Kumar Mangalam Birla, in his 2020 letter on linkedin, reproduced here makes some very interesting points about the impact of the pandemic on the businesses and draws some insightful conclusions.

Corporations are Citizens that count

Perhaps uniquely, the crisis also brought to fore the regenerative and stabilising power of large corporations. Especially the ones with the ability and intent to enable smaller stakeholders in the ecosystem to maintain an even keel during periods of turbulence.

Volatility does not matter

That crazy negative price prevailed for a fraction of time and did not really affect underlying production and consumption decisions, that too not in a lasting way.

And most importantly

Build your reserves

Perhaps most importantly, the last year has forced an inward look. The people, companies, and nations who have emerged stronger have been the ones who had accumulated reserves of strength and not necessarily the ones who were sprinting the fastest. In each of our professional contexts, we will often be called upon to be innovative, disruptive, and resilient. But I have learnt that these outcomes do not necessarily stem from moments of individual brilliance, but from the patient building of reserves. Continuously upskilling to build reserves of knowledge, openness to the world to build a reserve of ideas, and collaboration and teaming to build reserves of goodwill.

Now, is perhaps a good time to take stock of each of our personal reserves and the meaning of our work. An honest assessment could well be the best investment one can make in 2021 – the chance to start with a blank sheet of paper and the three words: “What matters is…”