Lockdown Lessons: Biggest rule of business is to stay in business - Abhayanand Singh
India is emerging out of an over two-month long lockdown – a period that has changed our lives, behaviours and the way we conduct business forever. The lessons that we have learnt during the lockdown period and our experiences during the year so far, will help us navigate a world that we had never imagined. It has been a trying time for many of us, with everyone working from home and having to adapt to a new way of working and living. Adgully’s latest endeavour – Lockdown Lessons – is an attempt to present the key learnings that India’s business honchos have learnt and imbibed, and which can help the industry navigate the new normal better.
In conversation with Adgully, Abhayanand Singh, CEO – Golden Ratio Films & Chairperson – Singapore South Asian International Film Festival, speaks about how he and his team are strategising on how to head back to work in this ‘new normal’, armed with the formidable lessons learnt during the lockdown period.
What are the key lockdown lessons as a professional during the lockdown period?
I think that the biggest takeaway that I have from this lockdown phase is to always be prepared for the worst. I have now decided to make a contingency plan for my company and employees in case of such situations to ensure that the company runs smoothly and my employees also don’t face any drastic financial issues during such black swan events.
Please tell us some of the key takeaways in terms of life lessons from the lockdown period?
Tough times like these teach you the importance of family and friends, and I have definitely learnt to stay more positive and inculcate positivity around me as well. I have also learnt to be more patient and wait for good things to happen, and I think all of us have learnt patience during the last few months. As they say, every dark cloud has a silver lining, and so I believe that there are a lot of lessons that this year is teaching us and I am trying my best to absorb those lessons and improve my life and the life of those around me.
How did you manage and achieve work-life balance while working from home?
Initially, the transition to a Work From Home module was definitely not smooth, but then as the weeks passed by, I learnt to make the most out of this situation. I have a drawing board at home where I draw down my ideas and strategies and share the same with my team. I have been connecting with my team for future ideas and plans. I have a lot of new ideas that I cannot wait to implement once normalcy sets in. This time has also given me the opportunity to conclude some long neglected initiatives that were stuck due to the paucity of time in the past. I have also involved myself in some online learning to better my skills and take advantage of this intermission. As for my family, I am spending some quality time with them. In the past, due to my busy work schedule I could not enjoy proper sit-down meals very frequently with my family, but during this lockdown, I have been able to enjoy the hot meals and conversations at the dining table with my family. I also take short breaks between my work-from-home set-up to spend some time with my daughter. I am trying to make the best out of this situation by balancing my work life and family.
It has been more than two months since the lockdown was enforced. How are you gearing up for back to office mode?
I am blessed to have a team of hard working and disciplined employees, and I & my team are prepared to head back to office and work, but at the same time, we are strategising on how to head back to work in this ‘new normal’. We have been coming up with ideas and plans to keep our team safe when work resumes and stay cautious till there is any clarity on the situation.
Any lessons that you picked up in financial management from the lockdown period?
The biggest lesson that I have picked up during these testing times is that no matter what, the show must go on and keeping that in mind, I and my team have been trying our best to keep the business up and running. After all, the biggest rule of business is to stay in business.