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“COVID-19 Crisis has Taught us That Everything Needs to be Digitized”, Says Entrepreneur Stuti Jalan
By IANSlife Features
In an unprecedented battle against COVID-19, India enters its third phase of Lockdown 3.0.
One needs to be able to sift the grain from the chaff in the volume of rhetoric and despair surrounding the current COVID-19 scenario, which has declared the market slow-moving or outright stagnant. STIMULUS 2020, a first of its kind webinar aimed to do just that while bringing together 70 industry experts who have dealt with similar cards before. The aim was to connect with strategists, business owners and executives in order to canvas possibilities and new ideas in media, luxury, lifestyle, leadership and other industries, organised by The Global Luxury Group, Crosshairs Communications (PR Partner) & WIN (Women Inspiring Network – Content Partner),
IANSlife spoke to Stuti Jalan, an award-winning entrepreneur who is internationally recognised as an emerging woman leader and Founder Women Inspiring Network & Crosshairs Communication, for her take on how young entrepreneurs can navigate through these tough times.
Q. In a post COVID-19 era do you think startups will flourish or find it tougher than ever before?
Jalan: COVID-19 has shown us the fury of nature when over-exploited. It has also shown us the resilience of the humankind when faced with extraordinary adversity. I recently founded WIN – Women Inspiring Network that is powering up women with information and builds networks and creates ecosystems for them thrive lead & create.
With the lockdown I witnessed & we ourselves started promoting clients digitally as the digital landscape is constantly emerging as one of the major communication platforms for all as our core business is PR & social media. In every adversity there is an opportunity and if we put our mind to it we can overcome it. Conceptualising this digital conference has inspired and motivated me in more ways than one. It made me look at our business differently.
It will help us all to think differently positively and … enable us to relook at things, maybe how can we can all work differently. Post Covid will be a level playing field as all businesses world over impacted the key is to be positive, persevere and reset ourselves.
Q. Will start-ups and one or two-year old companies find it difficult to get back on their feet after this hiatus and slowdown, especially when competing with large organised businesses?
Jalan: From our business point of view – The COVID-19 crisis has taught us that everything needs to be digitized, I also feel it is the time for brand building and strengthening bonds with brands. This is what people will remember. However, we should not exploit the situation and be ethical.
Undoubtedly the newly initiated start ups will find it hard to sustain in the market and for newcomers it will take both patience, perseverance and it can be perfect time to re-strategise and relook at how businesses were done. Start ups are known to create energies with a determination to be innovative. So, this is the time for everybody to think and redefine new ideas, revoke and develop the thought process by understanding the circumstances analytically. Disruption innovation is the key.
Q. Do you think more women will venture from their homes and look for careers after being faced with the reality of mortality. Many may want to now live life to the fullest?
Jalan: Yes definitely. For instance Women Inspiring Network is a content platform dedicated to helping aspiring women leaders fulfill their potential. Our aim is to build content and communities to inform and inspire.
In quarantine women are promoting their talents on social media platforms and some very interesting skills at that; and am sure post lockdown they will be coming out of their homes in order to pursue their dreams. Just today on our platform we had a request someone wanted to do a talk for responsible gaming inIndia and first lady poker in India. She has been bestowed with presidents award for her contribution in the gaming sphere. The reason for the above example is I see more women going for unconventional professions.
I did read some study that women are doing Work from Home but r there is gender gap in household work – women’s contribution is more on household chores. There has to be balance. I have been part of many women forums globally and many studies estimate that a higher participation of women in the workforce, raising the number of hours spent by them on the job, and including them in higher-productivity sectors will help spur such economic growth.
Q. Do you think leaders will focus on sustainability or will go back to their pre COVID-19 ways?
Jalan: After witnessing the current situation it becomes important not only for the leaders but for everyone to take environment into consideration. Sustaining our resources by not exploiting them to an extent is need of the hour.
I am a certified scuba diver and have seen what has happened to oceans world over in recent years. With social media and awareness playing a role during the Covid 19 am sure majority of the people and not just leaders will pay heed now to climate change. Earlier there were talks but this time people have witnessed the impact and am sure we will see change.
One important thing is the business of going back to the basics. We talk about Climate Change and Global Warming but finally we’ve been forced to come back to basics. Having been forced, has resulted in birds being spotted in urban cities, we can see the stars, the Himalayas can be spotted from Punjab and in Delhi we can finally breathe.
Sustainability will have a larger role to play in the long run. The consumer becoming aware has led to a rise in conscious buying, which is why organic and sustainable products are gradually becoming the highlight of the day. Also re-used, pre-owned and rented items will also find a new segment of consumers and avenues being opened up is another trend in brands I forsee. (IANS)
NEW DELHI - India Navy sending four ships for exercises and port visits with the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, its navy said Wednesday, as China's maritime power grows in the area.
The Indian ships will spend more than two months in the region, the navy said in a statement.
Commander Vivek Madhwal, the Indian navy spokesman, said four ships will take part.
The ships will also participate in a multilateral exercise, MALABAR-21, along with the Japanese, Australian and U.S. navies, the statement said.
It said the exercises will enhance coordination with friendly countries, based on common maritime interests and a commitment to freedom of navigation.
"Besides regular port calls, the task group will operate in conjunction with friendly navies to build military relations and develop interoperability in the conduct of maritime operations," the statement said.
The U.S., India, Japan and Australia are part of the Quad regional alliance created in response to China's growing economic and military strength. Washington has long viewed New Delhi as a key partner in efforts to blunt increasing Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
India is also in a continuing standoff with China over their disputed border in the eastern Ladakh region. The countries have stationed tens of thousands of soldiers backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets along their de facto border, called the Line of Actual Control.
Last year, 20 Indian troops died in a clash with Chinese soldiers involving clubs, stones and fists in a portion of the disputed border. China said it lost four soldiers.(VOA/HP)
The UK government on Thursday announced that it will move India from the red to the amber list on Sunday, in the country's latest update to the 'Red-Amber-Green' traffic light ratings for arrivals into England amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
This means the visit visas for the UK from India are open, in addition to other long-term visas that have remained open. But travellers from India arriving in England can complete a 10-day quarantine at home or in the place they are staying (not mandatorily quarantine in a managed hotel).
The UK government also announced that arrivals from France to England will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated. The step aligns France with the rest of the amber list now that the proportion of beta variant cases has fallen, where those who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised and administered in the UK, the US or Europe do not need to quarantine when arriving in England.
This move also simplifies the system to three categories, as well as the green watch list to give travellers notice where green status is at risk.
To continue cautiously reopening international travel, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will be added to the government's green list, having demonstrated they posed a low risk to UK public health.
Besides India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will also be moved from the red to the amber list, as the situation in these countries has improved.
The data for all countries will be kept under review and the government will not hesitate to take action where a country's epidemiological picture changes, a statement by the UK government said.
Following an assessment of the latest data, Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico will be added to the red list as they present a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of Covid-19.
Arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we've made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.
"While we must continue to be cautious, today's changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public."
Since February, anyone who arrives in the UK from a red list country has been required by law to book a stay in a managed quarantine facility for 10 days.
In order to ensure taxpayers are not subsidising the costs of staying in these facilities, which have gone up, the cost will increase from August 12. Alternative payment arrangements remain available to those who genuinely cannot afford to pay and rates remain the same for children up to 12.(IANS/HP)
A Hindu temple in Pakistan's Punjab province was reportedly vandalized by hundreds of people after a nine-year-old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated at a local seminary, received bail, a media report said on Thursday.
According to the Dawn news report, the incident took place on Wednesday in Bhong town, about 60 km from Rahim Yar Khan city.
Besides the vandalization, the mob also blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5), the report added.
Citing sources, Dawn news said that a case was registered against the minor on July 24 based on a complaint filed by a cleric, Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, of the Darul Uloom Arabia Taleemul Quran.
The sources said that "some Hindu elders did tender an apology to the seminary administration saying the accused was a minor and mentally challenged".
But, when a lower court granted him bail a few days ago, some people incited the public in the town on Wednesday and got all shops there closed in protest, the report quoted the sources as further saying.
A video clip showing people wielding clubs and rods storming the temple and smashing its glass doors, windows, lights, and damaging the ceiling fans went viral on social media.
In response, one Twitter user said: "Ganesh Temple, village Bhong in Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab has been ravaged. Another day, another attack on Hindus in Pakistan."
Another said: "Yesterday, the mob ran amok at Temple over minor boy issue who allegedly urinated, the boy said to be mentally handicapped. Hindu community made an apology for the boy — a case registered against the nine-year-old boy. Those vandalized temples, no FIR registered against them."
District police spokesman Ahmed Nawaz Cheema said Rangers had been deployed in the troubled area and the situation was under control.
A small town close to the River Indus and Sindh-Punjab border, Bhong houses a number of gold traders who originally hail from Ghotki and Dehrki (Sindh), according to the Dawn news report.
A ruling PTI member representing the minority said he had been in touch with the local Hindu community and influential Rais family of Bhong since the issue surfaced.