16 May 2020 20:14 IST

Virtual SIPs: Fore students work on areas related to Covid

Using the crisis as an opportunity, the interns are working to find solutions across a range of areas

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a grip on all activity across the globe. We live in unprecedented times and people are going through extreme restrictions and difficulties not seen in multiple generations.

Economic activity too has come to an almost halt in most sectors, other than those deemed essential for public good or critical for fighting this pandemic. In this scenario, students are particularly hit hard. Apart from disruption to class schedules, ongoing commitments towards internships have also suffered as either companies have suspended work altogether or movement restrictions do not allow execution of work.

It is said that adversity brings out the best in people, and this is true for our students who have applied ingenuity to ensure continuity. Internships have now moved into virtual mode wherein students complete their stints working from their location using information, data, calls, internet research, and online faculty reviews. Their work is facilitated by many trends that have been taking shape over the last few years, including: widespread broadband availability, low internet data tariffs, proliferation of industry and market generated data, faster processing speeds of hardware, and a growing comfort amongst industry and professionals for online modes of communication.

Key focus areas

Since the current pandemic is also a great learning and adaptation opportunity, many of the assignments are unsurprisingly about how to cope with and even seek silver linings in this crisis. The projects across functional areas like Finance, Marketing, HR, Economics & Policy, Operations, IT, and Strategy cover interesting topics such as:

● Examining the paradigm shift in the buying behaviour of personal hygiene products during Covid 19 pandemic

● Working of credit rating agencies and the effect of Covid-19

● The impact of Covid-19 on Indian Restaurant Business

● Use of Digital Platforms by Organisations for Social Marketing during Covid-19

● A comparative study of Healthcare and Economic Policy Response by Countries to Covid-19 Pandemic: A search for Best Practices

● Reviving business operations and uplifting them through various marketing campaigns and initiatives after the Covid-19 impact.

● Forecasting the spread of Covid 19 using machine learning algorithms

● Effect of culture on leadership styles of select world leaders during the 1st quarter of Covid-19 pandemic crisis.

Potential gains

In undertaking such assignments, the students are not only sustaining and fulfilling their requirements but are also contributing to a better understanding of the effects of this pandemic. The impact of such initiatives may not be fully understood now but will be fully realised once industry and commerce begin to slowly come back on stream. Another benefit comes from the fact that no crisis should ever be wasted, since it always offers learning opportunities. Such studies by academia will help us to prepare better for any such future events and understand implications more clearly beforehand.

On its part, Fore School of Management, New Delhi is encouraging students to pick up topics around the Covid-19 pandemic so that both our understanding of its impact and mitigation strategies is improved. The B-School has also developed guidelines for rewarding students who come up with publishable quality Virtual SIP work. These students will receive a cash prize of INR 5,000 and a citation. Around 25 such awards are planned in total across the PGDM batches and will be distributed across functional areas. The primary criteria for evaluation is publish-ability of the SIP work and selection of the cases for award will not be limited only to Covid-19 related SIPs but till extend to all Virtual SIPs.

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