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“Once upon a time, the world paused. It wasn’t a miracle of the universe but one caused by a virus…” This is a story that we’ll narrate twenty or thirty years later. This pandemic of 2020 due to the Corona Virus will leave its mark on the pages of history forever.
Unprecedented has a new meaning and this pause has left us all with several life lessons.
This pandemic, this obstacle has provided scope for creativity, deep thoughtfulness, and self-introspection. It has given way to realisations and proved to be an eye-opener for every person from China to New York and from Italy to Brazil.
“The key is to focus on goals, not obstacles”
People have different perspectives, views, and thoughts regarding this lockdown.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Similarly many from various walks of life find this ‘difficulty’ to be an ‘opportunity’ for innovation.
It’s challenging for everyone whether it be a businessman, a teacher, or a student but it’s important for us to understand that when the wind doesn’t blow our way we need to adjust the sails.
So, I decided to gather such different perspectives by conducting a short survey. I asked a few people their thoughts on the following questions: #LockdownRealisations
- How has the lockdown treated your business/industry?
- What are your survival strategies during these trying times?
- What is the most important thing you have realised during this lockdown?
- What is the most pertinent change you would like to bring in your life post COVID-19?
Education Sector – “You can take away books but not knowledge.”
People working in the education sector are trying their best that knowledge still thrives and does not cease to exist during this time of adversity.
Even though there is a lack of a physical institution for education all educators are working relentlessly to ensure that their students are still well-learned. In fact, some believe that this obstacle opened a new dimension of education to the world.
Ms. Meghna Bhutoria; is the founder of Makers Loft Kolkata, an institution for hands-on learning. They teach varied subjects pertaining to technology like robotics, coding, app making, etc. Therefore she views this lockdown to have brought significant challenges yet new opportunities for the education sector.
She believes it to be a watershed moment for EdTech companies. Her mantra during these trying times is “Innovate, Innovate, Innovate”. Each week is different and the future is unpredictable. Therefore it is extremely important to be agile, coordinated as a team, and most importantly to be optimistic with a can-do attitude.
She feels that we all should realise that what truly gives meaning to our lives is our relationships and work. This lockdown has taught her to practice more gratitude for things that we take for granted.
These thoughts are resonated by-
Mr.Dhiraj Golyan is the co-founder of Chatterbox, a great initiative that teaches students public speaking. He admits that indeed all businesses have gone down like his, but, it has also opened an opportunity. The usual classes were limited to teaching on an offline level only, but he strongly feels henceforth they will extend to online classes as it is a great way to reach out to students of all parts of the world.
He believes that it is very important to be positive, have the courage to see this through, and emerge stronger through this struggle.
He has found his family to be a big support system during this time. He enjoys his life like the good old days where we would spend more quality time with our families instead of trying to be closer with faraway people on our phones by distancing the ones who are close to us.
He will be extremely cautious about his health post-lockdown. He will take out time from his hectic work schedule for self-care and regular exercise.
Similarly, my geography teacher Ms. Kanya Kumari Mazumder believes in upgrading herself during this unusual quarantine. She considers that it is very important to be well equipped with technology as the entire system depends on it. She feels no major change except for the absence of a physical school.
She hypothesizes that extreme patience and control of one’s temper is the key to passing this lockdown. She follows and advises to have an organised time table to be creative and productive instead of throwing away our precious hours.
Being a geography teacher, she is concerned about the environment. She has observed and drawn during these days that we all could have played our roles to help the ecosystem and make the Earth greener. Therefore, she will conserve our resources and be cautious about the usage of plastics, textiles, etc.
She will ensure to inculcate some changes; not drastic but some small lifestyle changes; for example, being more self-conscious and maintaining health and hygiene. She feels that time has indeed been a perfect example of the survival of the fittest.
Mrs. Vidisha Saraf, director of Saraf Academy, an online teaching academy. As she is a part of the education industry wherein students are provided with live online training courses for commerce, it hasn’t been much of a change for her, professionally.
She says, looking at the macro picture of the industry; many students’ career moves have been affected due to exam cancellations and shutting down universities across the globe. It is a learning process to which everyone is trying to cope up with.
Her survival mantra is “Accept, Adapt & Keep Moving On”. Like any challenge that life throws on us, this one shall pass too.
This lockdown has made her realise the uncertainty of life and thus she advocates that life is beautiful and we should live it to the fullest. She has learned that prioritising is very important in one’s life.
Post-quarantine she hopes to see a version of herself who’s more balanced towards her approach in life. She would also like to start her work on some issues in the society that she feels are very pertinent and close to her heart as it is very important to give back to society.
A college student Ishaan feels domed within the four walls of his house and his appetite for creativity is lost, which is the key for any student studying film direction. He feels that it is difficult to create a work environment at home which thus reduces his efficiency.
He understood how hard distancing was, so he has tried to be productive by reading a lot of books to pass time. He had a number of health issues but seeing how integral being healthy is, he is has worked upon his health and will continue to do so post-lockdown.
Business – “Businessmen aren’t going to be seen with suits, ties, and suitcases anytime soon…”
Yes indeed! Fewer work trips to travel for post lockdown. All businesses at the moment depend on how efficiently technology is being used to handle the situation. It is extremely important to have coordination among members of an organisation to be able to work in these conditions.
Every business house is trying to cut on costs, make optimal use of available resources, and gear up with technology to face uncertain times.
Mr. Anand Dhandhania, real estate consultant, Mumbai. He shares with me, that in the current scenario real estate is looking at a major slump with a long term effect since major companies are looking to control cost and avoid any major capital expenses. However, he is being positive and trying to pluck low hanging fruits where deals are immediate and utter need-based.
He has realised how to keep work and social life balance. This time truly has taught us all how not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of work life. COVID-19 has made him realise that he needs to be more dynamic and use every minute of his life to the fullest. #YOLO
Mr.Sachin Agarwal: Partner, big four consultants, Bengaluru, says that this lockdown has not treated any businesses well. He reflects that barring few industries dealing with essential items most of the industries will witness a slow down for some time which has severe financial ramifications.
He is trying to make the most of his time by completing backlog assignments and connecting with his old clients and friends. He is delighted with the quality family time he is enjoying during this quarantine which is draining everyone mentally and physically.
His survival strategy is to conserve resources and make the best use of time.
He says that an important change in his lifestyle post-COVID-19 would be to reduce his business trips and to keep an effective team with work from home skills.
Mrs. Ananya Bhatt, finance head at a diamond export house. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend !!! Not any more. Diamond is a luxury product so, there will be a huge impact on the industry as everyone is trying to separate their needs and wants. She is trying to preserve cash for the future and be more tech-driven.
She has understood the importance of proper planning and how it can safeguard one during difficult times. She has felt the need to be more self-reliant and focus on her health without procrastination post-quarantine.
Manufacturing Sector – “The gears of the Make in India Lion are not roaring aloud anymore ”
It has been hard for all organisations dealing with the production of non-essential items. It is a huge economic loss for all manufacturers as the current situation does not permit them to carry out any manufacturing activity. Being plagued with the issues of layoffs, migrant workers and low demand; the manufacturing sector may witness a cascading effect that might stagger the economy for long.
Mr.Shankar Saraf, Director of a manufacturing company. He explains to me, that the lockdown means no production, no sales, and no collection of outstanding along with loss of profit. Further, they have to bear the interest cost on their borrowings, pay salaries to the workers, and bear the depreciation on other fixed establishment expenses. Even though the labourers are available and on campus, they can’t start production because of a lack of demand.
He feels that the most important thing he has realized during this lockdown is that life is very uncertain and as a family man he should secure his future in such a way that in spite of the contingencies he could sail through the difficult times.
He feels that the Corona Virus will stay even when the lockdown is lifted and will be a potential danger to all until a vaccine or treatment is found for the disease. Therefore, he will try to change his work environment in a way that there are the least possible physical interactions with his acquaintances and colleagues.
Mr.Amresh Khowala, Infra Developer – As he runs a manufacturing industry, his workers require physical space for work. He definitely feels the pinch on his pocket as his work life has been affected adversely. However, he is trying to be positive through these trying times.
He has resolved to be fitter and consciously follow social distancing because he believes that “COVID will be a way of life henceforth.”
Mrs. Rajani Goyal, Founder-Director of a leading fashion brand. She says, that the impact is no different from others, as her business is related to non-essential commodities and is labour oriented, so it is in rest period for the time being. She has tried to go back to the basic and simple living during these times.
She has dawned upon the realization that things shouldn’t be taken for granted. Her quarantine lesson is to take life as it comes and be more calm and patient.
Travel Industry – “Bon Voyage! Not very soon…”
The travel industry is one that has been hit the most during this period along with the restaurants and hospitality industry. It will take some time for this industry to regain normalcy and stability.
Mrs.Vinita Banka is the advocacy of East India for Inme which organises camping trips for children. She realises, that even after the lockdown and travel restrictions are lifted, people won’t want to travel as there would be a chance of getting infected. She has had to manage cancellations of hundreds of children who had signed up for camps across the country which has lead to financial losses.
Therefore she is trying to come up with new ideas for her organisation with the time she has right now. However, she sees the silver lining and feels that we can all thrive even with bare necessities and talks about heading to a ‘new normal’ where our lifestyles will become much simpler.
Her survival strategy is a positive strength and the happy vibe that she gets from being with her family.
Yes ma’am, I also feel that post lockdown; social distancing. wearing masks, carrying a sanitizer, being more cautious about our health, and leading a simpler life would be the new way of life.
I have not been able to reach many others; daily wage earners, labours, taxi drivers, maids, and several others who are in a very tough situation. My heart goes out to these people who are stranded and trying hard to make their ends meet. Their plight is unimaginable as they in a dilemma whether to chose their lives or their livelihood. However, I could speak to the security guard in my complex who is away from his family for more than two months now, as he stands protecting us day in and day out. His words ” mone bhalo lagche na” ( The heart does not feel good) make me realise how blessed I am.
I sincerely thank all the front-line warriors including doctors, nurses, police and support staff. Words are not enough to express our gratitude to these behind the scene heroes.
The year 2020 will be remembered for eternity for this lock down due to the pandemic, COVID-19. Even though this lock down doesn’t bring happiness and laughter with it, – “We learn more in a crisis than in comfort.”
As our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, says “Jaan Hain to Jahan Hain” (if there’s life, then there’s the world), let’s try to survive this together and emerge stronger and wiser!
I have realised that the calmness around us has aroused our inner voices which were hushed in the world’s hustle. It has stirred our inner beings and made us realise that life is beautiful beyond the rat race family is the greatest bank balance , simplicity shines beyond all glitterati and being in sync with nature is the best way to survive
It’s so ironic that in a time when we all wanted to fast forward to the future it took a pause for us to rewind to the good old days of happiness and simplicity.
So what are your lockdown realisations? Share it with us in the comments section below and we will love to add it to the list.
– Self – quarantined
– Anvesha Saraf –