2020 has left plenty of us eagerly waiting for the end of the year, in the hopes that a new year will turn the tides of gloom. As Mr Rahul Gupta, Sales Head North & East at Bar Code India, puts it “nothing in this world is permanent, and this pandemic is a testament to the fact.” That being said, why not sit down and have a look back at this trying year that brought us a few lessons as well.
“The human race was forced to stop, think, and alter the course of living. Hopefully, this has been a lesson learned. For many, the rainy day extended to months. Time and again it has been proved what fear can drive people to do, no motivation, lure, or threat cam. On a lighter note neither did one think that one would be allowed to enter an ATM wearing a scarf/cap and mask,” says Mr.Dinesh Pilgaokar, Head, Business Development & Alliances, Bar Code India, about the weird year that was 2020.
There are silver linings, however, as the year 2020 proves the age-old proverb “adversity is the best teacher” right once again. Let’s reminisce on these positives and enter into a festive mood, as we look forward to a better 2021.
1. A Challenge to our Social Inclinations
2020 is the year when every one of us lived virtually. Humanity, in its entirety, existed online.
While we were indeed forced to adapt to living virtually and minimize social contact as much as possible, we’ve also made the best out of a grim situation.
That being said, it did create an existential crisis in all of humanity. Human beings are categorized as social animals. Both on professional and personal levels, human beings tend to survive on constant social contact. Many workplaces thrive based on the interpersonal relationships and camaraderie among their workforces. Everything was forced to be turned upside down.
Albeit the lift in lockdowns in many countries, many of us are still living virtually. We’ve been put in a unique and insightful scenario, forced to try out things that we may not have otherwise – and we are better for it. Despite the global pandemic, we were still able to carry on in our day-to-day activities. We were able to start working remotely, learning from home, or even be able to hang out with near and dear ones remotely.
Viewed as the savior of the year 2020 by some, the internet must be the best thing to have existed. We were reliant on a multitude of online applications and websites to support our day-to-day living. Everything from groceries to work meetings happened online, meaning high-speed internet (which is currently taken for granted)is necessary for sustenance.
Does this mean that we are moving towards a completely virtual existence that we start to condemn human contact in its entirety? Though unlikely – that is something that could possibly be one of the repercussions of living virtually, making this a double-edged sword. However, if the early signs say anything, we were not locked down for long enough to renounce human contact just yet.
2. 2020 compelled us to introspect
With the passage of the year, one thing became clear. Time, which was so scarce in everybody’s usually busy lives, was available in plenty. It forced most of us to introspect, both on a personal and professional level. We went back to pursuing long-lost hobbies, and use this precious time to upgrade skills, or even search for personal milestones. There’s no denying the fact that most of it was possible because of one piece of technology, the internet.
The time and resources saved, which previously went under-appreciated, is brought to the limelight. “The biggest realization was the importance of time. In a matter of just a few days, everything that we do, how we do and what we do, changed. It is then I realized the value of freedom to choose to do things the way I would like to,” says Mr. Ajay Bhutani, Founder& CEO, Bar Code India.
Imagine this pandemic, but a decade or two ago. Introspect!
We wouldn’t have had access to high-speed internet, nor the plethora of online platforms that enabled us to function as well as we did during the course of the pandemic. Here’s some food for thought – back in the days where 1 GB a month of mobile data – the typical consumption for a country like India – seemed like a luxury, would we have been as productive as we were? How much easier did the internet make our lives during this pandemic? Do let us know through our socials.
3. The Attitude of Gratitude
With the number of stories that we’ve been hearing about those who’re unfortunate, we have also learned to appreciate what we have, and show gratitude to everyone helping us out. We’ve learned to be gratuitous to those who are risking their lives every day, from the nursing staff to policemen, leading the charge against this pandemic. For once instead of being greedy, we begun to count our blessings.
Mr. Rahul Gupta, Head Sales (North & East) speaks for us all when he says, “as the most evolved creatures on the planet, it is our responsibility to take care of the ones less fortunate. The compassion, cooperation, and helping hand we saw people extending towards each other over the gone past months were never seen before. We realized that this is the real source of happiness. The madness & the thirst for power is a hollow dream we were running towards when nothing in the outside world can be in our control.”
4. Economic Resilience
This year was brutal for businesses. Most businesses that relied on the physical presence of the customers to render goods or services collapsed this year. Although we saw businesses – small to big, adapt to the situation and transition to a contactless way of conducting business, so to speak. Everything, including the supply chain models, was under immense scrutiny. The economy did take a huge hit, in the last financial year, but we remain resilient.
Mr. Jayant Gupta, Chief Business Officer at Bar Code India, says, “I am proud of how the entire company understood and rallied together, especially when we were staring at a difficult phase ahead. The team responded to every ask, business requirement with a great deal of agility and a sense of purpose.”
While this is indeed something to look back on with simultaneous relief and pride, the future, at this point – as of December 2020, still remains unclear. “While we are returning to normalcy, my learnings and message would be that times are going to remain unpredictable going forward and we at business and personal levels need to make ourselves ready for the same.”, says Mr. Praveen Kishore, COO, Bar Code India.
The light at the end of the tunnel is almost visible, with the news of successful vaccine studies spreading across the world. However, it seems that even when normalcy is restored, we will still take forward the many gifts that this pandemic has bestowed upon us. “Attitude is everything and reality is neutral. How you think and envision manifests itself. On that note, our future is much brighter as it needs to be,” adds Mr. Jayant Gupta.
2020: The Lessons Overshadow the Pains
If we were to make “2020: A Retrospective” a decade from now, we’re sure that the lessons taken from this year would far overshadow the pains caused. “Limping back to the new normal, life goes on albeit with a message to heed – Be humble, be simple, be grateful for tender mercies,” adds Mr, Dinesh Pilgaokar.
As Mr. Vikas Wadhwa, Chief Innovation & International Markets Officer at BCI puts it, “we are all in this together.”