Getting up, again!

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The Tamil month of Aadi is one devoted to worship. For many, this is a period dedicated to devotion and festivities; it is also synonymous with the highly discounted shopping mania. However, the pandemic has seriously affected businesses despite the government doing a good job of containing it. In fact, an incipient revival of the economy after the lockdown seems to have stalled; merely ‘unlocking’ is not enough, as demand looks too weak to rise without government help. Although markets stand at the threshold of a revival, it is imperative to enable public spending so that there is a freer flow of money in the economy.

It is the synergy of economics and human values such as confidence or trust that are needed to overcome this crisis. The fact is that today the most crucial trait of mutual trust is absent, we can see this in international relations between Nations and Leaders. Mr Stephen M R Covey in his book on “The Speed of Trust: The one thing that Changes Everything” has emphasised about the importance of trust in our relationship as well as the criticality of it in a collaborative and interdependent World. In this context the key note address by Mr Sanjay Kirloskar during the MMA AGM on the theme “Ethics and Managerial Excellence” is relevant and published in this issue. I also strongly recommend you to watch the recorded presentation by Mr Satyanarayan Ramamurthy, Partner, KPMG Singapore on the theme “Leadership Lessons from Working in a Partnership Environment” to know more about collaboration and partnership in an organizations.

When we ask our members how they are doing, they feel more assured. The MMA Leaders Speak platform delivers real-time insights from outstanding thought leaders around the world, helping you gain answers to some of the most important questions and take the right actions. Resilience, for both individuals and organizations, is an essential attribute as we move through this crisis and into the future. Do watch without fail the top-class Events/Masterclass programmes brought to you by MMA and enrich yourself—click to view the schedule.

With women making their presence felt across every field, why not a permanent commission in the Indian armed forces? It is welcome that women officers can now make a tangible difference. It is high time the Women’s Reservation Bill is steered through the House of Parliament, so that gender equality does prevail in every walk of life in India. From the freedom movement to the present time, the role of women in politics and public life has been a see-saw. Even after 70 years of Independence, women empowerment in politics has been an exception rather than a rule. In this context, MMA organized a virtual seminar on the theme “Women in Politics” to deliberate on this and more issues. The outcome of this discussion is published in this issue with an embedded video of the programme. Please read on and watch the video.

MMA is also organising an exclusive event for women this Independence Day. Even when the economy was booming, we struggled to deal with the problem of women dropping out of the workplace. While inclusion and diversity are at risk in the current crisis, they remain critical for business recovery, resilience and re-imagination. Women’s return will depend partly on whether the upheaval has changed the menfolk. After all what they want? A little adjustment and they can manage. Do login to watch live “Marching Ahead: The Next Normal” at 06.00 pm on Thursday, 13th August 2020, for more insights, more stories and honest conversations. It is a unique event for women—and everyone who works alongside them.

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is an important step forward in India’s transition from deprivation to development. Almost no one can complain with the objective and time bound future plans set out in the document. I can only wish that this had happened when we were Students. The proposed reforms look impressive, but an education policy alone cannot guarantee a revolutionary change in education. In higher education, it is laudable that the model has changed. But the issue of unemployment is yet to addressed. While it is good that candidates will leave with a certificate or a diploma, it is hoped that they won’t be branded as failure in a society like ours which places high emphasis on success. It is imperative that what we make of it depends entirely on us. MMA implements a number of digital initiatives: the important one being the launch of a 24-week online program, called Masterclass, which will include the participation of outstanding industry leaders with a fresh perspective on “Operational Excellence Towards Business Excellence”—click to view.

As we celebrate our Independence this month, we pray that the hallowed memories of our martyrs will continue to guide and inspire us. We must learn from our martyrs and vow to protect our freedoms and our rights from aggression. In a way, I am delighted that the spearhead of Indian Air Force—the “Game Changer” fighter—has finally arrived! The delivery of Rafale fighters will enhance the country’s ability to deter external aggression. We wish them Happy Landings and we wish that they touch the sky with glory—Sky is not the limit! Proud of you, Air Warriors! Privileged to be an Air Veteran!

As always we would be happy to hear your views, comments and suggestions.