Lockdown 4.0: 50 quotes from India’s battle against COVID-19

In this fresh compilation series, we present quotes from the week of May 11-17 that frame India’s pandemic challenge, and preparations for negotiating the extended COVID-19 lockdown.

18th May 2020
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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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Developments of the past week reveal the uncomfortable reality that we may have to confront. The coronavirus may be with us for a long time, and we have learn to live with it rather than hope to vanquish its threat. Safety and hygiene will be even more important in designing the post-lockdown world.


As India navigates the lockdown exit in phases, the reality is that expectations of business as usual may not apply any more. Some sectors like movies and travel are hit harder than others. Surviving the tough times will call for a laser-like focus on cost-management and business model pivots.


The acceleration of digital transformation continues to bode well for sectors like edtech and home entertainment. The companies that succeed will be the ones that correctly read consumer behaviour shifts. Work from home generally is tilted in favour of the privileged, but also raises challenges in terms of fatigue, stress and productivity loss.


The pandemic has exposed the deep flaws in our society on issues like labour, gender, and environment. This will affect long-term prospects of the country stepping up to fill the gap as many international firms pull out of China.


In response to the coronavirus 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.



This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities. - Michael Ryan, WHO


It is a fact that we will need to learn to live with the virus, build our life and livelihood, and move ahead with activities by ensuring strong healthcare support systems around us. - Meena Ganesh, Portea Medical


When we look at repurposing old drugs, the most obvious drugs of choice are antivirals. - Anu Acharya, Mapmygenome


It will be super important for us to always keep safety and hygiene as an important consideration while designing in the post-lockdown phase. - Anurag Arora, Uber


COVID-19 has humbled us to experience life from the eyes of an elder. - Saumyajit Roy, EMOHA


Today successful R&D is multidisciplinary, many things that we see today would not be there if they were in silos today. - Ratan Tata


There’s no going back to the ‘normal’ – all we should focus on is building for the ‘new normal.’ - Deepinder Goyal, Zomato


Exposure to the current experience may also help generate greater traction for efforts to reduce air pollution than ever before. - Anshu Sharma


All these better additions to our lifestyle are not only going to help us fight coronavirus but also to help us in fighting many other communicable diseases. - Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology


As a businessman, you can forecast volatility, but you can never forecast a zero-revenue situation. - Ajay Bijli, Chairman, PVR


With major economic centres around the country being classified as red zones, business activity recovery is expected to take time. - Vivek Soni, EY


This is a moment for all of us to come together in a collective effort to make each other kinder, stronger, and braver to face the days ahead. - Shah Rukh Khan


It's too easy to sit back and criticise. Don't fall into that trap. Let the bias for action lead you to making a difference. - Jay Dutta, DesignUp



Be prepared to make your firm survive and see the tough times through. - Shripati Acharya, Prime Venture Partners


A deeper analysis of fixed v/s variable cost elements within the overall cost structure should be carried out to plan for better financial management in the coming months. - Siddharth Chaturvedi, AISECT Group


The biggest challenge for startups is to stay in business. With debt capital, they can continue to scale and focus on the things that work for them. - Saurabh Srivastava, TiE Delhi-NCR


While some startups in sectors such as edtech, online grocery delivery, home entertainment, and cloud computing are witnessing a trend-defying growth during the pandemic, the overall ecosystem has been severely impacted. - Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Venture Catalysts


Now might be the time when investors should be looking at opportunities like they did in the 70s and 80s. - Ratan Tata


When you're investing for a long time, you become non-emotional about money and making money through trading or investing. - Nikhil Kamath, Zerodha


Essentially, don’t do spray and pray, make sure that companies are well capitalised, collaborate with other investors, and move them forward. - Deepak Gupta, WEH Ventures


With knowledge comes the courage to experiment, for now the fear of the unknown is replaced by the excitement of exploration. - Pavan Soni, Inflexion Point



While each crash has a different impact on the psyche of the consumer, one thing for certain is that consumer behaviour does change significantly during such times. - Rohit Krishna, WEH Ventures


Instead of forcing traditional businesses to adopt completely modern practices, social commerce platforms are integrating certain buyer-seller behaviours of offline retailers. - Jasmeet Thind, CoutLoot


Discretionary spending has taken a massive hit as consumers are deferring non-important purchases due to the uncertainty caused by the spread of the coronavirus. - Sachin Taparia, LocalCircles


Whenever customer friction intersects with untapped profit potential, disruption is bound to occur. The Indian insurance sector is at the cusp of exponential growth. - Monica Jasuja, MasterCard


Consumers are demanding more personalised, tailored products, and we are seeing an unprecedented shift in the relationship between the insurer and the insured. - Chirag Buch, SE2 Digital Service



Today’s reality shows women are bearing the brunt of the crisis far more severely. It is widening gender gaps and eroding the power and freedom that women had just about started earning before the pandemic. - Shravani Prakash, elleNomics


While there is a lot of knowledge available, lack of outreach leads to loss of lives, especially of the poor and vulnerable. - Manu Gupta, SEEDS


There is no better time to open a savings account for your children than during a recession. You will prove it to yourself, that if you could save during a recession, you can save any time. - Ramkumar RS, RSR Innovations


The difficulties and problems of the villages can only be resolved by the villagers themselves. - Zarina Screwvala, Swades Foundation


Get set for brand managers reiterating ROI multiple times in upcoming briefs. - Sidharth Singh, CupShup


It might be challenging to conduct business customarily right now, but it’s important to not neglect your brand, or connecting with your customers in such crucial times. - Nikhil Arora, GoDaddy


Overall ad revenue will plummet 18 percent this fiscal, with the impact varying across segments. - Sachin Gupta, CRISIL



Once you go digital, there is no reason to go back. - Satyen Kothari, Cube Wealth


Digital transformation in companies will focus on new end-to-end customer journeys and we will see an increase in adoption of automation in manufacturing industries. - Aarthi Subramanian, Tata Sons


With the rise of online tutoring and edutainment games and apps, many people are coming to understand that e-learning has a place. - Jitendra Karsan, Safari Kid India


The franchise model, unlike in other sectors, does not work in edtech. Online is the way to be for availing quality education everywhere. - Gaurav Munjal, Unacademy


First and foremost, schools need to employ an intensive back-to-school programme to get back on track. - Rubina Maiti, UNICEF


Most management still happens offline, and these processes are done manually. The pandemic has forced teachers and students to adopt new technologies. - Gaurav Kumar, Edumarshal


Pushing the use of digital technologies in schools will put Tamil Nadu at the forefront of the STEM revolution in India. - Rajeev Krishnan, Matific India


People will now prefer to get beauty services in the controlled environment of their home, versus to step out and go to a salon. - Abhiraj Singh Bhal, Urban Company


Most of us are ‘mined’ under the pretext of freemium business models implemented by our current giant tech companies. - Ankit Chaudhari, Aiisma


The COVID-19 situation has dramatically altered the situation in which the relevance of kirana stores has become very important, especially when there is talk of grocery supply. - Satish Meena, Forrester


Rather than relocating to dining tables (the ad-hoc workplace) or beds (which only trigger backaches) the answer is to create a dedicated study. - Lokendra Singh Ranawat, Woodenstreet.com


A sizeable number of those employed in manufacturing have jobs which cannot be transitioned to WFH roles. - Deepthi Ravula, WE Hub


If your reason for weight gain has been stress, you need to calm down and improve your resilience. You need to support yourself through the tough times ahead. - Deepa Kannan, PFNR



China may not be able to retain its position as the world's largest factory in the post-COVID global economic order. - Gaurav Gupta, Gov of Karnataka


The relief package is built on five pillars - economy, demography, system, infrastructure, and demand to support the Indian supply chain. - PM Narendra Modi


India has talented, low-cost manpower in addition to the low cost of production. This is a huge advantage in the exports market. - Parag Jhaveri, Yasho Industries


In the times to come, the listed SMEs will become globally competitive and offer a significant contribution to India’s economic development and job creation. - Ajay Thakur, SME


A crisis is a great time to show your statesmanship, commitment, and character. This is the time to contribute to nation building. - Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Flipkart


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).

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)

Want to make your startup journey smooth? YS Education brings a comprehensive Funding and Startup Course. Learn from India's top investors and entrepreneurs. Click here to know more.

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