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It’s now safe to say that COVID-19 is a black swan event that took the world by shock. While experts had long warned of the dangers of overexploiting natural resources, the sheer extent to which this virus disrupted global supply chains is unprecedented in modern memory. Wuhan plays a vital role in global manufacturing, especially in opto-electronic technology, biology engineering, pharmaceutical, automotive, and steel manufacturing. The city is home to approximately 200 Fortune Global 500 firms with a recent study suggesting that approximately a fifth of and nearly all Fortune 1000 companies have Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers in Wuhan respectively. Even companies with no direct presence felt the brunt of the lockdown as Wuhan boasts the largest inland port in China, and is less than 1200 km from other hubs such as Beijing and Shanghai.
Although it is too early to completely assess the economic and psychological impact of COVID-19 as of June 2020, companies can certainly take some measures to minimize the long-term implications. It is absolutely essential that organizations get back (or at least attempt to return) to a ‘business as usual’ approach in a post-COVID world. A few proposed steps are –
In conclusion, organizations are advised to view the current global scenario as an opportunity and not a crisis to push the necessary changes to secure their long-term prosperity. Companies that fail to do so would only have themselves to blame if they fall behind their nimbler rivals more attuned to the direction in which the COVID-19 winds are blowing.
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