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C M Grover, MD, IBSFINtech


Outlook for the Corporates of the After-COVID-19 Era

Clear sky, empty streets, people locked down in their houses, economy sliding down – does it sound like a doomsday & an intoxicating movie with extraordinary twist and turns?  Unfortunately, this is what the world is going through right now. We are experiencing a pandemic that is redefining the world, Before-COVID-19, and After-COVID-19; more popularly being known as the BC & AC Era of the 20th Century!

This pandemic is severely impacting communities, ecosystems, economy, markets, supply chain of all essential and non-essential commodities across the world.  While the corporates are focusing on protecting their employees, understanding the risk in their businesses, and taking major steps in managing the disruptions that have been caused due to COVID-19, the business continuity and liquidity crunch remain at the forefront of worries for the leadership.

With enhanced focus on Liquidity, Corporates are struggling to keep the business alive amidst the country-wide lockdown. Top it all, we have the plummeting markets with such high volatility that could give the leadership a panic attack.

There is a new normal at the outset, and many organizations have already started accommodating to this new normal and are utilizing this downtime to prepare themselves for the After-COVID-19 Era.

It is not just about working from home, the After-COVID-19 Era is going to transform how we do business, borders will dissolve as businesses become adaptive to digital transformation and seamlessly connected across the globe. Technology will lead the way and pave the path for success for those who adopt technology at a faster pace. When looking at the current scenario, when every organization has opted for work from home, technology has become an imperative need for business continuity.

The Learnings from this Crisis

The most critical aspect for businesses today is that this is not the time to panic. As we get accustomed to this new normal, things will fall in place and business will get back to usual. Though it will take time to recuperate from the adverse effects so far on the economy, but it will rebound with a stronger belief in the fundamentals driving the business value.

Moreover, this is the time to empathize and support the ecosystem. It is critical to stay connected with your clients, employees, partners, and vendors. This is the time to fortify trust and security amongst fellow human beings which will percolate automatically to the businesses and the global economy.

The biggest learning to imbibe from these challenging times, especially for the leadership, is to adapt to technology and drive the success of the business through digitization and automation. These two words, if understood and implemented suitably in the corporates today, will transform the way businesses are run in the “After COVID-19 Era”.

Are you still running the critical operations manually?

Especially focusing on the financial aspect of the corporates, the CFOs are struggling today with the cashflow crunch and getting clear visibility on the liquidity position of the organization for the months to come. Many CxO’s are still dependent on archaic solutions for critical functions.  In such times, the manual dependency of critical functions such as Cash & Liquidity, Treasury, Risk, and Trade Finance management further impacts the business continuity. How do we expect a CFO to take critical decisions with stale information and no data integrity? Therefore, the value of digitization and automation amplifies, playing a critical role in ensuring business continuity.

Your Business Continuity Plan has to be built on technology initiatives at the heart to sustain and succeed through the After-COVID-19 Era.

COVID-19 – An Opportunity in disguise?

With every crisis, comes an opportunity. With Covid-19, the opportunity has been presented to press the RESET button and re-align the resources towards adoption of technology to drive digitization and automation of each and every function of the corporate. Treasury, Risk & Trade Finance Management is a critical function, requires much more dedicated focus from the CxOs to adapt the digitalization of operations.

While on the other hand, corporates who decided to stay ahead of the curve and deployed a comprehensive Risk Management Solution without waiting for a life-altering pandemic, had better sleep at night even in these tumultuous times.

You may ask, what does an ideal Risk management solution offer? An ideal solution would be that covers the entire landscape of risks for the Corporate, Compliance, Financial as well as the Operational; and enables single-point of truth for critical decision making. CxO’s and treasury heads when evaluating for a comprehensive Risk Management solution should start looking for a holistic solution that enables digitization & automation of the Cash & Liquidity, Risk, Treasury & Trade Finance function of the corporate.

Turn this crisis into opportunity and drive the digital transformation of your organization. Prepare yourself for the After-COVID-19 Era, start brainstorming on the Business Continuity Plan that is driven by the power of technology.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article on Coronavirus (COVID19) are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of  IBS Intelligence. IBSFINtech is an end-to-end risk mitigation solution provider for BFSI and several other sectors)

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