In the current uneasy conditions obtaining worldwide out of the onslaught of the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak, one just can’t help but write about this unprecedented endemic which has engulfed almost all parts of our planet Earth. As one can see, the hangover is ‘novel’ too. That is the power of the invisible, it seems, which is sweeping across the mighty forts and displays the awe-inspiring ‘development’ of God’s creation with brains, viz., the ‘Homo Sapiens’. The yet unconquerable, invisible-microscopic-protein tormentor has perhaps caught us sapiens on the wrong foot … of careless greed and stubborn pride. The resultant ‘halt’, as it now seems, and as one feels, was long coming and inevitable. Bleak and daunting as the scenario might seem now, the only solace is that the soul of humanity from the time of Adam knows well, that humans will rise, build and thrive again!
As the economic, business and information technology (IT) activity game has changed, the challenge is huge and unprecedented. Indeed, world economy and Industry 4.0 is ready for an inevitable facelift globally. The present pandemic has brought about a change in perception of needs and wants in the consumers and business owners. New business models will have to be developed to cater to the altered consumer behaviour for many established industries and sectors. Industry 4.0, for generations to come, will be remembered as being ‘Novel’, for whatever Novel Coronavirus did to it!
Even though hardly any business or economic activities are happening these days, trends will start brewing and taking shape soon. Some new-use cases or trends for economy and Industry 4.0 are presented below:
· Make-in-India mission will get a boost as domestic manufacturing will be preferred and help the economy grow.
· Automation will generate positive arguments in its favour. We witnessed during this pandemic how factories and processing units, using human labour were shut due to fear of contagion. More and more businesses will now see adoption of automation.
· Digitalization will accelerate for obvious reasons of reduced ATM access, paper cash contagion etc.
· On the job front, more jobs will be created in the digital and information technology (IT) arena as a result of the need for setting up of data centres and expansion of digital infrastructure.
· An increasing number of start-ups in the healthcare sector will emerge, as health and sanitation has become a top priority as never before. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan will get a new fillip and its necessity in people’s lives and psyche will get highlighted.
The new trends mentioned above are just a few. Such cases abound in arenas of politics, security, research, finance, international trade, travel and tourism, work and home space, leisure and day-to-day life. Rays of hopes or ‘silver linings’ are always there and waiting to be changed into opportunities and leveraged both during and post-pandemic. The discussion is open to all. More views will bring more ideas and maybe, plant seeds of innovation and creativity in some mind, somewhere. Students can think, mull over the trends and come up with probable emergent scenarios.
This ‘lockdown’ is perhaps the best time to ease out the many ‘extras’ from our lives, think, focus and prepare. For all one knows, nobody gets this solitude, again, ever!