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We will take a re-look at everything we are doing, especially our processes

The New Year may prove to be a game changer, with many companies opting for radical measures.

Print Edition: January 11, 2009

This was a unanimous resolution again but is placed at the end by design. Whatever Indian business houses may do or not do, they need to take another at their entire business models. There are doom predictors around who say this downturn may last 10 years. It is too bad a scenario to imagine right now—but this year can be a game changer for business models all around and across all sectors.

Taking stock, taking aim

  • This is the time to re-look at the company’s business model

  • Good time to take drastic measures

  • The game has already changed for many and can change for others

  • Time to invest in innovations, R&D and new plans
Constant innovation and change, as well as the ability to adapt to evolving market conditions, are more crucial than ever during these difficult times. Investments in new technologies will ensure competitiveness in the downturn and also help companies be ahead of the curve at the start of the upturn, whenever that happens. Organisations should also look at existing controls and risk management measures— whether they are well aligned with their future aspirations and whether they provide the impetus that the company needs to accomplish its goals.

The year 2008 has offered its own posers and shocks. The downturn in the US and Europe itself is a game changer. So were the terror attacks on India’s top hotels— which are essentially business establishments. Footfalls at retail malls dropped dramatically in Mumbai immediately after the terror attacks.

The sudden change in the way the rupee moved against the dollar was another shock this year. Companies that had invested in forex derivatives as a hedge against an appreciating rupee suddenly found a depreciating rupee adding to their balance sheet woes with the financial reporting norms insisting on mark-to-market losses being recorded in the books of accounts. Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Chief Executive Officer, Reliance Money says: “The lesson important here it is that one must never speculate on forex or other derivatives but use them only to hedge.”

Concludes Richard Rekhy, COO, KPMG India: “This is an opportunity where employees and stakeholders are already sensitised to the need for change and the criticality of the situation. Do not attempt to mask the issues, but show the roadmap to overcome challenges. Take proactive steps in this direction" Now do we feel like a worried teenager taking a bad report card to a parent? The difference here is the parent already knows that the bar has been raised at school and is ready to discuss new books or a change of tutors.

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