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Post Lockdown: Forced Entrepreneurship

By Anil Kumar Rai | PUBLISHED: 09, May 2020, 14:45 pm IST | UPDATED: 09, May 2020, 14:45 pm IST

Post Lockdown: Forced Entrepreneurship

We have no clarity as to when the lockdowns are going to fully end. This started with one day, one week, three weeks and now going on endlessly. Micro lockdowns are new terms and process introduced in ongoing challenges related with Covid-19. I am sure, at some point this isolation issue will end and people will return back to their jobs, business, schools & colleges. It’s also an open secret that some people can never return to their work place as their job is gone or business is ruined/ vanished. There will be some who are lucky to remain engaged will find new process to be adopted to perform and be relevant. There will be a new normal in every sphere of life and same is true for business.

One thing is sure that Post lockdown scenario will be very different for individuals who were in jobs for long time as well as those employees who are in their middle path career and have lost their jobs. In addition, there would be plenty of workers including fresh graduates who would face this “no job” situation. There is only one way to
moderate and end this precarious situation i.e. Entrepreneurship and let’s call this as “Forced Entrepreneurship”. This entrepreneurship coming to all of us forced by the new normal global economic scenario post lockdown. This will not only help you as an individual but also help society tremendously as you generate new employment
opportunities. Key Points for success as forced Entrepreneur.

Accept the New Normal – Accept that new situation for you, family and friends. There is no point thinking about past and cursing what could have been avoided or what could have been done. Past is gone and future is yet to come. Take the responsibility in present situation to bring a desired future for yourself. There is basic and urgent need that you learn to adapt, learn to adapt quickly. Adaptability is the new skill that will make any individual excel and grow.

Consortium of Friends / Ex-Colleagues – New business setup requires ideas, skills and finances and most importantly a mature team. That’s a great News-You have it all. Talk to your mates and you will be surprised to see how quickly you can form a team that has common objectives and required skills for launching & growing a new
business. Some of your senior colleagues can become mentor, even if they didn’t want to invest or join the team actively. Remember, team with common need creates the strong & long lasting bond.

Innovation – New normal society will demand & generate new business opportunities that are getting born every day now, these are green field projects. Even the existing businesses need to adopt to new features, new process for manufacturing and new delivery mechanism. Look into each of the business modules and innovate quickly to become the leader in your segment.

Finance– Cash/ Finance is the king. It’s the backbone of any business and so is true for your enterprise. Try and pool in money from the consortium of friends itself. Each of the promoters can invest as per their capacity and that forms the equity in the same ratio. Do calculate min expenses required to keep your basic family needs running for at least one year and invest surplus amount only. This will help you avoid taking debt early on into your business. Paying back debt on time has sunk many medium and large organisations as well.

Business Segment – It’s important that you choose to enter right business segment. The right business segment has three factors i.e. Skills and capability of the team, Innovate in the existing business practices and completely new business. One thing will be common across that this should have as less manual contacts as much as possible and majority of employees should be able to work from home. One more important aspect that business should either be fully focused serving the basic needs or should include it as focused portfolio. Consumers would be willing to spend on their basic needs going forward and curtail all other requirements as much as possible.

Business Infrastructure -
Success of new age business would necessarily require that fixed cost of operations are kept as low as possible. Organisation infra should be digital savvy. Search for service providers who can do the work for you piece basis. The business should employ minimum human resources and opt for pay per use model.
Work from home is a new norm and essential to keep a smaller office space and hence reduced rentals and other associated costs.

Target Customer –
Any business that has well served customer can survive. You need to have just one customer to get into the business. You can on board multiple other customers if you have one satisfied and happy customer. Setting up business without a customer can burn out the money quickly and becomes detrimental for survival.

Exit Clause –
Everyone will be excited while launching a new business and ready to invest. There is always a possibility for tem falling out due to genuine reasons or vested interests or any other emergency requirements. Business is a going concern and show must go on. Hence Its critical to set the exit rules clearly for the partners in the beginning itself. There shouldn’t be any surprises and everyone is aware and signed off to follow these guidelines. There should also be a lockdown period in which no one can withdraw the investment for any reason.

Government Support-
last but not the least, support from Govt. for these new startup ventures will boost the morale for many other individuals to get into employment generation activity. A special focus, support package for those setups which are launched during Covid-19 or post lockdown would be awesome. Recovery of economy will be very quick.

Author – Anil Kumar Rai has 30 years’ work experience of the managing P & L for small as well as large organisations. He has expertise in setting up new businesses, plan & execute strategy for business transformation. He can be reached at Email: ANILRAIPSYCH85@GMAIL.COM.

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