(Excerpts from the interaction of Manik Gupta, Ex. Chief Product Officer, Uber, PGP Co’08 with PGP Co’21)

Due to the current corona crisis and the situations around it, there are companies which are facing hard times. There are a lot of challenges and anxieties around the economy, jobs and so on. But at the same time being an optimist I find that there are so many new behaviours that the world is currently forming.  Some of the emerging trends that I am following right now are:

The role of remote learning in supplementing education

Online learning or blended learning will be a new normal and will have an important role to play in future as the key players figure out the ways and means of making it more effective

Supply chains will need not just optimisation but also will need to be resilient

There has been a focus on optimisation in Supply chains in terms of Just in Time manufacturing, eliminating slack etc. What the Coronavirus has taught us is that supply chains not only have to be just in time they also have to be resilient. So how do you balance a supply chain that needs to be resilient as well as efficient and this will be another interesting problem

The Idea of Remote Working

With employees working from home, a new opportunity has opened up for both employers and employees. The impact to productivity is unclear right now but it’s worth considering that employees don’t have to commute to work for hours a day and employers don’t perhaps need to pay for all the expensive office space. The usage of online video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams have significantly grown as enablers of remote work. There is an opportunity to develop more tools to allow people to work remotely and we could see an acceleration of this trend.

Healthcare systems

Healthcare is going to go through a significant transformation. This crisis has shown a lot of gaps in the healthcare systems around the world and a lot of smart entrepreneurs and government will look at ways to devoting their time and resources in this area as this is a critical sector which needs to be prioritised

Ecommerce and Local Delivery

Lots of new and existing companies will be working in this area to ensure delivery of essentials and non-essential goods at the fastest time. Many new users have signed up to various services ranging from online grocery delivery to broader eCommerce. This trend will continue as people get used to the convenience.

Whenever there is a crisis several opportunities also come up. There a lot of smart people who are looking across different aspects of these opportunities. Coming out of this crisis we will have many different companies or existing companies solving many of these problems.

Here are some insights based on my experience at ISB and during my career to helping Co2021   make the best of their time at ISB.

  1. Identify your personal mission: Everyone comes from a different background, experiences and so on and having made it to ISB itself is a validation of your potential. The question is how you find your personal mission. What is it that you like to do? What is it that you are good at? What excites you? The idea is to find out what makes you tick and focus on getting better at it. Taking my example I was a technologist when I came to ISB and I was pretty clear that post ISB I wanted to go back to technology but as a better technologist. Once you identify your mission, you can make decisions that help towards furthering your mission.
  2. Invest in creating resilient bonds with batchmates: The current batch is entering ISB during an unprecedented time due to the current Corona crisis. Your batch will connect with each other in ways that have never happened before. As you go through the journey together you will develop much stronger bonds. But this is not something which is going to happen organically, but I encourage you to make the best of how to do good things together and ensuring that you get to know each other as much as you can
  3. Focus on things that you can improve and not worry about the things you can’t: As you come into ISB you would grapple with your workload, the things happening around you in the world etc. But I would encourage you to stay focussed on the things that matter and make the best out of them.

As the Co’21 graduates next year the world will be in the next phase of transformation and that’s always an exciting time to be in. I am therefore confident that all of you will come out stronger as a class and I wish you the very best.