In his new year address to over 7.5 lakh employees of Tata Sons, Chairman N Chandrasekaran said that the world is on the threshold of a new era of cooperation in which individuals, businesses and nations more readily join forces, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and only a global effort can help get back to normality from the health crisis.
Chandrasekaran said the pandemic has rewritten the rules and there has been a shift in priorities with greater focus on safety and resilience, and a transition from ‘just in time’ toward ‘just in case’ — changes that “offer a glimpse of the new economy that will emerge from the old”.
“Beyond individual companies, citizens and governments have come together in ways that only recently would have been hard to imagine. We are, I hope, on the threshold of a new era of cooperation, in which individuals, businesses and nations more readily join forces,” he said.
Stressing that such cooperation is needed, Chandrasekaran further said, “To distribute a vaccine to every country in the world will be an international operation of unparalleled complexity. The same is true of rapid testing and new treatments. Only a global effort can get us back to normality.”
Stating that rules are being rewritten due to COVID-19, he said, “This year we learned that many things once undertaken outside the home can be done equally well inside it. Shopping. Education. Healthcare. Work.”
Alongside practical adaptations to lockdown, there has been a shift in priorities: greater focus on safety and resilience, and a transition from ‘just in time’ toward ‘just in case’, he added.
Such changes offer a glimpse of the new economy that will emerge from the old, Chandrasekaran said adding “resilience will be key-in our approach to the environment, supply chains or how we build stronger connections with our communities”. While this year has been hard, he said, “We end it with a renewed sense of possibility. Buried in the stress and trauma of COVID-19 are opportunities for renewal.”
Reiterating that pandemics have, in the past, inspired progress in medicine, urban planning, architecture and countless other fields, Chandrasekaran said, “This one will be the same. This moment is akin to walking on a bridge, but it’s a special bridge, because we are not simply waiting to see what is on the other side. Instead, we have a hand in building our destination.”
Chandrasekaran also lauded the efforts of the Tata group employees for playing their role in the fight against the virus. “From delivering meals to migrant and health-workers, to building hospitals and collecting public health data, to our efforts to develop a pathbreaking CRISPR test for COVID-19 – we have seen the very best of ‘One Tata’. Your work this year has made me prouder than ever to lead this Group.”