May 08, 2020


In these testing times, the impact of COVID-19 has compelled us to change, to adjust, and to make this way of life normal. This is our new normal. We can only focus on our immediate circumstances and take things as they come.

Beyond any strategy is the strategy of our minds. Are we prepared to perceive things differently? Are we excited to shift from a zone of negativity, of constant lament, to a zone of innovation and progress? A zone of unprecedented growth?

This new normal will need a new you, and this new you can advance your creative ways. The environment has shown us some tough love, and the crisis has brought in an environment where the most creative, innovative minds have survived and grown and taught the others that this is the way, going forward.

The world of footwear has to focus on digitalisation. The Footwear industry, like most industries, will move towards high-end digitalisation. There will be the introduction of more sophisticated technology, which will, in turn, make all aspects of business faster, and will reshape consumer engagement. Consumer behaviour, on the contrary, will be experimental. Customers, soon, can be classified into four categories:

1. Rebel customers: who will impulsively shop post the lockdown.

2. Revelation customers: who will invest in technology and quality to make their lives easier.

3. Restricted customers: Elderly clients who will avoid spending on products which are not relevant to them and will invest in comfort.

4. Scared customer: who will be afraid to step out and shop.

Marketing in this new age will require navigating enterprises through to the new-era customer-centricity. It is critical to understand that consumers will become conservative with their spending power, while their need for enormous variety and quick delivery will remain constant. The products and the way they are sold will require modification.

ROI will be redefined as Return on Individual, which will include soft metrics such as advocacy and contribution to brand health. These changes would require agile business management which can balance both human and technological skills to deliver. We as an organisation consider it our responsibility to create a safe environment for our employees and in turn, our customers.

It is integral to reengineer our products. Footwear is an art, and the science of it has proven that the quality of your footwear directly affects your health. In simple terms, better footwear results in better health. Manufacturing units must practice the 3-S model (Safety, Security and Spacing) in their processes. A containment zone can be created where shoes can be sanitised.

We have to change adversity into opportunity, and the volatility of the environment leaves us with one question: Are we proactive for a new normal? Or are we going to be laggards, wait for the innovation that leads to change in the market, and be reactive in our approach to adhere to them?