The year 2020 witnessed the onset of a pandemic – COVID-19, a global outbreak, something that the world hasn’t seen since the Spanish Flu of 1918. I remember reading a piece wherein the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, called this pandemic the most challenging crisis since World War II. The cases continue to grow across continents at alarming rates while the social and economic impact becomes harder to trace by the minute. As the pandemic continues, it spreads scare, feeding instability, and unrest all over. Given the predicament, I believe there are 5 demanding questions for entrepreneurs and founders to answer:
1. Is Diversification bad?
At the heart of any successful venture is an entrepreneur sitting with a laser-focused approach to a problem that needs a solution. So the question is – what do we do in such times, where entire industries like aviation, events, and hospitality are on the verge of going under? Would it be a sounder strategy to develop various avenues under the same belt instead of chasing the trillion-dollar product?
2. Should I always choose growth over stability?
The term “Runway”, in the world of startups, has always been an indicator for a founder to go out and seek funds. But given the present circumstances, the same “Runway” issue has the power to jeopardize entire companies. What we learn from the pandemic is one important thing – No matter how much we analyze and anticipate, uncertainty will always carry more weight than predictability. As a result, planning for stability to have sustained growth comes out as a better tactic.
3. Am I responsible?
The governments are striving to manage economies in these times while keeping the socio-economic well-being of its citizens in mind. For instance, the Indian government announced a 3 Lac Crore relief package for MSMEs. But even then, every founder or entrepreneur is faced with a common dilemma – Do I put the company before me just as I have in the face of adversity before? Or should I play it safe – step away from wrecking up responsibilities and lives under these ‘Unprecedented times’? A term whose meaning is truly known, now better than ever before.
4. How can I maintain business continuity?
This is by far the biggest, and perhaps the most daunting question – How do you ensure continuity of your business in unpredictable times? As tech paved the path for newer Industries, many of them now, at large, is dependent on first or second-generation entrepreneurs. While the business acumen is engrossing, discussions around business continuity aren’t something they’ve had during their entire working careers. So, do you feel knowledgeable backed to make the hard calls? Are you structured enough to work remotely without hampering ops?
5. How can I capitalize on the pandemic?
There are opportunities even in these disastrous times. While the markets lie erratic and industries take a dip, it’s habitual for entrepreneurs to have multiple eureka moments at these times with every passing day. So many have altered their entire company visions during the last few months. Recently, I came across a handful of entrepreneurs who have repurposed their entire operations to, not only sustain the COVID-19 wave but to do their bit towards the global fight.
And yes, while it’s easier said than done, these are extraordinary times so the actions can’t be any less.
Maybe, it’s time to imbibe the saying -Diversity is the mother of creativity.
P.S – The lockdown may have ended but the pandemic hasn’t. I sincerely request each one of you to stay safe and take all precautions possible. Remote working has become the new normal for a lot of us. So here’s a Work-From-Home Guide to help you elevate the experience and boost your team’s efficiency. Let’s make the most of it!
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