Lockdown : A chance to change
Name. Sania Nadeem
Lockdown : A chance to change
I guess there’s no such word that would intimidate a person but then there exists “lockdown”. Because of the pandemic, the past 2 years had been quite terrible for everyone across the globe. With the outburst of different variants of covid-19, almost every part of the world faced lockdowns and the condition of Pakistan wasn’t indifferent. The lockdowns actually for a while turned the world upside down affecting everything from economy to education.
Pakistan being a developing country faced much graver situations especially economically. A country where majority population lives hand to mouth after struggling from dusk till dawn.
But, they say “where there’s a will there’s a way”. It turned out true as people started discovering innovative and creative ways to survive the pandemic being surrounded by unemployment and poverty. It brought us a sense to experiment new ideas and changes for a better future.
Innovative changes in business posed to bring advances to the country so to the economy. The initiative of online working mode actually happened to be a blessing. According to research, working from home actually increases productivity level which poses to bring efficient and effective results. This initiative also made those people employed who otherwise couldn’t get job because of restrictions, health conditions etc
Lockdown stopped branding, marketing and ultimately sale of product, which brought another profession to the limelight “influencers”. According to American research 70% of teens trust influencers instead of celebrities. 49% of consumers depend on their recommendations. 57% fashion and beauty companies engage in influencer marketing.The social media marketing strategy happened to be most active during pandemic taking in all the bloggers, vloggers, tiktokers etc. With the monetization of YouTube channels more and more people are jumping towards content creation in order to earn and this includes teens to adults at some point elderly also. The branding that needed lakhs is now being done through a single video through social media via the influencers. The purchase intent increased by 5.2x because of influencers. Taking the example of Muhammad Ahsan founder of Walee a platform that connects influencers with brands and agencies has raised $2.7 mill seed for it’s influencer marketing platform. About 50000 influencers are under his platform. This is an example of Pakistan not being behind in the race of influencers.
On a side note the statistics of 2021 social media platforms in Pakistan are facebook 88.78%, Instagram 0.85%, Twitter 8.79% and YouTube 0.89%, which represents how much it’s being used and how much influence it has .
With the post covid outbreak in China , Pakistan’s export to major countries i.e UK, USA, Germany rise in February because of the trade halt of these countries with China as the later closed its borders and stopped trade with rest of the world. This short term chance which faded later brought Pakistan a bit to limelight, which is a very beneficial aspect of this covid.
Some businesses faced downturns are tourism and transportation but others reached to sky high limits i.e e-commerce especially grocers. The innovative turn of grocers like Grocers app, Foodpanda, Cheetay, Daraz.pk, Airlift express, are the giants of e-commerce grocers. According to the CEO of grocers app Ahmad Saeed their business expanded at a much faster pace which it was supposed to be taking few years to reach. During the lockdown it increased by 50% to 70%, which otherwise would have needed millions of investment to reach here.
The networks started extending their signals to remote areas which is a brighter aspect. According to research out of 220 million Pakistanis 169 million are cellphone subscribers and 87 million people are broadband internet users. This helped in education, with this education is reached to almost every part where internet is available also the businesses of e-education and ed-tech is also in full swings. But there are some problems that are being under resolution i.e
With lockdowns implemented everywhere, unemployed people with minimum started their own startups from stiching, painting scarves to hand made jewelry. Everyone started something that he/she could do to meet ends, which took people’s interest towards domestic and homemade items. Also the selling of fruits, veges ,grocery, poultry everything started down through online orders or phone calls, average karyana store holders also took the innovative actions to bring food home through expanding their services.
Lockdown not only brought the hidden talents of people helping them to to earn but also developed the country which supposed to take years . So it actually appears to be a blessing in disguise as it brought a chance to change.