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COVID-19 shall pass too, but until then...

Around a month back, while rushing towards the boarding gate at Warsaw Chopin airport I was thinking about how fast and robotic our lives have become. Little did I know that I will be thinking about the exact opposite, sitting in my home after lock down of more than a month.

The biggest question to answer is, how can one virus be so powerful to get the entire world enter a lock down? 

The world is a place that never stops for anybody, for anything. Earlier, the places that were super busy from sunrise to sunset, restaurants, supermarkets, retail stores, etc, are now lonely with streets that look like a scene from the "Dooms Day" movie.

I never thought that I will be living and experiencing a life I used to see in fiction movies like "93 days" or "Contagion".

While it's no joke to see people dying like this, economies being destroyed, people stuck in their homes for days & months instead of experiencing flying cars and light speed trains we are back to basics where we are teaching each other how to wash our hands. Isn't it ironic?

Sometimes when I get pessimistic, I think the world is going to end but when I see people like doctors treating tirelessly day and night living up to their oath, policemen standing on the roads requesting people to stay at homes or delivery folks delivering essentials at homes without worrying for their lives, one thing that I feel is, "No virus can take that fighting spirit of Human race which is an inbuilt quality given by the Creator". We human race can evolve and fight back to make sure we thrive on this earth the way we have been from the past thousands of years.

COVID-19 in the last 3 months has forced people to think and change the way they used to do business.

My work helps me to meet and talk to business leaders which allows me to peep in their businesses and to see how they are trying to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of the world.

I am witnessing big business houses coming up with business continuity plans on how to keep business going and how to fight back and say to this so-called "Novel Corona Virus" we are not afraid of you.

Recently, while talking to one of the biggest retail/grocery company's head of supply chain, I figured out that how they are making sure that their stores are well stocked with daily essentials so that customers should not get affected and their daily lives must be as smooth as possible. Another leading retailer is continuously talking to the authorities making sure they allow their delivery personnel to deliver milk, vegetables, and other essentials to old people and with special abilities.

One of the most important things I have realized is that all of them are looking at technologies and ways to enable these noble & brave delivery folks to keep up the good work they are doing for us in these crucial times.

Yes, you read it right. Along with scientist, drugs manufacturers who are tirelessly working to find a vaccine for COVID-19, there are a bunch of folks who are also helping the society by helping major retailer, grocery, food companies to enable them with a technology to fight the surge in demand of delivery folks and the huge rise in demands for home deliveries.

Globally, retail is now moving towards the "Dark Store" format and the shift is happening where these stores are closed for customers but will operate for delivery and pick up for customers. Reports say, less than 5% of people in the US buy groceries online but the shift is happening and as per analyst this number will go up to 20% in the coming months. Giants like Walmart have trained more than 25,000 workers to fulfill customers' online grocery orders.

Not only giants but every big regional retailer is now looking at ideas and technology on how they can deliver at customers doorsteps and do contact less deliveries and questions they are trying to answer are simple, how can we deliver fast, with less number of people, how can customers have the visibility of their order & how can we reduce cash on delivery or card on delivery to avoid touch. "Remember to wash your hands often and do not touch anything in public". :)

With these increasing online order demands and shift in buying needs of the consumers, we need a technology which can help and support this and these technologies are the only way retailers can find the answers to the questions I mentioned above.

To help fight this situation and to do our bit, FarEye launches it's offering called as FarEye SERVE.

  1. To organizations making home deliveries of daily essential items- like groceries, food, medicines until June 30, 2020, and will continue supporting the cause till the situation is better.

  2. For all deliveries to hospital sites and for the supply of food and medicines for non-government organizations that are responding to the Corona virus crisis until 30 September 2020.

  3. Organizations can use this technology remotely and instantly by registering online.

This zero-fee technology platform could be used to 

  1. Increase coverage and deliveries through intelligent routing

  2. Provide contact-less deliveries through the wallet-enabled app with no card and cash transactions

  3. The on-board temporary staff immediately

  4. Provide a smartphone app for drivers to ensure real-time communication with customers

  5. Remote instant go-live to commence operations.

As I said, we Human race knows how to evolve and this "COVID-19" shall pass too.

Sumit Saxena

Vice President- Strategy & Growth, FarEye