India needs to fast prepare for multiple scenarios: Report

New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) As COVID-19 cases in India swell and its impact and recovery scenarios change by the day, it is high time for the Indian government and authorities concerned to prepare for multiple scenarios — act now, prepare for near term and build for medium term, a new BCG report has said.
According to the report titled “COVID-19: India Perspective,” three potential scenarios could emerge – Rapid recovery (V) or Slow comeback (U) or Protracted challenge (L) driven by evolving properties of the virus, containment and mitigation, treatment/vaccine development lead-time and policy and fiscal response.
The number of coronavirus-affected people in India reached 360 on Sunday with reports of seven deaths.
“COVID-19 scenario is unprecedented — high contagious rate (vs. earlier flus), large scale lockdowns and fear and panic due to digital connectivity,” the report said.
“Set up a rapid response office, safeguard people and customers, stress test the financials, manage revenue and demand, reconfigure supply chain, renew business planning and restructure, reposition and reimagine the business,” it added.
“It is time to establish a liquidity office to forecast cash flows and manage/mitigate risks, ensure rigorous, prudent cash management and governance and reduce non-critical uses of cash, assess the viability of current investment roadmaps and dividend policy and share repurchase plan, stress test cash-flow from financing/investing based on market scenarios and develop concrete action plans based on 3-5 medium term macro-economic scenarios,” the findings showed.
According to the report, it is necessary for the government to engage with shareholders and clearly communicate action plans to key stakeholders, revise target-setting and objectives (sales targets, production plans and related KPIs), re-define budgets and targets as frequently as possible and necessarily by geography/market/segment.
“Establish demand-side rapid response team to monitor marketing, sales and pricing implications, understand changing customer needs, assess 1st order impact, downside risks on revenues, customer pipeline, accounts receivables and optimize pricing and product offering to meet immediate consumer needs,” the report highlighted.
The companies need to “reach out to customers/distributors to understand their needs (e.g. provide credit line), craft new product and service story and create new selling points, cautiously select marketing channels during epidemic and look for new channels and new disruptive formats that work under epidemic,” said the report.
New cases are being reported from several states now.
Delhi has reported 27 positive cases, Telangana 21 cases, Rajasthan 24 while Haryana, 17 cases. The maximum are in Maharashtra, at 74, while Kerala saw a spurt on Sunday to reach 64.

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