Life and Work in the Time of COVID19: Sameer Tobaccowala, Chief Executive Officer, Shobiz Experiential Communication

The global challenge of COVID 19 conceals a hidden opportunity writes Sameer Tobaccowala.


As the world grapples with COVID 19, it appears that we are on the threshold of a Brave New World. Every aspect of life as we know it has been not just disrupted but demolished by a force as powerful as it is invisible. The mathematics of the compounding effect has resulted in a heart-wrenching high death toll in Italy; back home the statistical predictions for various scenarios given varying rigours of interventions are equally mind-boggling. Never before has the connection between data and life been so direct. And never before has the case for individual action powering a global outcome been so compelling.

Yet in the inky blackness of this abyss, there are isolated narratives of hope. Reports from Venice celebrate the return of marine life and dolphins to the city’s canals. Satellite imagery shows a marked reduction in emissions and warming over China. The Mumbai skyline looks clearer than ever before. If there is a headline takeout from this entire calamity it is that our planet still retains the ability to heal itself. And there is no reason that the story which countries and communities’ script for themselves should be any different.

To me, the global challenge of COVID 19 conceals a hidden opportunity. I see these as two sides of the same coin of hope. On one side is RESET and on the other side is REIMAGINE.

When I say reset, I’m talking about the fundamentals which may have so long remained unquestioned. Perhaps it's an assumption that a pitch presentation takes priority over helping with homework. Perhaps it's an assumption that revisiting the Classics would yield no lessons for real life. Perhaps it's an assumption that hobbies are distractions from your core calling. Well, here’s a chance to decant and distil that murky brew – keep the good parts, throw away the sediment and begin Life 2.0 with a superior product.

The other side of this coin of hope is Reimagine. The human imagination is certainly the most powerful tool ever known to date. And when harnessed to a specific task, with a specific objective in mind, eventual success is guaranteed. I believe the current scenario presents each one of us with an opportunity to reimagine. Reimagine your career, your calling, your work-life balance, your passion. Reimagine your individual life story and script each day so that output aligns with the outcome.

So, while India practices #JantaCurfew and the world practices #SocialDistancing in the quest to #FlattenTheCurve, I hope these thoughts spark a note of optimism that post-COVID 19 each one of us can indeed Heal the World and make it a better place.

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