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Drawing from History: Bhavana Chamoli on How to Prepare for a Post-Pandemic Business Climate
Somewhat paradoxically, the best tool we have for predicting the future is not the present—it is the past. Although the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in this modern era, it is far from history’s first drastic global event. Consequentially, the details of these events and the specifics of their aftermath may serve as guideposts for business leaders and policy makers who will someday be tasked with the challenge of navigating a new and uncertain post-pandemic world.
The COVID-19 pandemic, of course, is far from over—some experts have projected that we are merely approaching the end of its beginning. Even still, business leaders like Bhavana Chamoli believe successful navigation strategies will require significant foresight and development. While we cannot yet mitigate for specific risks, we can (and should) equip our businesses to better tackle the impending difficulties of a post-pandemic world.
When searching for answers on approaching the incoming years of adaptive change, Bhavana Chamoli looks to the post-World War II era. After years of devastation and destruction, global communities awoke to the daunting task of reinventing their businesses, economies, and social structures. As the COVID-19 pandemic resolves, many businesses will face this very same challenge.
History-based approaches for the post-pandemic world
The world has changed considerably since the 1940s. While the impacts of the war itself will be largely unrelated to the longstanding effects of COVID-19, the patterns of those changes still serve as valuable tools for insight. Based on Bhavana Chamoli’s industry insight and historical research on post-war impacts, the following are just a few of the many ways that businesses should begin adapting in order to someday thrive in COVID’s wake.
Promoting the dispersal of tech solutions
Crisis leads to innovation. As we adapt amidst the current, technological advancements have accelerated at unprecedented rates. As highlighted by Bhavana Chamoli they will continue to do so as we see the pandemic through to its end. Mirroring the post-war boom in innovation, these new technologies will prove dynamically useful as we move forward in the virus’s wake.
Undeniably, they will catalyze an indeterminable amount change in industries across the board. These revelations, when placed in context with heightening globalization, should encourage institutions towards approaching international collaboration with an open mind. In the post-COVID world, successful institutions will build trust and alliances by freely dispersing tech solutions not just amongst the public, but between themselves as well.
While the post-COVID-19 era will usher in a heightened wave of globalization, its rapid onset is nothing new. Facilitated by mass technological advancement, global economies are more interdependent than ever before. Of course, the implications of globalization are heavily debated. Although it has delivered resources and revenue to certain poverty-stricken regions, the social and environmental concerns it raises remain valid.
Most poignantly, however, Bhavana Chamoli highlights that embracing globalization in the post-COVID world does not mean blindly accepting its faults. Rather, it demands that global organizations fully and vigorously address is many concerns. In short, institutions across the board must accept globalization, approaching it with a willingness to collaborate and adapt.
Fortunately, many nations across the globe are already reportedly onboard. A 2019 poll by World Economic Forum, for example, reported that 72% of all regions agreed that “all countries can improve at the same time.” An even larger percentage (76%) assert that global collaboration is a foundational element of that simultaneous improvement. Statistic such as these suggest that movements to embrace globalization and address its challenges will be a matter of effective mobilization rather than motivation.
Increasing Support for the Public Sector
The financial and physical hardship spurred by the current pandemic has widened existing economic inequality, according to Bhavana Chamoli. On an unprecedented global level, young people, minority groups, and low earners are increasingly wary of established institutions. Embolden by the growing inequality gap between the lower and upper class, these disenfranchised individuals are collectively pushing for economic inclusion that levels the playing field.
In this turbulent climate of widespread distrust, policy makers and business leaders must tread lightly. Businesses, for example, will need to pay special attention to the social contract between companies and the communities through which they source their labor. Effective business practices and policy must reclaim these disenfranchised demographics’ trust and support by consistently demonstrating a real and genuine intention for fostering equality. In practices across the board, special attention must be paid toward universal inclusion, especially in the practice of diffusing technology and the availability of advancement programs.
Expanding digital infrastructure
The post-war boom catalyzed the production of physical assets: high-speed railways, advanced port systems, improved factory facilities for increased production capabilities, and more. Given the increasingly digital nature of the modern world and how we operate within it, economies thriving in the post-pandemic world will likely see advancements at a similar scale. These developments, however, will include improved and increased digital infrastructure rather than the refinement of physical assets.
Businesses and policy makers looking to adapt to these incoming changes, therefore, should strive to expand their digital infrastructure ahead of the curve. Improvements that serve to improve online education, telemedicine, and workplace communication will be especially essential. Movements to make these structures more accessible through the widespread availability of high-speed internet will also likely prove advantageous.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes