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This article is written by  Suman Chatterjee Team LawSikho.

Peter Drucker once said, Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”

And we are seeing why innovation is so crucial for any business and how it works, live in action, in today’s market scenario.

For many companies, the road that was once crystal clear is now covered with the COVID-19 fog, without any apparent expiry period. 

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Needless to say, it has forced companies to pivot their business strategy and rethink how they offer products and services more suitable for the current situation.

In today’s article, we are going to cover a few of such companies who have successfully used the COVID crisis to their advantage, or at least, has taken it in their stride and dealing with it as efficiently and effectively as they could.

#1. Lyft

A ridesharing service before COVID.

A grocery delivery service after COVID.

The San Francisco-based Lyft recently announced the launch of Essential Deliveries, a program aimed at servicing the “essential” needs of healthcare, government and non-profits organizations. Essentials can be anything that you need every day, from groceries and meals to cleaning and medical supplies.

When nobody comes out of their home, Lyft knows what it has to do: cater to them where they are instead.

#2. Turmswear

If you haven’t heard about Turmswear, I have to say that you are not really updated with the men’s fashion world. Turmswear has been making waves in the men’s fashion industry for some time. 

With its unique “smart” fabric that is stain repellant and anti-odour, coupled with 4-way stretch and wicking properties, Turmswear has brought in a revolution when it comes to what we wear. 

But post the COVID crisis, who is really so keen on buying men’s clothes anymore, right? Even the delivery services are stopped. So, Turmswear made the best of the situation at hand. It created masks that provide bacterial filtration efficiency as high as 91 per cent (compared to 95% BFE of an N95 mask) and is triple-layered. Anti-microbial, easy to breathe through and biodegradable, these masks are selling for merely nine rupees. 

What’s the takeaway? When people aren’t keen to cover their body, help them cover their face instead.


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#3. The Rapids

This is an excerpt from their website:

We know from experience, some challenges are best tackled with gusto and bags of energy, and some opportunities need quick, uninterrupted thinking to capitalise on them.”

That’s what they are doing during this crisis period.

The Rapids originally run 10-day long field trips to help business executives collaborate better, seize opportunities and ride the “rapids” more effectively and efficiently.

The problem now is that field trips don’t really go well with the social distancing concept. What’s the solution? Of course, remote field trips!

When the whole world is going virtual, why would The Rapids be slow to adapt to the change? When you ride a rapid, you don’t stop. You pivot instead.

#4. 1Rebel

When you run a fitness club and suddenly, your clients are ordered by the state to stop visiting gyms and fitness centres anymore, what do you do?

You shake the hands of the state and donate your gym space to the National Health Service to do with it as they like. Kapow! When you can’t oppose the change, go with it instead.

London-based 1Rebel’s co-founder and CEO, James Belfour, said, “We don’t know exactly how the NHS might use our studios, and obviously this is a situation that’s evolving by the day, so we felt the best route was to share details of what’s available with an open offer to the NHS to use whatever it would like.”

The seven gym studios, as they gauge, can provide enough space to shelter 300-400 hospital beds. There are also changing facilities, showers and areas for IT facilities.

#5. Netflix Party

Missing the Friday movie nights? Sharing popcorn with your friends and cutting jokes in between dialogues? Me too.

Unfortunately, I don’t know when this ordeal is going to be over. Neither does Dave Temkin, VP of Networks at Netflix, who said in a webinar: “One of the things I’ve told my team is that I don’t look at this as a race or even a power walk. We really don’t know how long we’re going to be in this mode for.”

So what did Netflix come up with? A way to “party” while behind your mobile screens.

Netflix launched Netflix Party, a Chrome extension that lets you get together without actually getting together. The extension synchronizes the video for all the viewers and lets them chat together.

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While this feature might look interesting for young viewers, this has been targeted for the older generation who feel rather isolated and alone. During this lockdown, even a bit of fun and frolic together matters a lot.

Netflix knew it, obviously. 

(Well, on second thought, you can’t share the popcorn though.)

#6. ChargedUp

The largest phone charging network in Europe suddenly faced a crisis like never before. Nobody is there to charge their phones from portable power banks anymore. The charged-up coronavirus dealt the hardest blow it could, and ChargedUp went belly up, at least in terms of utility, in a matter of days.

However, ChargedUp was so charged up that it just won’t give up.

It made the coronavirus its friend and started giving out hand sanitizers instead. With the help of its charging partners, it turned its free-standing phone charging stations into hand sanitising dispensers, 

Supermarkets; train stations; pharmacies; food outlets; essential shops and shopping centres; and hospitals. 

ChargedUp decided to launch the CleanedUp project and can produce over 1000+ a month if needed and supply enough Alcohol and Non-Alcohol sanitiser to keep each station full.

CEO Hugo Tilmouth said, “With the majority of our usual network of pubs, clubs, cafes and shopping centres closing down due to the COVID-19 crisis, we wanted to find a way to use our skills, our resources and our network to help during what is a  tough period for everyone. We have a strong creative team, so we put our heads together – virtually, not physically! – and CleanedUp was born. We really hope it can help both workers and customers stay safe now and in the future.” 

Hats off to you, Hugo.

#7.  Spiffy

If I can’t wash your car, I will wash everything else instead.

That’s what Spiffy thought when faced with the COVID crisis.

Founded in 2014, Spiffy married Uber’s on-demand concept with a particular service that almost every car owner needs: car detailing and washing. Once a wash is booked through its website or app, the team of trained specialists visits the spot, place the car on their proprietary mat and get the job done.

“Amazing, but what if I don’t use car these days? I am locked inside my home.”

No worries, Spiffy recently rolled out a service to sanitize properties and facilities, the need of the hour. 

What an idea, sir ji! 

When the whole world is looking forward to getting sanitized, Spiffy finds to use its facilities to provide the same.

#8. Lubbdubb

Mandi Bateman and her co-founder David Schreck started LubbDubb, a Bay Area-based booking platform for fitness instructors, in 2017. It lets yoga, dance or Bootcamp instructors connect with potential clients and take classes outside the usual studio system. The aim was to build a platform whereby lesser-known service instructors would be able to enhance their popularity and increase their market reach.

But what if it was not possible for anyone to go out of their house to attend any class anymore?

Lubbdubb was flexible enough to launch online classes taught via Zoom. “I was like, ‘OK, we’ve got to get these instructors paid–that’s the mission here,” Bateman says. Result? Out of 130 instructors, 68 have begun teaching online. Now, everyone is happy. 

Only because Bateman and her co-founder did not stop what they were doing. They simply changed the way they did it.

#9. LawSikho

You already know what we used to do, and you also know what we are doing now.

We knew that our aim is to empower lawyers, legal professionals and law students build a successful law career in their preferred industry or niche. 

And we are sticking to our motto today also.

We are running daily webinars. 

We are building upon our content repository.

We are regularly connecting with top industry experts and academicians.

We are creating WhatsApp communities for instant reach.

We are even trying to reach beyond geographical boundaries.

We are using this time to step back, strategize and fill out the gaps finally.

COVID-19 did not stop us at LawSikho. It made us progress faster and more efficiently instead.

So, you saw how nine businesses around the world are tackling the COVID crisis innovatively and moving forward, not backward.

What about you?

If you are a lawyer, what are you doing about your legal practice?

If you are a legal professional, what are you doing for enhancement of your career prospects?

If you are a law student, how are you readying yourself for the time to come?

Waiting to hear back from you.

To your success.

P. S. LawSikho is running hour-long webinars every day. Want to learn how to improve your learning skills? Prepare an LLM application to a foreign university? Career opportunities in new, upcoming areas of law? Don’t miss these high-quality webinars with industry and academic experts. 

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