Guest Lecture: Mr. Rajan Dhawan, SIDTM alumnus, Batch of 2001-2003- Navigating through unprecedented times
On Thursday, May 21, 2020, SIDTM was privileged to host a session by Mr. Rajan Dhawan,
Director, Sales and Business Head, Large and Global Accounts, Gartner.
In these days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Alumni Committee and the Academics Committee of SIDTM have conceptualized an initiative of ‘Guest Lecture’ providing industry insights in current interesting trends in the Digital, Telecom, ICT and Financial domains.
This week providing much-needed thought-leadership was Mr. Rajan Dhawan a SIDTM alumnus of batch 2001-2003, who has 10 years of experience in the Strategy & Business Development domain in the Telecom industry and has worked on different projects and clients in India and the SAARC regions. He worked for 7 years in the Telecom industry prior to his current preoccupation He is now ‘Head of Sales and Business Development’ at Gartner. This is the 5th such guest lecture in the series of GLs witnessing alumni interaction and enthusiastic participation by the students.
The subject of discussion was ‘Navigating through unprecedented times in the Era of Covid-19’. After a brief introduction and the discussion of agenda, Mr. Dhawan took the platform to first assert the importance of the issue at hand and demonstrated that Covid-19 had incapacitated world economies and not without reason. With insightful statistics, Mr. Dhawan built up the staggering evidence for the widespread impact of Covid-19. Impact of COVID will be across multiple industries and sectors, slowing down things, however it is expected to bounce back with increase in demand. Next, various geographical and region-wise trends lent insight towards the possible threshold of recovery. It could be observed that the recovery period for India stood between 5-7 months, as per the data.Mr. Dhawan also discussed the impact on GDP across various continents and how the trend would be in a post COVID world.
Discretionary Spending: A Call for Concern
As some of the old patterns got shattered, some new patterns have emerged. Mr. Dhawan highlighted that the top concerns for companies operating in these new and surprising situations, were changing rapidly. Companies would be cash strapped, concerns from the macro- level, external to the internal impact such as on employee safety, and revenue losses were getting top priority. Mr. Dhawan provided insight on how each sector was preparing for budgetary cuts due to cost management becoming a vital concern for businesses. However, this is also going to create new opportunities for automation and digitization to improve TCO.
Despite these important declining trends, there is also evidence of companies preparing for the time after the pandemic. The landscape changes put into effect by this roaring pandemic was a clarion call for companies to put aside the legacy models and drive innovation and transformation into the strategy at a fast pace. Newer business models, drivers for inorganic growth, and major technologies gaining traction in the business agenda define a ‘new normal’ as per the discussion. Mr. Dhawan highlighted that there were numerous takeaways from the highs and lows of the recessionary impact of Covid-19 and a long time before equilibrium could be re-achieved.
Demand for a skilled workforce and the emergent technologies was also likely to change the market and require much initiative to be dealt and handled, at the individual level.
The impact of Covid-19 is so remarkable that the aftershocks would be felt a long time after this pandemic recedes, however, there are a lot of positives to look forward to. Such a session definitely helped me to understand the changing environment, the human response, and the effort to plan and manage an event of such magnitude and scale as a future career emerges. We, as the future managers for our country seem better prepared to ace the challenges put forth by the unknown enemy- Covid-19.
Batch of 2019-2021, SIDTM