The year 2020 might have been the worst year for all, but it has also played the biggest teacher in everybody's life. It has taught us to survive on basics and identify our unseen side.
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It isn't true only about us but also the ones who are constantly under the limelight. India's top female influencers and entrepreneurs share their learnings from 2020 and their expectations for the coming year.
Malini Agarwal - Founder MissMalini and Creative Director Malini's Girl Tribe
I think the one thing 2020 has made me realise is that expectation v/s reality is a slippery slope. We all had grand plans for 2020 and look where we ended up. The one personal silver lining to the pandemic has been some major personal growth. I have learned more about myself in this one year than I have in the previous 42. While we all hope and expect 2021 to offer some respite and joy, one thing is clear, COVID 19 has made it abundantly evident that nobody on earth is invincible and I think we have all grown closer in our shared vulnerability. I hope we as a race are able to remember these lessons long after the pandemic has passed. For me personally, I plan to spend 2021 focusing on my new and most passionate endeavour. Girl Tribe by MissMalini, a community and consolidated effort to make the Internet a kinder place, especially for women. It is time we applied some of the lessons we have learned in “real life” to the virtual world we have extensively begin to inhabit.
Damayanti Bhattacharya - Principal of Jasudben ML School
This year has been a roller coaster ride for all of us. When we think of it, this year has given us the power of learning and an understanding of the digital world in millennial times. Yet here we are, slowly overcoming our fears and crossing the obstacles one at a time, all set to bid Adieu to 2020. While adapting ourselves to the new normal, it's advisable to keep an open mind and welcome 2021 with a positive approach. All in all, rise above your expectations and embrace each day with a new perspective.
Geeta Ramakrishnan, Ontological Coach and Author
"The 2020 Pandemic has thought us a lot of life lessons like the value of life, the value of friends, and the value of time. Money is not the only source of abundance and happiness. With the possibility of COVID vaccines in place, 2021, the year post-COVID looks brighter, a year we have all been waiting for. Being social creatures, we can quickly adapt to getting back to work from the office, looking forward to the physical connection, having a face to face meetings and interaction, and to dress up to work, to the structure the office work hours offer. However, we have created some new habits over the last year and to readjust back to routine is going to need some time. Work from home has taught us the value of artificial intelligence and how to optimize resources while operating them from minimum space.
On the other side of the coin, we have seen fear, anxiety, death, and disarray in close quarters. We have been isolated from social life for close to a year, resulting in mental fatigue, lack of confidence, self-esteem, and trust, where the fear still lingers on. Coping with the fear, the uncertainty, the loss, and pain affects our mental wellbeing. The pandemic has helped by making people more aware of mental health. Sharing your thoughts and fear with friends and loved ones always help. Being aware of and seeking the services of professional coaches, counselors and mentors go a long way to not only smoothen the transition post COVID, and to also help reflect and evaluate the life lessons learned, to productively and meaningfully implement sustainable changes needed in facing the post-pandemic life with confidence"
Chef Aditi Handa - Co-Founder and Head Baker, The Baker’s Dozen
Pandemic has been a very stressful phase and everyone is trying to do the best they can. Being an entrepreneur and an essential service provider, the approach I have taken is everyone is responsible for their own self and we should give our 100% to stand strong in such a difficult time. For us, the main aim was to do our best and to keep the production running in a smooth format, as it was our responsibility to serve the daily bread to everyone. We have been very careful with the safety of all our employees and our customers.
The biggest learning for me in 2020 is that having a team is extremely important. When so many new and dynamic things had to be mobilized during the early days of the pandemic, each member of our team went out of their way to ensure the supply of essentials does not stop for our customers.
For the upcoming year, I really wish for things to mold in a better way and for everyone to remain safe and healthy. As a brand, The Baker's Dozen will be looking forward to expanding our footprints into new cities by entering into the D2C format and will be looking forward to adding new products in our menu.
Priti Rathi Gupta - Founder of LXME
2020 for everyone has been the year that never was. But I think we should look at this year as a year of reflection and learning. Uncertainty has been a critical component of working in financial services. However, the most repeated word of this year has been unprecedented. For me, a key observation has been that globally we are still not fully equipped to deal with uncertainty and as we continue to find our way in these uncertain times, the impact for women has been different. A report from McKinsey Global Institute estimates that women make up almost two-fifths of the global labor force but have suffered more than half of total job losses from the crisis. That's left them 1.8 times more vulnerable to the pandemic's impact than men. Particularly in India, I find that the challenges associated with remote working are disproportionately felt by women, as they strive to meet the demands from the home and work simultaneously. This has only made me feel more passionately about a vision where women take control of their finances, which can give them some stability to tide over uncertain times and a social dynamic where the burden of household is shared equally.
Pandemic and 2020 has been a catalyst for growth in investment need and flow. Acceptance of digital platforms has increased manifold. LXME meets all these criteria and more so for women whose financial needs were not met previously. The fintech industry is seeing huge innovation and growth.
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