A Brave New World

To say we now live in a new world would be redundant. Who would have thought we will go through such a dramatic shift in the way we work, learn, and live in a few short weeks. 

Like everyone else, we are adapting to these changes. At the outset, the primary message to readers here – to our global workforce, our customers, our vendors, our partners and friends is of course, to take the necessary precautions, stay safe and be healthy. And to reassure everyone that we are here to provide whatever support we can, as individuals and as a team. As a knowledge business, operating ‘virtually’ is not entirely new to us, though the current circumstance has taken it to a whole new level. We are prepared to take on the challenge and are operating in the new reality. 

With that said, if we leave aside the actions – both preventative and corrective, to the health experts and policy makers (while still debating them), what we have control over, are actions in our own respective spheres of influence.  Whatever line of profession each of us may be in, it is definitely morphed by the changes happening around us. It may not be far-fetched to say that for a while, we are all working on the same mission – to combat the covid-19 existential challenge, in some shape or form. Businesses are responding – be it in shifting capabilities and assembly lines towards the manufacturing of masks, temporary shelters, and ventilators; redirecting resources to the relief management efforts; or at the very least redefining how they will function to make the products in their value chain and maintain world order. And often, working harder at it than before. We are all asking ourselves, as businesses and individuals, ‘what more can I do’ ? 

There are opportunities around us – to invent creative new solutions to our needs and that of the world around us – to develop new products, to discover new ways to learn, work, socialize, and collaborate. So while it may be challenging in some ways, it is also is a time for re-think, for a reset. Here at our firm, we have deployed a number of practices and solutions internally and for our customer base.  As a society, some of the practices we have adopted are going to stay – how we become more accountable to each other,  how we greet each other, how we learn, how we conduct our meetings etc. 

It is amazing how a simple, utterly primitive goal – that of survival – can bring so much change, so much togetherness, globally, in such a short amount of time. Entire industries are expected to change drastically – higher education, logistics, health care etc. And so are our behaviors –  ‘shaking hands’ is out, ‘namaste’ is in. If not being able to go to restaurants and keeping indoors means we need to become better cooks, is it much of a stretch to say we may also need to grow crop in our backyard ? If our children can learn sitting at home, how does that shift the traditional college experience ? How are families adapting ? It does put things in perspective and makes us rethink our priorities a bit more holistically. 

While we ponder these philosophical questions, it is also sickening to see that while there is suffering in the world and many of us are trying to do what we can to help, there is a section of society that has made others’ suffering their business – the hoarders, the financial scammers etc. Proof that no matter what, law and order needs to be maintained and there will always be a need for courts and cops.

To leave on a positive note, we will turn things around for sure. Out of this mess and this awakening, will arise a new set of ideas, opportunities and solutions. That is what this country has done and that is what the human race has done, repeatedly. So, let us hang in there.  As they say, this too shall pass!. And let us continue to deliver our best in whatever field of endeavour we are engaged in, and for the collective good of humanity. Last time I checked with the experts, humans are supposed to be on this earth for many more millions of years to come still, long after we are all gone. Let’s hope that is still the case!