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40 days of coronavirus lockdown – 60 quotes from India’s battle against COVID-19


Launched in 2014, StoryBites is a weekly feature from YourStory, featuring notable quotable quotes in our articles of this past week. This special series of compilations focuses on India’s COVID-19 struggle (see last week’s post here). Share these quotes and excerpts with your networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights.

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After more than a month of unprecedented lockdown, a country of 1.3 billion is preparing to enter a new phase of health preparedness and economic recovery. Sectoral impacts are being assessed, and remedial financial measures being planned.

Comparisons abound with previous calamities like the Great Depression and cholera outbreaks, and their impact on economics and urban planning. At the geopolitical level, countries are re-examining their linkages with China and drawing up alternate scenarios.

Research efforts to find a vaccine are intensifying, and public health campaigns are scaling up. Digital transformation of workflows continues to pick up pace, and social interactions are increasingly going online. In the post-COVID-19 phase, social distancing will be a key priority for redesigning of retail spaces and processes.

Unfortunately, violence against women and children during the lockdown is increasing. Attacks against healthcare workers has spurred governments to pass legislation against such violence.

For startups, being able to survive this rough patch will become a badge of honour. Startups should be resilient while also adaptable to changing realities on the ground. Still, government support will be needed to save jobs.

In response to the crisis, YourStory has set up the Resource Centre for Startups and SMBs. When worry, fear, and misinformation are spreading, this online resource helps set the record straight through expert advice, business tips, wellness practices, and workflow suggestions. See also our pick of 60 quotes on coping with a crisis.



The time has come to ease some of the lockdown restrictions and allow citizens to avail an expanded list of essential services. – Abhiraj Bhal, Urban Company

Laptops, mobile phones and accessories, computer hardware, and webcams, all these things should be allowed to be part of essential goods. – Srinivas Mothey, Paytm Mall

As debt levels increase and loans turn bad, the banking sector might face challenges, and this can cause financial turmoil. – Arun Singh, Dun & Bradstreet India

Priority focus should be on implementing schemes wherein taxes on essential commodities could either be foregone or reduced substantially. – Archana Khosla Burman, Vertices Partners

In terms of reduced spending, the areas most likely to be hit are capital expenditure (62 percent), advertising and marketing expenditure (45 percent), and employee expenditure (33 percent). – Arun Singh, Dun & Bradstreet India

As in the ‘Great Depression’ of 1929, there are estimations of massive unemployment and supply shortages in our near future. – Nischal Arvind Singh, COVID 19 Blockchain Fund

The SME sector, which employs 40 percent of the country’s workforce, and contributes 30 percent to its GDP, is one of the biggest victims of the viral outbreak. – Sandip Chhettri, TradeIndia

It is time now for global companies to de-risk themselves from China and look for alternate sourcing channels. This is where India can pitch in. – Deb Mukherji, Omega Seiki

The drive to look for alternatives can be beneficial for India to enter multiple trade channels as a supplier of raw materials and manufactured goods. – Lokendra Singh Ranawat, Woodenstreet.com

All of us should be on survival mode for the near future because we have to make sure we get over this crisis. – Mohandas Pai, Aarin Capital

It is almost one-and-half months ever since the lockdown has been imposed, but till now, no one has responded to the plight of cab drivers. – Tanveer Pasha, OLTFSUDOA



The coronavirus pandemic is a call from the future to administrations across the globe to not cut down on R&D spending on infectious diseases. – Vipul Jain, Advancells

Vaccine research is struggling as the virus is mutating quite a bit and any treatment is at least 12-18 months away. – Jogin Desai, Eyestem

There is a need for early-stage containment. The healthcare systems need support in managing asymptomatic and non-critical coronavirus patients. – Prem Sharma, DaytoDay Health

Health workers are doing their best amidst these testing times. People have to be empathetic towards them and extend all the support possible. – Girish Mugali, Bhatia Hospital

Automated sanitisation aims to address inaccessibility, speed, and efficiency of public health workers who are conducting manual spraying operations under severe health risks. – Agnishwar Jayaprakash, Garuda Aerospace

We breathe about 11,000 litres of polluted air that is invisible, but we cannot imagine drinking dirty water and make sure we drink five litres of clean and filtered water, which we can see. – Nikita Dattani, MyssTre

Our biggest weapon is a relatively ignored bottle of sanitiser. – Shounak Malhotra

Emergency and essential services cannot afford to stop even more so when India is under lockdown. Ensuring they get access to the best service and their vehicles keep running, is the need of the hour. – Kushal Karwa, GoMechanic

At a time when humanity is threatened by a deadly viral pandemic, the world is looking at the medical sciences to get us through the crisis. – Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Biocon

Pandemics in the past have led to redesigned cities, infrastructure, architecture, and interiors – all in the name of minimising the risk of infectious disease. – Shaheena Attarwala, ZoomCar

All buildings, whether residential, commercial or a public structure, should be resilient and flexible enough to be converted into whatever facility is required during an emergency. – Jasmine Gohil, Anant National University



What was predicted to happen 10 years later is happening now. Digital learning and remote working have become the new normal. – Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, RIC

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, employees from most organisations are now working from home. – Raman Singh, CloudConnect Communications

Business processes will have to be changed, with client permission. – Kris Gopalakrishnan, Infosys

A new way of working, collaborating, and information sharing is bound to emerge. – Tithi Tewari, SmartVizX

By driving a video-first culture, you can level up the employee satisfaction levels. – Pankaj Agrawal, Cisco

The alternative models of generating cash and adopting technology will help MSMEs tide over the COVID-19 crisis in an efficient manner and be an established player in the market. – CMA Bhogavalli Mallikarjuna Gupta, Logo Infosoft

The need for digitisation of distribution systems and supply chains has been heard loud and clear. – Raghavendra Ravinutala, Yellow Messenger

Now everyone is on a dating app, and there are apps like Tinder that accelerated this cultural acceptance. – Zach Schleien, Filter Off

It is entirely possible that in the tech entrepreneurship space, behaviours about remote working and remote teams get accelerated significantly. – Mekin Maheshwari, Udhyam.org

The model that will emerge is that the kiranas will take orders from customers in their area, and fulfill them by ordering from ecommerce companies. – Manish Chowdhury, Wow Skin Science

As an online seller, you need to be patient and consistent. Only then will you be able to survive and grow. – Shakir Ali, B S Enterprises

Every airport in the world will have different regulations, different measures. Communication will be essential. – Brian Roche, BIAL

With the digital explosion, the world really changed with so many different channels every day. Consumers are always looking to be engaged with new things. – Kausambi Manjita, Kubric

Tens of millions are migrating to virtual meeting apps, social media sites, and OTT platforms. – Fernando Angulo, SEMrush

The reach of OTTs is much limited compared to DD/satellite TV. – Karthik Srinivasan

Social media is looked upon as one of the best ways to stay connected with friends and family members. However, lately, it is also becoming a big source of false claims. – Mayank Jain, Project Setu



This is a time when working from home is the new normal. The number of women looking to start or restart their careers has also risen dramatically in recent times. – Neha Bagaria, JobsForHer

It is critically important that support for women and families is strengthened as far as possible; and women are asked about mental health at every contact. – Poonam Muttreja, PFI

The virus outbreak has highlighted women’s economic insecurity. – Sreemoyee Piu Kundu, Status Single

There are millions of women living in India witnessing and experiencing another pandemic within the pandemic – the virus called domestic violence. – Priya Varadarajan, Durga

A financially independent woman is able to nurture her family in a much better and healthier way. – Meghna Gandhi, Ribbon Candy

Always remember to communicate your need for support in the kitchen as well as your limitations given the level of work. – Deepa Kannan, PFNR

By sharing our meals (even virtually) during this bleak time, it’s possible to feel a little less lonely, and maybe even spark a little bit of joy. – Kavita Kishore, Isolation Cooks

By understanding the needs of others and your own, and by putting aside the concept of always proving yourself right, one can open a beautiful world without conflict and violence. – Mila Supinskaya

We have an opportunity to recognise issues like failed healthcare systems and financial inequality in our communities, and come together to do something about it. – Liz Hartman, Swiatlo

Avoid panic buying and hoarding to ensure that it does not turn into a food calamity down the line. – Mansoor Ali, AMFAH



It is not that people are going to throng to the public spaces the day this lockdown gets over. – Pawan Bisht, One8 Commune

In the long-term, a fundamental shift in consumer behaviour is expected, with home delivery of all products and services across sectors being the norm. – K Ganesh, Bigbasket

COVID 19 has completely changed the retail paradigm. In the coming days, whenever the retail outlets open, consumers are going to prefer contactless journey in brick and mortar as well as in ecommerce. – Manoj Kumar

It has now become a necessity for restaurants to remove high-touch, non-sanitised objects like menu cards and bill books amidst the COVID-19 crisis. – Dharmin Vora, peAR Technologies

After the lockdown, our country will require a safe dining and food ordering experience. – Nikhil Saigal, Paytm

With social distancing, you need more space per person. So, 25 percent working from home will provide additional space. – Mohandas Pai, Manipal Global Education

The COVID-19 pandemic has made people want to keep cash in hand due to economic uncertainty in the near future. – Dhruv Agarwala, Housing.com

This is the right time to encourage committed entrepreneurs in India, who will create not just life-changing solutions but also employment opportunities. – Sunil K Goyal, YourNest Venture Capital

To stay relevant, startups should be ready to constantly make changes to their operations and strategy. – Vani Kola, Kalaari Capital

There is a need for more direct support from the government for startups to save both, companies and jobs. – V Balakrishnan, Exfinity Ventures

On a macro-economic level, jobs will be lost. But this will create the next Amuls of the world, with a new business model etc. – Yashveer Singh, Ashoka Young Changemakers

Startups will play a crucial role in the nation’s economic growth as we emerge from this pandemic. – Madhurima Agarwal, NetApp Excellerator

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

How has the coronavirus outbreak disrupted your life? And how are you dealing with it? Write to us or send us a video with subject line ‘Coronavirus Disruption’ to editorial@yourstory.com





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Rallying India’s startups to win the battle against COVID-19

Goodbye and thank you, Honestbee 🐝