chain starts and the country starts to coming back to normal, customers start buying. So all those things will happen. And therefore, if that business is in its own self, just to buckle down and, survive. The third thing is that if you feel that this business is going to be in very tough situation, the next three years, then the thing to do would be, to say either I shut down this business or pivot to something which is adjacent to me, which I can understand or go forward. And sometimes you may need to pivot to something which is totally unknown. So those are the kinds of things that you will need to take decisions on. You may want to carry on your existing business in some manner, and then add a couple of areas where you believe there is a future .

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