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Keeping abreast of change

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus said “the only constant in life is change”. Yet, when change happens, we are often surprised. COVID-19 has resulted in significant changes to the way people live, work and socialise. By and large, people are adapting to a range of challenges including working from home, remote learning, social distancing and wearing masks, while few are not all that willing to. It is same with business enterprises too.

In current circumstances, success rate of any business or individual is directly proportional to the speed of adaptation (by learning new skill sets and changing the age-old practices). Still there are people and business houses adamant and unwilling to learn the new rules of the games and adapt.

There was a time where people used to eat and drink without washing their hands even after commuting in public transport. Not anymore! Yes, COVID has brought in a fear about contracting the virus and made them cautious about masking, social distancing and keeping self and environment hygienic. This feeling is good for humanity in general to avoid any such pandemic in future, besides opening up new business opportunities for new necessities.

Reducing head counts in office with introduction of work from home eased the pressure on real estate and helped cool down skyrocketing real estate prices. This in a way reopen affordable housing possibility which will transform vast number of hitherto tenants into owners of their own houses. The food delivery and online business models which came to India a few years ago not only helped enhance volume of business but also ensure continuity of business for every restaurant and every vendor during lockdown. Small but smart vegetable vendors and small-time shopkeepers learn the trick of receiving orders through phone and online and do home delivery. Though studying online is cumbersome and stressful, children show resilience. All these pandemic-triggered changes helped humanity with huge savings of money and time, besides reducing the undue pressure on natural resources.

Let’s hope that once the pandemic crisis eases, all businesses will reopen, maybe with a welcome change of more customer orientation and responsible business practices. For sure, there will be stiff competition among the age-old established business houses and newly formed ones resulting in cost-effective, superior quality products and services.

Hygiene has became the top priority for humanity and more and more groups of people are showing high levels of self-discipline on this critical aspect. “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change,” said Charles Darwin.

“To live as the world lives, is wisdom” (Thirukkural 426)

joyatwin@gmail.com


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 1:05:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/keeping-abreast-of-change/article35117707.ece

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