The question that frequently pops up during discussions is when the industry is likely to see a revival. While that still remains a million dollar question, the fact is a huge majority of businesses have lasted out the first half of a tough year. Despite orders slowing, payments not coming on time and sundry other challenges, they are still around and in business.
About revival, it would be fair to expect no dramatic turnaround. After all, we have had over 8-10 months of a slowdown worldwide. In the next few months of the year left, we may possibly see some improvements but which may only be like drops in the ocean. If you look at the consumer market for instance, 2010 could well be a year of step by step recovery and consumers are likely to continue exercising caution when they buy and may still need to be lured with bumper discounts and promotions. I bet this is already happening with netbooks for instance flying off the shelves. Products that still look like a steal will continue to be sought after. Besides, retailers are coming up with assortments of product bundles to create consumer interest. Such gimmicks may be tried more often and some could succeed.
Different segments of the economy may have different dynamics of recovery. The looming threat of the HlN1 virus to humanity is also likely to be an additional factor that needs to be factored in as a threat to global business recovery in the year ahead.
Fair to believe, then that we are looking at a scenario of a two year period to recover instead of an almost magical recovery inside a year. Possibly, 2011 could the year when we get back on the road where we left from. At the same time, it is hard to believe that we will ever reach the sense of unbridled optimism of 2008. We have all gone through hard lessons and I am sure some learning would have been imbibed to influence the next few years of consumer behaviour.
For the region, many are expecting that the time around GITEX should see some happy sales as in the years before. Businesses would hope to finish the year’s last quarter on a positive note and help salvage some of the losses endured in the course of the harsh year which 2009 has been until now.
2010 could well be a year of step by step recovery and consumers are likely to continue exercising caution when they buy and may still need to be lured with bumper discounts and promotions