Who moved my kitchen?
For most, the kitchen is the epicenter of the house. For many, it’s a never-ending checklist – groceries, meals every few hours, menu that appeals to every palette, serving, dishes – the works!
Working couples finally found the smart solution for tackling this behemoth
The kitchen was outsourced!
As they swiftly swiggyed their way through this they were delighted with the upside- no backend chores, quick and easy- a simple pay per use model. As they did more of the same, the downside of diminishing marginal utility started kicking in – same taste, low nutritional value and hygiene- well that was a true black box.
But we stayed committed to this decision and found ways to manage the gaps. Natural Nutrition was substituted with Over the Counter Nutritional Supplements.
The exception became the norm!
Till one morning, we got locked into the pandemic situation. All services were disbarred. Outsourcing Food was “Non-Essential” or quite not essential.
So the only place Google Maps could lead us to was from our couch to the kitchen.
We had to bring back the kitchen
Good news is – it didn’t appear that unfamiliar!
Inherently, we knew what needed to be done. A new routine was set in motion and we delightfully experienced the new upside- better taste, improved quality and it felt nice to chat with vegetable vendor – perils of social isolation.
As we circled together to manage this new task, we bonded better with our loved ones. From Cooking to serving to cleaning we passed the baton and strengthened our bonds sans the distraction of smart phones.
And it made us wonder why we ever chose to let go of doing something that we could collectively manage.
And the monkey mind went on to wondering how we could apply the learnings of “Home Economics” to “Global Business Economics”
Now let’s look at what we have done over the last 3-4 decades, especially in the western world –
Firstly, almost every manufacturing capability is outsourced to China
As a consequence, we are now prisoners of our own action and are highly dependent on China because it is cheap and easy. We all know this but the only country that has shown the courage to shift is Japan. It set aside 240 bn Yen to help firms shift production out of China. This was inevitable and can signal a new force of action for other countries.
Secondly, how do we manage ourselves in the wake of a global economic crisis?
Do we axe jobs and turn to the Government to bail us using taxpayer’s money & as a result be caught in the whirlwind of high unemployment, increasing inflation and overall scarcity?
Do we invest in our internal capabilities?
Create a wider eco-system for collaboration – go beyond China, engage with India & other emerging countries in Asia.
Avoid being the prisoner of suppliers, make your own people economically stronger- create the segway for job creation with stronger quality control measures and sustainable business practices.
Get smarter in dealing with this behemoth too!
Monopolization just makes the beast stronger. Let’s get more competitive, push our own boundaries of comfort and create capabilities that better than any Chinese alternative. And let’s do this across all sectors where China is taking the lead from us.
It’s time to tilt the scales – the US economy is realizing in hindsight that the erstwhile strategic move to outsource to China is now becoming a bottleneck for sustainable progress. Today, China has the biggest share of imports in US. Not just this, US also depends on China for their exports to Mexico, Canada etc.
It’s a double whammy!
China is the largest foreign holder of US Treasury Securities. It is in a position that it can upset the economy by simply not buying their securities.
US had landed in this situation because of lack of domestic saving at home. There is not enough money in the hands of the citizens and economy is struggling with liquidity.
The repercussions of the choice we made
In this current covid-19 situation we realized that almost all surgical and respiratory masks used in the US are manufactured in China and Mexico. Chinese pharmaceuticals own 97% share of the US market for antibiotics and almost 90% of vitamin C.
We are now at the mercy of one country for key necessities of health and life support.
It might seem ok to outsource 99% of shoes with 70% from China. But a few “less shoes” won’t lock us down or risk our lives.
It’s time for the world to discern, disrupt and deal with the Economic Epidemic
It’s time to build from within.