Eminent industry leaders discuss India’s roadmap for a post-Covid world.


New Delhi: ITV Network, NewsX & The Sunday Guardian organised the “India Next Conclave: The Post Unlocking Era” on Friday in which eminent industry leaders discussed India’s roadmap for a post Covid-19 world. Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat joined the conclave and discussed several issues. During the conclave, Shekhawat said that the coronavirus pandemic had paralyzed the whole world.

“India started the world’s biggest free meal drive and turned the pandemic into an opportunity,” the Union Minister said. The Jal Shakti Minister also talked about the ongoing farmers’ protest during the session. “The government is ready to talk to the farmers and these three reforms should not be looked at in isolation,” he said.

During the “Real Estate: Road Ahead in 2021” session, the panellists discussed how boundaries in the real estate sector have disappeared. Gaurav Chopra, Managing Director, FIVD said: “Geographical location will not matter anymore and mobile phones will change the way we look at things.” Dikshu Kukreja, Architect, Infra & Town Planner, said: “Real estate is not a luxury, but a necessity for the people of India.”

During the session on “MSMEs: Key to India’s Growth?” the experts discussed that the MSMEs will have to come out of their comfort zone. R.K. Srivastava, Exec. Dir., MCDPD, Ministry of Textiles, said: “The textile sector is one of the largest employment providers in the country. In the real definition, they are the MSMEs.”

Dr Ranjeet Mehta, Deputy Sec. Gen., PHD Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Indian economy cannot achieve the target of 5 trillion dollars until we support the MSMEs.”

The guests also discussed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the education system of the country and how it changed the lives of students and teachers.

Jyoti Gupta, Director & Principal, DPS, said: “I must compliment the teachers of the entire world that within no time they were able to adapt and adopt to the new technology.” Sandeep Singhal, M.D, Pace IIT/ Medical, during the session said that education online now is not just limited to coaching institutes. It has to go around to the remotest child at the most affordable price.”

The hospitality sector was also one of the worst affected sectors due to the coronavirus pandemic. During the session on “Reviving Hospitality Inc”, the experts discussed how staying afloat was the biggest challenge last year.

Vineet Wadhwa, Founder & CEO, FIO Restaurants, said: “ We conserved our resources, downsized, and most of all we postponed a lot of our business plans.”

Gitanjali Shah Mandawa, Hotelier & Revivalist, said: “85% of our customers were international tourists. We had to rethink and, in a way, it was a learning curve. we tried to remodel ourselves.”

Another sector that was massively hit by the pandemic was tourism. During the session “Tourism Post Covid”, experts said that they were looking forward to the government giving more visas and further opening flights now.

Naveen Kundu, MD, Ebixcash Travel, said: “People will continue to travel in India because they have now started to rediscover their own country. The story of India is of prime importance to us.”

During the session “Rethinking Events Post Covid session”, Nitin Arora, MD, Katalyst Ent, said: “Till 2019, the entertainment quotient used to be huge. But unfortunately, post Covid, things have changed and people are not spending that kind of money.”

Samit Garg, Co-Founder, E Factor Entertainment & Executive Vice President, EEMA, said: “As far as we are concerned, the last 10 months was creatively very rejuvenating.” The fashion Industry also saw its share of ups and downs due to the pandemic.

During the session “Healthcare: The New Paradigm”, the panellists talked at length about how the non-Covid cases were affected as the whole attention was on containing the spread of coronavirus. Dr Rahil Chaudhary, MD, Eye 7 Group of Hospitals during the session said: “Being an eye doctor, we were generally not into emergency procedures.”

Dr Vimal Kumar Nakra, Assistant Director, Internal Medicine, Max Hospital, Patparganj, said: “Patients are still afraid of going to the hospitals and elective surgeries are still less.”