PRAXIS2022: A Special Session on the Future of Business

As we continue to steer our businesses through the pandemic and social unrest, natural disasters and economic uncertainty, it’s become easy to wonder: Is this the new normal?

What exactly is the future of business?  Do we think we can return to our businesses as it existed in January 2020? The truth is that we are likely to be super disappointed. Because, like it or not, the harsh truth is – ‘Change’ rules today. Changing how we identify opportunities and risk factors, changing how we manage work and life, how we use technology, how we network, how we access and keep customers, and how we think about the value of work itself. And those who accept change the fastest are the ones who stand to ‘win big’.

“A Special Session on the Future of Business” was the focus of the conversation between Gul Panag, actor & entrepreneur and Lloyd Mathias, Business Strategist. What was the consistent theme in her journey? Tracing her success when she was crowned Ms India at age 20, she admitted that she was fortunate enough to achieve her goal at such a young age. What was the transition she went through?  “To start with I haven’t transitioned,” she said and somehwere along the line, she started writing down her goals and her “personal growth has always been goal-driven”. 

In the complexity of situation today, #BrandsGet Real is trending now. What makes a brand real? An authentic brand is one that decides to be transparent and consistent in both its messaging and branding initiatives. It has business values it remains true to, and most essentially, it is honest. Most importantly, she shared how her brand stayed ‘real’. Conditioned by her father, she remained true to herself – “being honest, forthright and most authentic version of myself”. Plus she had realised early in life, that she was a good communicator. And, that helped too. 

The OODA loop

When Lloyd asked – how you redraw that, for our best plans do go haywire. Look how the pandemic hit us with no warning, whatsoever. Her answer was clear as she referred to the OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) – a four-step approach to decision-making that focuses on filtering available information, putting it in context and quickly making the most appropriate decision, while also understanding that changes can be made as more data becomes available. Military strategy also relied on this – fact that propped her up, having an army background on both sides of her family. “In every stage of life, we need to carry out OODA cycles,” she declared and went on to say – “by accepting the reality of what’s happened, you can rewrite or recaliberate”.  

Having endorsed many brands, she pointed out she also has a distinct brand identity which skips around – travel, adventure, fitness, cars, bikes, planes; she always made it a point to speak up and that made a difference in her brand identity. For her, associating with something not part of her universe, “does not sit right, for an element of authenticity and ethics comes in”. 

The new age consumers – millennials, GenZ expect their brands/celeb/ business to stand for something ‘real’. But, the room to air an opinion or take a stand is shrinking she felt – only time will tell.

Navigating through the social media space

Social media has made the world more democratised today and is becoming a necessary evil. How did she navigate through this space? The simplest way is to take a step back, she stated and social media is a tool to communicate what your brand proposition is and you must figure out how to use that medium – “you cannot use it to dictate who you are!” 

Gul Panag has indeed, travelled a long way since hitting the spotlight in 1999, when she won the Miss India beauty pageant. In her journey, her domain extended to politics too, when she was declared AAP candidate from Chandigarh;  but her defeat in the Lok Sabha election, has certainly not dampened her spirits. Did she still believe there is a ‘politician’ in her? “I will do it again,” was her quick answer.  And her parting shot was – Be sure of what you want to say, but there must be a balance! 

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Shree Lahiri on EmailShree Lahiri on LinkedinShree Lahiri on Twitter
Shree Lahiri
Shree is the Senior Editor at Reputation Today and hopes to move from one focus area to another in the editions that will be released this year. Having worked in Corporate Communications teams, she has experience of advertising, public relations, investor and employee communications, after which she moved to the other side – journalism. She enjoys writing and believes the power of the pen is indeed mighty. Covering the entertainment beat and the media business, she has been involved in a wide range of activities that have thrown open storytelling opportunities.

She can be reached at: @shree_la on twitter

Be the first to comment on "PRAXIS2022: A Special Session on the Future of Business"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.