There is a new order for businesses to operate in India at the time of the novel coronavirus pandemic. With an imperfect 21-day nationwide lockdown in place since 24 March, companies big and small have been forced forced The Ken The Covid-19 barricade on startup runways Read more to regroup and come up with new strategies.
One of the most important factors that led to the making of multi-billion-dollar enterprises was their strong product-market fit product-market fit Product-market fit It is the degree to which a product satisfies market demand. . Things like capital, talent, and cash burn then helped these companies become category-defining leaders.
In the times of a pandemic, however, the government has a say in which company finds product-market fit. When the lockdown was announced, the Indian government listed out “essential services” and said only these businesses could remain operational.
If you are deemed an essential service, which includes mom-and-pop stores, milk booths, and butchers, among others, you are spared. Companies such as online grocers Bigbasket and Grofers, online meat sellers like Licious, food delivery platforms Swiggy and Zomato, all found themselves in that cosy ring.
The companies that were not deemed essential services were kept away in the outermost circle of this new three-layered order. This included some veritable billion-dollar-valued businesses that have now been brought to their knees. Fashion and beauty retailers Myntra and Nykaa, online furniture marketplaces Pepperfry and Urban Ladder, and home services startup Urban Company have not been allowed to operate.
E-commerce giants Flipkart and Amazon, too, briefly found themselves in the outermost circle. They quickly activated their essential service engines by delivering groceries, allowing them to resume operations. But these companies are at the mercy of the vagaries of authorities across India. Different states have varying degrees of tolerance. For instance, a Swiggy executive said that while Bengaluru is open, doing business in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, and most of North India has been difficult.
This brings us to the innermost ring of the new order, which consists of companies that have become the official lockdown product or service picked by authorities. MyGate, a security management app for apartment complexes, has tied up with the Karnataka State Police to become the official pass-issuing platform for all companies that operate as an essential service.
There aren’t many companies in this exclusive club, but that hasn’t stopped the likes of Huawei and Ola from trying to jump from their quarantined outposts into the most powerful arena for doing business in the times of Covid.
The magic ring
Vijay Arisetty, co-founder and CEO of MyGate, is looking at his company’s role in the official response to the lockdown from a patriotic lens.