Looking Back, Looking Forward (Part 4)

The Year To Come

Tomorrow heralds a new year. We have been trained to think in collections of 365 days. 2020 is over, 2021 is here. And we start each new year with hope, optimism and even some resolutions. The fear of the virus is still ever-present for some – we don’t know if we have the antibodies, we don’t know what will happen if we are infected by Covid-19, we don’t know when we will get the vaccine, we don’t know what other long-term effects may be there.

But life has always been about unknowns. Whether in business or in life, the future is yet to happen and therefore unknowable. We can speak of broad trends but we cannot say for certain what will happen. The best we can do is to make the most of the time that we are alive and in good health.

For me, 2021 is about increasing the odds of success for many of the ideas that I have started on. There are many different tracks that I am working on and I hope I can make at least some of them work. My life has been about many experiments and ideas with a lot of failures. But that is what I like – new ideas which can hopefully bring about some change for the better. The entrepreneur in me keeps thinking and trying.

The post-Covid world will be different – 2020 will be seen as a defining year. Even as many trends accelerated (especially those around digital and tech), there will be a lasting impact on each of us on the way we work and socialise. Will I travel less since everyone I need to meet is but a Zoom call away? Do I really need to make a full-day visit just for that one meeting? Even when I could go to the office, will I prefer to spend some days just working from the comfort of home? Will I want to attend conferences in person when everything is just a click away? Which habits will persist and which will need to get altered? What does “return to normal” even mean?

Even as I look at our fortunate selves, there are hundreds of millions whose lives were torn asunder not as much by the virus but by the harshest of lockdowns imposed by the Indian political leaders. It will take a long time for any normalcy to return – for the kid whose school is not online, for the family who migrated back, for the professional who lost a job because the fat was cut, for small businesses who could not go online. But the human spirit has been and will be resilient. We have to each make our way across the obstacles. It is the hero’s journey for each of us.

Wish you all a very Happy New Year.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.