As an entrepreneur and an employer, I have witnessed a multitude of changes in the last few days owing to COVID-19, as have all of us. This virus has claimed many lives, instilled deep-rooted panic and brought our lives and businesses to a halt. In this scenario, which we have perhaps never experienced before, I find myself having stumbled upon certain crucial learnings which I wish to share with everyone:
- Harking back to the basics: In a matter of days, this emergency situation has shown us our strengths and weaknesses as a people, as an economy, as a community and a country. With this imminent threat looming upon us, I find that we are rediscovering the importance of being connected to our families, caring for them, spending time with one another and simply existing together. This situation that we have found ourselves locked in, has realigned us with our priorities and shown us what they should have always been. Being recognized worldover for our community bond and linkage, it is my belief that as Indians, we will fight this virus more resiliently owing to our culture of being there for one another and seeing each other and our families through these adverse times.
- Can we embrace a Work From Home Culture: Like many other employers in India, I have always had my doubts and apprehensions regarding employees working from home owing to the comfort found in seeing your employees on a daily basis, checking their performance and interacting with them face-to-face. Moreover, work from home in India could be difficult owing to the fact that people may not be able to create a work environment and routine for themselves due to family obligations, limitations or even poor connectivity and network issues. Work from home in India was only a privilege afforded to the IT sector or independent freelancers previously. However, with COVID-19, it has now become a necessity forcing us to adapt to it and integrate it. While this can help save on infrastructural costs, cut down sky-high rental rates and reveal other benefits in future, the challenge for me has been to ensure that my team stays motivated, productive and is in constant communication to meet our deadlines and make the most of this scenario.
- Taking Work/Meetings online: Throughout my career, I have interacted with several people who were averse to embracing video conferencing, virtual meetings and online interactions and always found myself sitting in my office, meeting with these people face-to-face again because it is a matter of comfort and it is how we are used to working. But owing to the virus, I now find myself on a Zoom call or Google meeting with these very same people who are now discovering that they might actually enjoy the benefits that virtual conferencing brings to the table. People can see that deals are concluded faster, negotiations are discussed more thoroughly and promptly and meetings are undertaken more efficiently with time saved on commuting and reaching the destination. Moreover, many have also started using DocuSign, a service that allows people to authorize their E-signature on documents across devices. While many would usually have several apprehensions regarding the same, at this time, it is ideal to ensure that paperwork can be processed without delay and with ease, avoiding physical contact. In the future, this may even become a regular method of processing documents across organizations. This transition, although forceful, has yielded certain benefits that may stay with us for times to come.
- The Possible future of Construction: Having invested heavily in prefabricated and modular construction almost two years ago, I am now seeing that it is our new reality and it is here to stay. It is versatile, stronger, much more time efficient, sustainable and environmentally beneficial. Even after the virus dissipates, it is established that imports, exports, trade, manufacturing and various sectors will take a hit. People will also want to maintain a safe distance in working with others for a considerable amount of time. These characteristics mean that in light of disruptions such as COVID-19, modular construction is also more likely to bounce back faster in the face of such adversity once demand resumes. People are more likely to consider and opt for it should the need arise in their workspaces.
Moreover, with a literal gun to our head situation where we are brought to our knees by this pandemic, I am relearning the importance of being one with my family, being thankful for those basics which we so often take for granted and being positive and versatile in my approach towards my work and my business.
I truly believe that Coronavirus is the impetus prompting us to test old practices and business methods and adapt to cultural changes in our daily work methods and beliefs. It can challenge us to enforce a new work culture and create a better tomorrow for ourselves and our employees.
I am sure that we will come through this calamity with renewed strength, greater preparedness and more appreciation for our surroundings.
Wishing everyone the very best in staying safe from coronavirus.
From the desk of
Founder & Managing Director
Studiokon Ventures Pvt. Ltd.