While perspectives may vary about the year that we just left behind; 2020 is definitely a year we will all remember as a year that made us question our most basic beliefs, uprooted our established methods of operation, and shook the foundation of everything that we had taken for granted. If you were to measure the intensity of this unforeseen and unprecedented impact, it would veer to the extreme right of the Richter Scale in terms of the tremors and the aftershock. Now that we have survived the year and crossed into the threshold of 2021, I would like to focus on the positive outcomes of 2020 and the lessons that it has taught us, albeit as the most bitter pill that we have had to swallow.
Without doubt, 2020 epitomized the “Who Moved My Cheese” narrative – be it professionally or personally. The cheese station that we assumed will never run out of stock, was suddenly empty and we were all reduced to frantic rats scurrying to find the next cheese station. Whether it is the skill sets that we brought to our jobs, the very nature of our work or even the structure and routine of domestic life. But once the initial upheaval was over and the dust settled, it is clear that we have evolved as a generation and discovered many new possibilities which will continue to hold sway well past our attaining immunity against the virus.
- Re-Invention works and escape velocity can be attained: As an organization when we were pushed against the wall with our mainstay of physical events no longer an option; the shadow of uncertainty loomed large over the industry as a whole. Necessity as the say is the Mother of Invention and we proved it right once again as we developed our own entirely indigenous Virtual Event platform in record time and unraveled a entirely new gamut of opportunities for business, bolstered by our premium offerings, so that our narrative of solving our clients’ sales and marketing problems emerged stronger than ever.
- Collaboration is the key to success: Whether it is higher levels of collaboration within the organization powered by technology and business continuity tools, or collaboration with erstwhile competitors; we have run the gauntlet and realized that a lot of our misgivings and just mental blocks with little or no logical backing. Over the last 10 months or so all our services are being delivered with phenomenal co-ordination and interplay between our various departments with team members working out of various parts of the country and the world. Similarly, while our decision to collaborate with our competitors was accepted with great skepticism at the outset, it has enabled us to extend our services to a host of behemoths across industries, that we would not have been able to access by ourselves.
- A Virtual World is now a Possibility: Through our Virtual Platform we have created Virtual Worlds for every possible objective – from student counselling to campus recruitment; from online medical consultations to retail exhibitions and fundraisers – apart from the obvious conferences, events, internal meets, awards, technical symposiums and so on. The barriers are truly only in our imagination. If you can imagine it then you can do it virtually.
- There is a Classroom anywhere, anytime: Needless to say, the education segment has seen a diametric shift in the way they function with Virtual Classrooms becoming a norm. While the psychological pressures and long-term effects of isolated learning are valid and debatable; what cannot be ignored is the sheer freedom that it has provided to the avid learner to learn at his/her convenience. Accessibility to learning and the resulting democratization of education are the most enduring and valuable fallouts of this pandemic. While these options were available earlier, the pressure on reskilling and upskilling and the sudden availability of time that was spent commuting has pushed all of us to don our learning hats once more.
All one can say is that we are in the middle of an infinite, albeit uncertain journey and I am sure that the coming days will take us to places which are even more exciting and full of possibilities.