Industrial Automation Magazine India



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How industry should cope with the disruption ?

During these trying times when the industry is heavily affected with economical issues came up the pandemic called Covid 19 and disrupted the industry completely. We at Industrial Automation Magazine have taken an initiative to bring the industry together and share their viewpoints so that others reading can take measures accordingly to have minimal damage.

About the industry expert

Disclaimer: The views expressed in interviews are personal, not necessarily of the organisations represented.

Sushil Bahal, bringing together 18 years of PR experience in Prana PR Pvt Ltd and over 34 years of advertising in Raka Advertising & Marketing Pvt Ltd, has formed a merged entity as Raka Reputation Management Services Pvt Ltd. Sushil has been associated with multiple streams relevant in creating corporate reputation – Public Relations, Media Relations, Shareholder Relations, Employee Relations, Public Affairs, Crisis Management, Corporate Governance, among other – for companies and brands from financial services, capital markets, banks, private equity, venture capital, IPOs, infrastructure, real estate, lifestyle- related offerings, SMEs, etc. Sushil has delivered best results when challenged to do something that is a newer concept.

Has the present Corona Virus strain caught the world unaware and unprepared ?

Yes. It can be said that Coronavirus or Covid-19 strain has caught the world unaware and
unprepared. Going by the state of readiness by different economies, the less developed ones
just do not seem to have enough infrastructure and the more developed ones were too
arrogant about it. Both of them are suffering. The lesson to learn from this episode is that
education and humility are necessary too.

What are the implications for business in the near, medium and long term ?

Well, near term implications are many, the deaths, the disruptions, the loss of mental balance,
lack of trust on fellow human beings, etc. The medium term implications are more likely to
be economical. This unseen enemy of mankind would leave us a lot poorer than we once
were. It is the long term impact that is very interesting, according to me. While it will leave
us a lot poorer, the lessons it will teach us will relate to the importance of family, material
achievements, scientific achievements, social achievements, etc. While it will set the
humanity back by few years, the contrasting achievement is that it is likely to fast-forward the
future of humanity. We all agree that the world would be different, say a decade from now.
While the productivity will increase, the human involvement will decrease. Thanks to the
technology, automation, etc., we may be working from home to earn our living. We are
forced to learn working from home to earn our living now, thanks to Coronavirus. It is likely
to set the trend that working from home to earn our living may not be restricted to a few
industries like IT, etc.

How can governments be better prepared to handle such pandemics in future ?

The lesson for governments is to take healthcare seriously, educate the population and be
humble of its achievements. However ‘developed’ the economy is, it needs to keep a war
chest ready and a disaster management plan ready at all times.

High accuracy thermal scanners are available but are not used possible due to high costs. Would they be more effective ?

No idea. Not used it yet.

Now that businesses are getting used to the Work From Home culture, will this signal a paradigm shift ?

Yes. There will be a paradigm shift. The reasons are mentioned above as answer to question

Some analysts have suggested this crisis will boost automation and make a case for Lights Out manufacturing. Your comments ?

I am not an expert in this, but yes Automation will determine the human life. Though some
innovations are likely in human’s preparedness in future, I believe that the trajectory of

growth in automation will be maintained and it will be enough. The change is expected to the
psyche to use automation.

What are the lessons from this crisis ?

Coronavirus has a fair amount of social, psychological and economical lessons. The first of
the social lessons is the family and community preservation. Second lesson is that the human
divisions according to caste, creed, colour, geography, and economics are artificial and they
should be done away with. Ultimately, we are all bound by the umbilical cord of humanity.
The third social lesson is the idea of compassion is likely to be accepted in policy making,
relationships, etc.
The psychological lessons would be to keep your sanity intact in times of adversity –
adversities like death, disease, curfew, salary cuts, job losses, etc. There is a lesson in Work
From Home: we are always taught that we are not islands and are a social living beings. Now,
the new thinking will emerge that humanity is an archipelago of islands who live together.
The economical lessons are for everyone: for an Individual, Family, Company, Society,
Country and World. With the world losing half of its market capitalisation, it will have a
cascading effect and will affect everyone. We need to be searching for happiness in non-
material things. We need to take protection seriously of ourselves and everyone around us.

#April 2020 Covid Special

To say the world is passing through trying times is to state the obvious. Also evident is the fact that for too long the world has been ignoring the warning signs of environmental degradation fuelled by human excesses and greed. But this is no time for ifs and buts, nor recrimination. Instead, the crisis should be used as an opportunity to make the required course correction to make the world a safer place for all living beings, and the ecological balance, restored. Industrial Automation invited a cross section of industry leaders to offer their views and possible course of action as a way forward from this situation, even as governments across the world and the people are trying to make sense from the still evolving scenario. To read the full cover story Please click here