The present situation in Indian financial markets seem to be too good to believe. The sensex has jumped passed 60k mark and experts are pouring some more optimism in the environment. While we know that the share market is not the real barometer of the industry situation, it is a fact that the industry too is recovering well post covid. Of course this can not be a generalised statement and I do understand that many industry verticals such as tourism, hospitality etc., have suffered great losses and few companies, especially MSMEs, in these sectors have gone beyond recovery. Thus the share market boom and the industry recovery is selective and fortunately metals industry, being the core industry sector, has shown very fast (some say V shaped) recovery.
The metals production could come back to the normal levels because the production of raw materials like ore, coal, refractories too picked up and supported the growth curve. Also the disruptions in the process chain as well as the logistics were repaired quickly so as to achieve smooth flow of process and the materials. The metals industry not only healed itself but also played a big crucial role in the pandemic recovery by providing oxygen to the patients and creating covid hospitals, recovery centres in record time and running them as seriously as producing metal. Great job indeed ! One factor which many of us tend to overlook is the mind blowing speed with which the Indian administration vaccinated its citizens. By the time this piece reaches you, more than 100 crore Indians would be vaccinated. This tremendously helped us to fight the (so called) third wave and normalise the industry operations. Now that we have successfully combated first two waves, we are now well prepared with respect to our health, resources and the mindset to fight the third wave if at all it reaches us.
One of many lessons learnt from covid is digitalization. We have started using more computers, internet, virtual meetings and conferences, as the travels were not possible. Industry 4.0 taught us the power of big data, analytics, cloud computing, remote factory monitoring etc. It reduced the cost and increased the efficiency, productivity and the quality of the enterprise. Now that the pandemic seems to be easing out and the life returning to the normalcy, we should not forget what we have learnt. ‘Digitalization’ should not be seen as a stop gap arrangement. It is a one way, irreversible process and cannot be called off abruptly. Believe me the future depends on how quickly and effectively you use digitalization in all the aspects of the operations.