How to effectively plan careers in a post-Corona scenario in India


The Corona scare is real. There are predictions that except for India and China, the world economy will go for a toss and that Europe in particular, would be severely affected. Even the USA has not been spared. However over a 36 month period, the Indian economy is likely to show a revival of sorts. This article discusses some pragmatic strategies for the educated unemployed in the emerging Indian context.

Introduction

The industries that are likely to zoom in India, in a post-Corona scenario, are tourism, higher education, IT, low-cost housing, ready-made textiles, grooming, hotels and restaurants, and the automobile sector, with a focus on electric vehicles. Of course, FMCG companies will stage a big comeback.

Given the aforesaid scenario, the most point that should be noted is that when the virus scare is totally gone, the new jobs will come from these sectors and a big revolution will happen in every sector at the lower end of the spectrum. The chances for small entrepreneurship will zoom during this period. The educated folks have to be alert to capitalize on each of the aforesaid developments and grab the opportunities that will arise in these sectors. The best scenarios will be that there will positively be growth, but the high-end growth will be subdued. For instance, people will still visit the shopping malls to hang around, but not buy the costly readymade textile goods there. They will happily go to the other wholesale retailers who will offer them good discounts. This pattern will be seen everywhere.

Though much would also depend on one's financial condition, it turns out that the best way to plan any career, would revolve around a)Grabbing any opportunity b) Be focused only in specific sectors c) Pick up additional skills and d) Always focus on building skills and competencies.

Grabbing any opportunity

Given the present uncertain environment, when the virus scare is totally gone, the star hotels will start attracting the foreign tourists. Within one year, everything is predicted to be back to normal. Economists have predicted that both China and India will be largely unaffected. The reasons are not difficult to predict or understand.

Since labor costs will still be less, there will be a good emphasis on contractual jobs. There will also be the "fixed-term employment" jobs, and a few among these trainees may also get into regular employment. With the vast mass of educated and trained manpower, India might as well become a big hub for sub-contract manufacturing and the likes of M&M, TAFE, the Rane Group, TVS group and the like, that already have the global competencies will be back in action. Hence, the jobs will again begin to emerge for those who are highly qualified and ready to take on any challenge.

Imagine you are a fresh MBA, with a specialization in Marketing and Finance. Since India still has a huge market, the MNC companies will come back to India and the Indian Government will also encourage them to operate here. Which will only mean that more foreign tourists will also come calling. If you are from a branded BSchool, grab the opportunity to work in Marketing or Finance with a Five-star hotel. There are enough chances that this recession-proof industry will start booming again. UK and Germany and even Canada will target India as a catchment area for taking in a large number of students to study in their countries. The International Education consultants will be back in action. The Conference and Seminar industry will pick up.

Similarly, even if you are a fresh graduate, just join a company like Reliance fresh in operations. With two years of experience, you can join a rival organization in the same sphere, possibly the likes of Future Retail, with a higher salary and good job description. If you get to work in Marketing, grab that opportunity. The organized retail industry will keep on expanding in the smaller towns and cities. For example, the famous Kannan Department Store Chain, which has a number of outlets in Coimbatore, Erode, and Salem districts of Tamil Nadu, has been taken over by Reliance Fresh. This will mean that you can even get a middle-management position in a town like Erode if you have the relevant experience.

Be focused only in specific sectors

Imagine you are Deputy Manager with specific responsibilities in mechanical maintenance in an established heavy chemicals industry and are posted in an area where you are given a rent-free accommodation in their township. Stay put. Never resign and jump to a project company, even if they offer you double your present salary. Or join a company dealing in say, wind energy. These are industries where the future is uncertain. No project in whatever sector is worth it, given the uncertain environment.

Picking up additional skills

There are two types of skills. The first skill is related to your qualifications and the core domain of your job. For example, if you are a marketing executive, with say, Havells group, and are just an ordinary graduate, it does pay to obtain a Master's Degree in Marketing, and this can be done even with the weekend courses. This will enable you to be ambitious and relevant in the industry when the new competitors come in.

This will enable you to gather additional insights into the nuances of marketing the company's products in newer areas where some competitor is strong. The second skill relates to any additional skill. For example, if you have a diploma in Digital Marketing, you can start earning extra money by milking any opportunity that comes your way, during your spare time. Please do note that your early years are too important for you to make a vital difference. This is not the time to indulge in huge spending. This is the time to save the maximum money prior to your marriage and even after marriage. You need to become bulletproof in the years ahead and your career should enable you to do this. Never borrow money and liquidate your loans as fast as possible. Save a corpus equivalent to 18 months EMI, if you have a housing loan already being serviced.

When you take such an action, rest assured, you can concentrate more on your career and go ahead in life. Never ever be bogged down. Corporate India will be open only to those with the highest level of skills and competencies. It pays to invest in any course that can fetch you value-adding responsibilities and of course, more money when you are recognized for your contribution.

Always focus on building skills and competencies

Those in HR spend the four lakh rupees to acquire the vital certification in Executive Coaching. Given the uncertainties in the global environment, the scope for this specialization will be global. The experienced HR professionals from Mumbai and New Delhi, in particular, start milking their rich experience with the nuances of this competency and are making enough money. Reportedly, the opportunities are also opening up in the Gulf. The CEOs will positively re-orient their strategies to grab opportunities in the fast-growing markets of Brazil, Russia, and India. Chinese investment will suffer a blow for twelve months as global companies will view the Chinese with suspicion.

However, China will make amends by making new friends. It will offer help to many nations where its military might and its leadership in technologies related to various fields, including the building of railway networks have good scope. The whole of Africa will be a big focus area. Global career opportunities in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa are bound to open up. Grab one such opportunity, if it will help you to come back to India in a senior position.

Conclusion

The nuances of career-planning in a very uncertain environment should be based on intelligent moves in sectors or industries where the "minimum guarantee" of growth is assured. Some ideas relevant to career planning over the next 36 months have been discussed above.


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Comments

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao07 Apr 2020 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 6

The author has presented a very optimistic picture of the country post the coronavirus scenario. It would be really good if all that happens in the way he predicted. Then there will be many chances for young entrepreneurs and for the educated lot. For the last 20 days, the whole country is inside the house and there is no productivity. It may continue for some more time. But if you see the statics, India is definitely in a better position than many countries. The timely actions taken by the governments gave good results.

The losses being more in other countries, they all will look at us and definitely will utilize our services in their businesses so that their expenditure will be very less. That way the service industry in India will flourish and we can think of starting small BPOs and we can use the young people and do good business. Like this, we will get many good opportunities in all the areas. Even companies from other countries will come here and start their operations here which will give good employment potential.

As a result, all the industries like the hotel industry, tourism industry, and similar works will take off in a period of one year and we will see good development in these areas. All these put together may give the country a better chance.

Author: Sharmistha Panda08 Apr 2020 Member Level: Gold   Points : 4

Though it may be very difficult to predict the situation post the coronavirus scenario, we should still be optimistic about it. This time should be utilized for gaining more knowledge in the field we are in. The tourism industry will certainly see a boom. But I also see a reduction in brain drain with the bad economy that the USA would be facing post the scenario. So, I guess the IT industry will also see a good time.
The author has given the best ways to plan the career, be it in the service industry or be it doing business.

Author: Sharada09 Apr 2020 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

It is really good to see positive growth in the economy but will there be any opportunities for ladies above forty with basic graduation to make a living in remote areas? The industries try to avoid ladies at this age, is there any way out for such ladies?

Author: ABSivakumar09 Apr 2020 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

Madam, the answer is that they should try to do service sector entrepreneurship. In two specific cases that I know of, in two semi-urban areas, after some initial training from a certified agency in Chennai, the women took a bank loan and started a business in stitching ready-made blouses. To my surprise, even village women have asked for the most fashionable blouses. The two women operate from a small town in Ranipet district of Tamil Nadu. My Andhrite friends tell me that there are so many people who operate from Nellore, Chittoor and so on and the bulk of the customers are from villages in a twenty-kilometre radius. Please do note that this business is recession-proof. Jute bags manufacturing is another business with even good export potential.

These are two businesses I can think of. There are others who manufacture papads and related stuff and sell door to door. Post-COVID, these businesses will receive a boost in rural areas for sure.

Author: ABSivakumar09 Apr 2020 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 5

Madam, one aspect that I forgot to mention. In any rural business, whomsoever is investing in it, the thumb rule should be to start with an investment of just around Rs.10,000 and scale-up. Even small eateries are being set up from the houses itself. This has happened prior to COVID 19. There is a temporary slump reportedly because people are afraid to come out of their houses. Yet, the bachelors and those who have migrated from North India, reportedly still go after only such homes where they find at least some food. Very innovative solutions are being tried out, am told, in many places. Food is prepared red hot and taken to the individual houses, where the bachelors or old people live. It is purchased immediately. I do not know how far this is true, but this has been reported to me by someone based in Madurai. Since there are so many restrictions placed on hotels, only parcels are allowed to be delivered by following laid down guidelines strictly. Well, people always need food and entrepreneurs need money. This might be a set pattern if the present trends continue.

Author: Umesh13 Apr 2020 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 10

The author has presented a positive and optimistic write-up and it is very true that things might look up in the post-corona scenario.

There are some aspects that are to be understood very clearly in this matter before aspiring for a big career boost in the post-corona scenario. Corona is going to make a big impact on our economy and other signs of progress done in the last few decades. The whole Govt machinery is now diverted to the life-saving mechanisms and treatment in hospitals. The revenue would be spent on these things without any control as it is the primary concern at the present juncture. Once the virus threat is over and normalcy returns it would be the first task of the Govt to arrange jobs for the people who have either lost their jobs or are jobless as such by sending them to their parent factories or industries and in that context it is very clear and desirable that those industries are to be revived and revitalised so that they would be in a position to accept that type of large scale employee turnaround. That is, of course, going to be a herculean exercise. The point I want to bring in here is that there are so many reconstructive works in the industry in the post-corona situation that it would not be an easy task for the qualified people to get a career line so easily as the first preference would be to employ the earlier workforce which is incidentally more experienced in a particular type of job.

Further, it is also true that during the reconstruction times there would be need of qualified hands at different levels and one can expect to get some opportunity in that respect but seeing the more number of qualified people as compared to such job vacancies it is going to be a difficult proposition to get absorbed in the industry so easily and this aspect is also to be taken care of by the applicants.



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