Let’s talk about what’s next? We have talked much about the crisis and its problem. Every crisis is new, however we adapt with time.
A live interaction was held to talk about how to revive after the crisis consisting of the inspiring personality of the nation. Mr. Anil Keshary Shah, CEO of Nabil Bank; Mr. Pawan Golyan, Chairman, Golyan Group; Ms. Sambridhi Gyawali, Executive Director, Nepal Republic Media, Mr. Saurabh Jyoti, Director, Jyoti Group and Ms. Ambica Shrestha, Chairman of Dwarika’s Hotel. The session was moderated by the Executive Director of Glocal Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Asish Thakur. The live interaction – “We Will Revive” was held to understand the present situation and talk about how to go in a right direction, after this crisis ceases.
Upon asking about the causalities, that the dignitaries has experienced. There were common answers from all. Ms. Ambica Shrestha said she recalled flu, World War and Earthquake to be some major disasters. Likewise, Mr. Shah shared Malaria, HIV AIDS, SARS, Bird Flu were some of the biggest hit threats to Nepal, including Earthquake. Likewise, Mr. Golyan and Ms. Gyawali also recalled Earthquake and The Indian Border blockade that caused great effect in the country. And Mr. Jyoti had a different story to share. He said Nepal experienced and went through Civil War, political chaos to become a federal democratic country. We faced Earthquake, and we came out of that as well. Then, lockdown of border also shattered us and we overcome that too. However, the outbreak of this Corona Virus is a major threat throughout the world. However he also explained that the control to prevent this viral infection is on our hands.
Every crisis brings some learnings that will eventually change the scenarios and the way we act. Ms. Gyawali said that we need to learn from our past experiences, be strong and adapt measures to overcome any problem that prevails. She also added that COVID-19 and Corona is that problem that is around the world and there is a great need to deal with this problem seriously and safety measures are always important.
Mr. Golyan discussed about how we can utilize previous learning to bring change in the present context. He said that it’s in our hand to control, the major role can be helping the government. He argued that his responsibilities relies on providing public with essential goods, medicines supply and that is been ongoing. He said that he has been communicating with the government and has been finding the ways to tackle these crisis problem in the country, giving suggestions to government. He added that we have to collaborate together to fight back in order to control and also ensure Food security in Nepal.
As per the industrial point of view, it is much necessary to revive to protect the economy of the country. Mr. Jyoti suggested three things that we need to be dependent on. The first one is that we need to be self-reliant. We need to think and manage issues like Food security, Resources and Financial Funds. Likewise, another important thing we need to be dependent on is Energy, we need to have surplus of energy. And the third but the most important thing is the system of emergency plan. There should be a proper plan about how to keep the economy running, how to ensure industries to keep running without the destruction of the supply chain, so that we can recover quickly even after such an emergency. He explained that Nepal can face and fight any pandemics. However, Emergency Act and Preparedness Plans should be brought in Constitution, which is lacking in our country.
Tourism sector has been severely affected after this pandemic outbreak. Upon asking, Ms. Shrestha said it is really difficult for the tourism sector to develop smoothly, even after the crisis ends. She added tourism cannot earn now. Many companies are closed already. Nepal has everything, we can slowly revive but it takes time for Tourism, to revive and to stand strong again. She also added that there are many tourists who are in Nepal, due to lockdown they have not been able to return back. Therefore, a proper plans must be made to send them back to their own country. The government is working, NTB is working, and different embassies are working for it already. After certain time, we can plan and promote internal tourism to grasp the loss slowly and gradually. Nepal is beautiful and Domestic Tourism can be a great help. This will create a good relief, if domestic tourism is promoted.
As per business perspective, Mr. Shah shared his ideas and learning. Mr. Shah agreed that there are many hardships we Nepalese face, but we forget easily. He said –“If we talk about bank, we do have business continuity plan, Disaster Preparedness plan. Planning is the phase when we do when there is no problem itself, so that we can be ready to face the causalities anytime.”
He added- “Corona Virus may affect a less percentage, out of which some may be hospitalized in Nepal. But the level of stress, fear and anxiety will affect the people of Nepal. Talking about me, In my entire 30 years of experience working, I never got these much of time to interact with people or to live my free days. But now, you can spend your time with your family. Besides this add Fuel to your skills to learn. Let’s utilize this time of isolation to learn much and improve ourselves to be in the market.”
Upon asking the role of media and what learning can we get from this chaos, Ms. Gyawali shared some perspectives. The thing that makes her happy and satisfied is the sense of responsibility of her team members. She said – “The essence of the sense of responsibility that comes within the team members is itself a motivating part to work as a team. We have also adopted work from Home policy. We have regular meetings, news updates, we have internet and technology. We use Zoom for meetings. These kinds of pandemics also create opportunities for us to grow better and bigger in most of the situations. It teach us how to be efficient. That comes from our responsibility, accountability. We look over opportunities beyond problems.”
Ms. Gyawali said – “Social Media is influencing people these days. Spreading the virus of fake news need to stop. We reach out therefore to spread the righteous information. At this point, along with team what we discuss is how to provide the right information and circulate it to the citizen of the country. We have that sense of responsibilities, and the moment we feel it, managing crisis, and managing pandemics becomes a lot easier. It’s because our goal becomes one. And we are trying to get that creativity and innovation. That’s the thing I have learnt in past 10 days.”
Mr. Golyan also shared that his team members has been working actively to supply fruits and vegetables to the citizen. They have been interacting with the farmers and consumers itself, so that they can mitigate crisis to some extent.
As a chairman of Federation of Nepal Exporter’s Association, he said his team are planning to work to sustain industries. We need to take ¾ years plan not to import anything, we need to grow everything required inside the house itself. When agricultural products is grown, its processing industry should also flourish. Some products are imported that can be processed here as well. These small cottage industries needs to be encouraged to produce and manufacture goods of our needs. And all the unemployed people can get employment opportunities upon establishment of these industries. Therefore, we are planning to open such industries. After coming out of this crisis, Government should also provide loans without deposit for the deployed sectors or return migrants, especially for investment on Agricultural sector. Along with this, Banks should also provide financial literacy and training programs to the people. In the next 3/5 years, we need to be self- reliant. That should be the greatest learning.
Mr. Shah explained Skilled Human Resources are the key factor for the development of any places. Human Resources is both the strength and weakness for Nepal. When Nepalese return to their native land after this Corona effect ends, they will bring the skills with themselves. If we can make a master plan collaborating with the government, private sectors, FNCCI, bankers etc. about how we can utilize these manpower in our own country. These skilled people can be given opportunities in their own country relevant to their experience working abroad and this will create a very positive impact. But the most important thing is, we need to create the environment. So, I believe COVID-19 can be the catalyst for change. But if we fail to create this sort of environment, things will be different. It will create impact bigger than Corona virus itself.
The moderator asked all the panelist to state what would be their step right after the end of this chaos. Ms. Gyawali said that her team continue adopting the pre-cautionary measures, even after the lock down period gets over. She also explained that her team is going to introduce new digital platforms for information sharing immediately after the lockdown stops. The third and the most important thing is trying their best and continuing their work more vividly and address sensitive issues more tactfully.
Mr. Jyoti said technology has been a blessing. With technology, different skills, new system, trends can be developed. “We need to be active and learn skills at the same time so that we can jump into action. We can also conduct sales training for our employees during these times. We have to spend money on Infrastructural development, so that it can connect all factors together. Out of all these infrastructure, I think Medical infrastructure is the most important, as these kinds of pandemic outbreak cannot be predicted. Not just in Kathmandu Valley, but we need to develop Medical equipment, hospital, health centers, health professionals etc. it in all parts of the country.”- Said Mr. Jyoti
Ms. Shrestha believes that Connectivity is necessary all over the world. COVID has taught us staying home and working and she have confidence in learning new technologies.
Mr. Shah shared that he is really thankful to all the people working on banking sector, who have been giving their time and effort for the work in spite of the crisis situation. He also agreed to the fact that a master plan is needed to be executed in the context of our country.
He ended with these beautiful lines – “Let’s think about how to make our country prosperous giving economic sovereignty. COVID taught many lessons. Let’s stay at home as we are brave. After it opens up, be cautious and lead slowly. Refrain your thinking and utilize your learnings. Let’s support each other.”