OUR BLOG / April 14, 2020

When Global Giants Relocate- Will India be The Destination?

It’s time to pause and reflect!

Humanity has faced many challenges in different forms over the past few centuries, but this is the most daunting one despite all the progress and inventions that civilizations have made. Entire world has come to a grinding halt. Countries are in a locked down mode. There is no people or material movement. Streets are deserted and the entire civilization is hibernating. Human beings are getting used to a very unfamiliar way of living. Amidst all these circumstances, Northern India got struck by an earthquake yesterday; although a mild one. What is the message that mother nature is trying to deliver? Isn’t it time to pause and reflect?

Imagine the seafood markets in Wuhan that have been going about their regular business daily over several years. What happened suddenly that a tiny microorganism was born that has brought the entire world to its knees. The organism was part of a few exotic animals brought to the market for human consumption. It jumped the food chain to find home in a few human bodies that got infected. Was this infection a natural defense system of the caged animals to protect themselves? It’s perhaps time to pause and reflect!

Or- Was this organism a result of an intended design by few bio-labs to create something for mass destruction? Was it meant to be used as a biological weapon for new kind of warfare? and it got released accidentally? Was it designed by the Chinese or was it planted by another country in China with a hope that it will be contained within China? These are all theories and conjectures that may never find any supporting evidence. However-It’s time to pause and reflect!

The videos of the Chinese seafood market show the markets flooded with a lot of animals that are not commonly used for human consumption. They are described in China as animals whose meat is considered exotic. So, was it once again the case of social greed crossing its line with utter disregard to respecting the space belonging to other species in our environment? Are we not invading universe of a few animal species that are meant to be left alone in the environment? It’s indeed time to pause and reflect!

Mankind has caused irreversible damage to the environment in a big way while achieving higher industrial production numbers over the years. The GDPs of different countries have increased but the quality of air, water and soil have reached unacceptable levels of quality for human consumption. Growth of incurable diseases like cancer, HIV/AIDS have claimed millions of lives over the 3 years. Human mental health is at its new low. Growth of anti-depressants are at a new high. Divorce rates in the world have increased to new levels. Spending on health care is at a new peak. The world is increasingly turning into a very unhappy place. Has our civilization truly progressed over the years? Isn’t it time to pause and reflect!

COVID19 pandemic is a message from our mother earth that it can redeem itself without any human intervention, contrary to the popular belief that humans can and will save this planet after causing colossal damage. Our mother nature is expressing clearly that it needs no help from humanity in her process of redemption. Man has exploited the environment for a long time for his selfish use. Global warming has increased on account of pollution and the frequency of natural disasters and their intensity has caused an unendurable damage to economies around the world. Yet- the humans never found time to pause and reflect!

Many animals have become extinct and an increasing number are classified as endangered species. Humans have deforested the land and invaded into the private space of several animals living on land and water. Man has forgotten that other species on this planet have an equal right to exist and if any of them are becoming extinct then it is unacceptable to our planet’s environment which will retaliate at some point in time and it is therefore time for the entire humanity to pause and reflect!

Mother nature has just sent a small microorganism COVID19 which has locked down so many countries simultaneously. A large number of lives are being lost every day and the humanity in any part of this planet is not prepared to face this calamity. Industrial production is down to the lowest levels in recent years. The epicenters of this calamity are shifting, and the most developed nations too are realizing their helplessness in facing this enormous challenge of saving human lives. It is indeed time to pause and reflect!

It's time- we the humans decidedly took action by integrating environmental care in all our activities ; be it industrial production, services or development of food chains. Covid-19 is a strong message from our environment which must be taken seriously by entire human race on this planet. Currently every country is recording a growth in health care sector’s business. So, the contribution of health sector to our GDP has gone up. So, does that mean the humanity has become 4 more progressive? If not, then why are we growing our GDPs with utter disregard to preservation of our environment around us? Isn’t it time therefore to pause and reflect?

It is time we started, respecting the equal if not more, right of other species on this planet. It is time that going forward, we truly understood the real meaning of progress and redesigned the human progress indicators to include factors likeincreased population of healthy people in any country, or lesser spending on weapons of mass destruction, or lesser consumption of anti-diabetic and antihypertensive medicines in a country, or the revival of endangered species population, or the improved quality of air, water and soil in our environment, and so on. It is high time that governments realized that real progress indicators are the ones beyond the economic GDP growth. It is also time that we started focusing on inclusive development in our society to include the under-privileged and ensured that the gaps between haves and have nots stay within the limits. How do we accomplish all of the aforesaid tasks? It’s time to pause and reflect!

Estimates are that Covid-19 will be responsible in the drop in global GDP by high double digits this year. A lot of wealth will be destroyed on the global stock exchanges. It is another wakeup call for the human beings to evolve and redesign their activities by shifting their focus from GDP growth to include environmental factors and more humane indicators related to general well-being and happiness. Countries need to design genuine progress indicators other than GDP in future. It is indeed time to unlearn our ways of creating wealth and relearn how to live and coexist with other species on our planet and completely in-sync with our environment. If humans don’t wake-up to this call of mother nature that is more popularly understood as Covid-19 pandemic, then they will not be able to sustain the collective wealth that they have created over the past so many years. Mother nature can never be destroyed, it has immense powers to self-preserve and when it does the entire human race will go extinct in a cosmic blink of an eye. It is important for us to create wealth, but it is more important to preserve and grow what money cannot buy. So- It’s indeed time to pause and reflect! Isn’t it?


Professor Arun Sehgal(Visiting Faculty for International Marketing and Global Business Expansion to ICT Mumbai, Leading Management Schools and The World Trade Center, Mumbai)