Lockdown Lessons: Invest wisely in platforms that will create maximum recognition & recall
The year 2020 has taught us several harsh lessons. Barely had we entered a new year with renewed hopes and expectations, when the global COVID-19 pandemic jolted all of us out of our comfortable ‘Normal’ zone and flung us into an uncertain world. Terms like lockdown, social distancing, quarantine, work from home, new normal, unprecedented times and the dreaded ‘R’ word – Recession – have become a part and parcel of our daily lives.
India is just emerging out of an over two-month 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. 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, Anuj Sidharth, Deputy Director, Marketing & Communication, MediaTek India, highlights his major learnings during the lockdown period – both as a professional and on the personal front.
What are the key lockdown lessons as a professional during the lockdown period?
The lockdown has been an unprecedented and tough situation for all of us. It challenged us to adapt to a new way of living and working. One of the biggest lessons I learned as a professional during the lockdown was effectively collaborating with my teams and partners through the digital platform. Traditionally, we believed that face-to-face interactions were paramount, but gradually, all of us have come to terms with the new normal of digital working.
Previously, team members and colleagues would interact with each other at short intervals while at work, but now we have to rely on video calls and online chats. Another lesson I imbibed is that it is important to remain connected, even when we are working remotely, to maintain productivity and continuity.
During the lockdown, it is imperative that professionals stick to deadlines and maintain a manageable and efficient schedule. I also learned to trust my teammates when it comes to delivery timelines as remote working made direct coordination difficult.
Please tell us some of the key takeaways in terms of life lessons from the lockdown period?
A major takeaway in terms of life lessons from the lockdown is that time management is imperative to maintaining productivity. Since the traveling time was eliminated, I had more time on hand and could focus on creating a positive and optimal routine.
During the lockdown, I realised that life is extremely uncertain and precious. It led me to adopt healthy lifestyle habits and spend quality time with my family. A key takeaway from this period remains my realisation that one should value each moment and be thankful to the almighty for giving us such a great life. Another takeaway for me stems from the resilience all of us showed in the face of the pandemic. It reinforced my belief in humanity, and I feel that one should always remain positive and maintain a helping attitude towards the society.
How did you manage and achieve work-life balance while working from home?
Sticking to a strict time schedule while working from home helped me achieve work-life balance. My work pressure was greatly lessened by the various innovative technologies that MediaTek powers. Our offerings across segments like smartphones, smart home solutions, connectivity solutions, gaming devices, and set-top boxes empowered consumers during the lockdown. For instance, I regularly depend on my Amazon Echo Dot speaker, powered by MediaTek, to co-ordinate and manage my daily chores. It ensures that all my tasks are completed on time and no important work gets skipped.
Once my work gets completed, I ensure that I enjoy quality time with all members of my family, from my mother and grandparents to my wife, daughter, and my adorable pet Pluto. I would also chalk out self-time to introspect on my day and consider the way forward. As a practitioner of Buddhism, I also chant every day and it enables me to uplift my life and work for the society, ensuring I feel happy and fulfilled.
It has been more than two months since the lockdown was enforced. How are you gearing up for back to office mode?
While it has indeed been over two months since the lockdown, I believe that if you work diligently, the location of your workspace does not matter. What is important is your commitment and attitude towards work. When we think of going back to the office, we must accept that it will not be the same as before COVID-19. Social distancing and safety guidelines will be in place and it will be a new normal that we are heading to.
Returning to the office will also take away the routine we got used to during the lockdown, like dressing informally and being around your pet and family the whole day. However, this would be a new challenge, and it would be great to meet all my colleagues again. On a lighter note, I would say that we must gear up in a pair of jeans, or formal clothes, to return to the office mode.
Any lessons that you picked up in financial management from the lockdown period?
The lockdown has reiterated several financial management lessons, both on professional and personal fronts. On the professional side, marketing strategists have realised that the lockdown has created a shift in human and business behaviour. Businesses are fortifying their online presence and morphing into a digital entity. In such a situation, a lesson I have picked up is that it is important for us to maintain our marketing budgets and invest wisely in platforms that will create maximum recognition and recall, while building traction with customers. For us at MediaTek, the focus will be on applying a 360-degree, marketing mix strategies for both the mobile and non-mobile segments.
On the personal front, the uncertainty of life has reinforced the need to start saving as early as possible. It is imperative that we save for a rainy day, as we may have to face more such unprecedented situations going ahead. Being prepared is the only way to survive uncertainty and I hope we all focus on that even after the lockdown.