#RoadTo2021​: 10 Lessons from 2020 that pave the way for New Year

Lessons from 2020

Social Samosa brings together a panel of industry experts for a roundtable discussion on lessons from 2020 that can help agencies make the most of the year ahead.

A year of uncertain adversities, 2020 left us all with lessons, both personal and professional. Stuck at home, we learned about communication sans touch and subtle gestures. At the same time, we went global with creative collaborations and coordination. Lunches were had, together, across the globe, over discussions on how to use Zoom to shoot a video. As the pandemic threw one curveball after another, resilience was tested and resolves were strengthened. This was the general sentiment of the panel that was put together by Social Samosa ahead of BSMB 2020-21.

Participants in the discussion included: Rana Barua, Group CEO, Havas Group India, Rohit Ohri, Chairman & CEO, FCB India, Preetham Venkky, President, 22Feet Tribal Worldwide & CDO, DDB Mudra Group, Ritu Sharda, CCO, Ogilvy, Josy Paul, Chairman & CCO, BBDO India, Pooja Jauhari, CEO, The Glitch, Anil Nair, CEO VMLY&R India and Anita Kotwani, CEO Carat India. It was moderated by Hitesh Rajwani, CEO, Social Samosa Network.

Here are some lessons the 2020 lessons that the panel recalled.

Creativity flourishes in chaos: Everything that puts you down comes with an in-built capacity to catapult you to much higher ground. When people were stuck at home, they found creative ways to connect and tell stories that were relatable for all. Times tested them and they came through!

Predictions went for a toss: 2020 was not a year anyone could have predicted. It came with situations that were absolutely unprecedented. It was a year of surrender. Giving up control over things helped bring calm, where people could find ways to go forth instead of fighting circumstances.

As leaders emerged: When regular systems failed, new ones had to be created. This gap gave rise to leaders who took more on their plate than would have been usually expected of them. This helped organisations not just stay afloat but thrive in a new zigzag roadmap that came to light.

Mental health comes first: COVID-19 was bad news not just for physical health but also the mental health of people across the world. It forced organisations and leaderships to take a deeper look at their protocols and functioning, to include the mental health of employees at the fore.

We are all in this together: As people who were conceptualising campaigns and those consuming them were going through the same things in different capacities, the playing field levelled in some ways. Topics of interest matched and thus it became easier for communication to flow.

Memories of Diwali & IPL: Diwali 2020 was a breath of fresh air as well as a ray of hope for the A&M industry. IPL’s schedule around the same time built momentum for the industry to feel confident about the future. It helped people realise the importance of making the most of opportunities in a time of crisis.

Structures of support: Due to the pandemic, situations were such that the usual support structure available to people went for a toss. This included working parents who couldn’t access childcare and those living away from their families. This led leaderships to take cognisance of the issues and help their workforce access new structures of support.

Digital transformation all the way: Due to various restrictions, physical and otherwise, martech and digital transformation became keywords in the industry. Propelled with interest and monetary investments from clients, it fuelled agencies to work towards coming up with new ideas and solutions, something experts feel will continue to be explored in years to come.

Finding a way through constraints: The first half of the lockdown was about getting used to a new way of life. Then came the need to innovate and find solutions to work through the constraints. Tools were created and new processes developed — the need to go forth stronger was worked upon.

Offices are waiting: As much as the WFH situation seems to be a reality that will continue to be true for a foreseeable future, experts feel physical offices spaces are a need that cannot be ignored. Though they do feel that future workspaces and workdays would be more flexible than before.

You can watch the entire session here: