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.

Niju Vijayan is the Executive Director with Avanteum Advisors LLP. He has 20+ years of experience advising clients formulate strategies and actions in rapidly disrupting markets and industries. He has expertise in the areas of manufacturing and electronics. During his long career, he has advised, global corporations, home grown business houses, SMEs and government on a variety of business issues.

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

Absolutely yes. The world underestimated the potential of the virus to spread so soon and so fast from China. The world remained in its comfort zone and didn't consider it important to contain.

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

It is estimated that the global economy will shrink by almost 1% over the near term. This will be a big blow to global growth and emerging countries will bear the brunt more than affluent nations. This will also have impact on sustainable goals set for countries.
In the near term, smaller businesses will be adversely impacted while medium to larger organizations will find it difficult to meet their strategic goals. Areas where long term investments in technology are required will be heavily impacted as companies will prioritize survival and growth over innovation.

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

Since there has been no similar crises that called for global action, there is no empirical evidence on solutions. This crises will make governments wiser on pandemic control. It has to be noted that world will see new virus and new strains in future and investment into vaccine development should receive attention. Technologies like AI will be a great asset to achieve faster results.

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

Yes. They have been effective in screening of potential cases. At the same time. its utility value is limited to screening.

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

This trend was already visible and was becoming strong as startup population grew and also due to higher real estate (overhead costs). This crises has shown that work from home is a viable model in many industries and functions. Hence this will strengthen further.

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

I dont agree to this. Only few processes can follow a lights out manufacturing and it cant be linked to the Covid crises.

What are the lessons from this crisis ?

Numerous. In a globalized world where movement of people and goods are rampant. To expect any issue to remain localized is foolhardy. Governments will have to exert its authority without worrying about political implications.
Pharma industry should be brought under the government's control in times of crises so the challenge can be met in a mission critical mode.
Distributed manufacturing will ensure that the world can cope with disruptions in a better way
Better education on health impact.

#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