What is worthy of appreciation is that, even in the middle of these challenges, many entrepreneurs are laying testament to the resilient and agile mindset of the community.
Robert H. Schuller’s quote “Tough times don’t last, tough people, do” could not be more relevant in today’s time. The COVID 19 pandemic is changing the world in an unimaginable way. It has critically impacted global health, but, we see the emergence of heroes in our health workers, delivery, operational, and security personnel in this battle. Along with health, the economy has also taken a big hit and it is only fair to commend all the ‘tough entrepreneurs’ for their dedicated efforts to keep the economy afloat.
What is one of the biggest challenges the economy is facing right now? More than fighting for growth, we see many small and big entrepreneurs in the war for survival. With almost no cash inflow, managing expenses of salaries, rentals, and other costs are making it difficult for organisations to persist. “We’re not going to bring in any revenue but the bills still the same” – a Restaurateur Entrepreneurs are the backbones of the global economy today in terms of innovation, growth, and employment, and the pandemic is demanding more from them, both physically and mentally. There is a lot of responsibility with the entrepreneurs who feel responsible for not only for the business but for each and every employee. An entrepreneur’s work includes taking care of more than just themselves and it is easy to see that their sustenance is pivotal for others and the economy itself.
What is worthy of appreciation is that, even in the middle of these challenges, many entrepreneurs are laying testament to the resilient and agile mindset of the community. Be it adapting to remote work style or innovating their products, they are hustling to keep the economy from collapsing and playing an active role in fighting the pandemic.
Zostel, an entrepreneurial startup in the tourism industry has innovated its app to keep up with these times by hosting online games, skill-based quizzes, live concerts, etc. for a nominal fee. They have offered their properties to the government to be used as quarantine centres much like Zoomcar offering select vehicles to ensure emergency mobility for frontline workers.
Many technology-based entrepreneurial ventures such as Bluedot, Medshr, etc. are working closely with governments in reviewing data to track the spread of the outbreak. AI-based startup Haptik collaborated with the Indian government and Whatsapp to develop the ‘MyGov Corona Helpdesk’ to provide accurate information on dealing with COVID 19 easily accessible to people.
Many entrepreneurs have, also, come in collaboration to form a group ‘Startups vs Covid-19’ in Bangalore, which is working together to cater to multiple needs such as 3D printing ventilators, producing face masks, spreading awareness on social distancing through online and offline means, etc.
Siddharth Gupta of BiggPocket says “Once the lockdown relaxes, and business re-open, we will probably see the TINA (There Is No Alternative) factor play out in Indian MSME sector. Like myself, most entrepreneurs will have no choice but to pick up from where we left in March and rebuild. There will be a lot of hustle and minor tweaking around to business models. A few may throw in the towel and new leaders will emerge. But, I am pretty certain that the MSME sector will be back to business as usual in less than 12 months.”
Although the pandemic attempts to leave a big dent on the economic growth, the agile mindset and perseverance shown by the entrepreneurs and businesses are actively reciprocating to minimize the damage and seize opportunities for development and innovation. Their grit and support are highly saluted. J. Gregory Dees rightly sums the spirit and acknowledges their determination when he said, “Entrepreneurs have a mindset that sees the possibilities rather than the problems created by change”.