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The Research Mindset

 

Research in its real essence calls for unbiased analysis of problems, scenarios, and situations using scientific tools, to get answers and solutions to questions and generate perspectives. Research aids and gives direction to progress and growth. People and economies thrive when in a habit of research. The freedom to explore and analyze any topic under the sun that intrigues the human mind is essential for the growth of human intellect and human capital development. Good research is a good investment. Therefore, it is essential and wise for nations to invest in developing an atmosphere of research and analytical contributions to keep alive the discourse of development and freedom.

“Research is to see what everybody else has seen.

And to think what nobody else has thought.”- Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Good research is research done in the context of a problem at hand. The research process involves observations, background study, hypothesizing alternative situations, experimentation or data collection, and analysis which brings out the results of the research to make new decisions or recommendations. Quality of any research must be maintained at every step to get useful results that can further aid policy-making and strategizing of plans.

The bounties of modern and civilized life, be it good concrete buildings to live, good food to eat and experience, clothing, transportation, education, healthcare, social work, governance, etc. have been a result of somebody’s research work at some point of time. There are many small countries like Israel, which give a lot of importance to research and development and have risen as the great economic power of influence in the world today with their products and expertise in healthcare, warfare, digital technology, and banking.

The research acumen and interest should be developed quite early, in fact from childhood itself. Children and youth should be encouraged to read, think, and question, analyze problems and think of solutions. The Indian education system is also making efforts to be research and researcher friendly and develop an ethos wherein an analytical mind thrives, but it is yet to make substantial progress in this direction. The education system should be inherently inclined towards a research mindset wherein good funding is provided to research projects and programs in schools, colleges, and universities. More and more national excellent research journals on the levels of the Management of Information System Quarterly (MIS Quarterly) should be established to aid quality research in the country. Also, educational institutions must stress on rewarding and recognizing quality doctoral degrees and research papers. This will prepare the students for the challenging job market ahead and land them their dream jobs.

IILM University is one such premier educational institution of the country that emphasizes research recognition and practice in its graduate and postgraduate programs. Research methodology subject is taught across all programs to inculcate analytical and scientific thinking in students and make them competent with research work and statistical tools that are very much in demand in jobs these days. Students read and discuss research papers, present their project thesis, give presentations of their research, etc. Students are busy with projects the year-round that involve deep analysis of case studies, products, and ideas in detail. This is one of the major reasons for IILM students always bagging top placements.  Besides the regular graduate and undergraduate programs, IILM University takes pride in its robust doctoral program that attracts candidates from across corporate and academic fields. The 6-month mandatory course work in the Ph.D. program prepares the candidates in the research process and research tools and develops their perspective in the right direction. The guidance provided to the researchers is immense and constant. The faculty, regular students, and doctoral candidates have published their research articles in top journals. IILM University International Conference held once every year is another very commendable effort by the University in its endeavour to promote a research mindset that contributes to the progress of the nation.

For all the aspiring candidates of degree programs in Management, Psychology, Law, etc., and PhD., IILM University offers a great environment to learn and grow, research, and develop. The learnings will remain with you and help you grow in your space long after one leaves the University.

The admission team or the author of this blog can be contacted freely for any queries related to admissions and programs. Let us be busy with research to always be at the front of the game.

 

P.S.: The author is a Ph.D. scholar at IILM University and can be contacted on email: Shahana.qutab.phd2019@iilm.edu

Blog on medium: https://medium.com/@shahanafatima/research-in-its-real-essence-calls-for-unbiased-analysis-of-problems-scenarios-and-situations-a108dc06fef?sk=e5295cffd3bb2800e7f62ce1f7b612e3

blog on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/research-mindset-shahana-qutab/?published=t

Winning through the Art of Communication

 

‘Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.’  – Rudyard Kipling

 Communication is central to the very existence of humans. Man has been communicating since time immemorial. Communication is the lifeblood of our whole being. In every age of man’s existence on earth, communication has acted as an agent of facilitation, social life, and development. Cavemen developed their own lingua franca to make meanings out of things and send meaningful messages. They also communicated through art. As the importance of communication is second only to oxygen for humans, the importance never lost its sheen throughout homo sapiens journey in the historical chapters of planet earth. In the modern ages or in other words, the competitive world, which is, even more, a world of survival of the fittest, every day demands constant steadfastness in the face of challenges and opportunities, both in personal and professional arenas. Nobody wants to lose the opportunity to fair well or make better of it. 

Present times are fraught with people battling stress. Resultant of the busy competitive world we live in, stress eats away on our happiness and well-being like a termite which is evident in high divorce rates, dysfunctional parenting, on-job burnout, boss-conflicts at the workplace, joblessness, violence, depression, increasing suicide rates, etc.  There is a continuous nag that ‘nothing is ever going to be enough’ constantly nudges at you. Communication helps to combat stress as we learn to express ourselves, thereby clearing doubts and confusion, and building valuable connections. But communication must be effective so as to be of any use in delivering the right message, to the right audience at the right time and make a fruitful impact. ‘Effective communication’, remains the no.1 skill to lead and manage a successful life.

The Communication Gap

Today the world is impatient, does not wait for anybody. Everyone wants to grab that chance to a better life, job, or income. This demands us to constantly up-skilling ourselves, and being in the right circles, aka, effective networking. But, even here, to be successful, we need an empathetic human to human connection. Communication gaps can hinder relationships between boss-employee, teacher-student, parent-child, siblings, and friends. Married couples ought to work on their marriage by constantly enhancing communication and listening.

Effective communication can act as a glue and heals discord, builds bridges, which is good both for business and personal life. While everyone starts their professional life equipped with in-demand degrees or skill certifications it is the skill of effective communication that decides who will sustain in the race and be the best or among the best, to succeed, to grow, and to enjoy the journey that life presents.

Tools for Effective Communication

Good communication is a crowd puller. Imagine a leader without the art of communication. As simple as it may seem, communication to be effective is still a challenge for many. The ways of what is good in oral communication differ from what makes an impression in written form. Also, styles and techniques of communication differ from person to person, situation to situation, and medium of communication.

Oral Communication: When it comes to improvement in oral communication to become good public speakers, orators or impress in meetings and interviews, skills can be honed by listening to good speakers, study their body language and use of vocabulary as much as possible. It is very important to understand aspects of the speech like tone, fluency, eye contact, pauses, use of space, gestures, etc. Using anecdotes, emotional stories, poetry, couplets, and humor enhances oral communication by helping build connections with the audience. The only thing to be kept in mind is to not over-do these tools and use them appropriately. Regular practice and proper planning help sharpening the oration skills immensely.

Written Communication: Written communication is very important from documentation and legality perspective. Academic teaching and learning, business transactions, print media, legal issues, emailing, etc. depend on written communication. It is very important for a writer to write and convey their thoughts clearly. The inability to write what one wants to express will be an impediment to one’s success. Tools like using the right approach, style, and words help in creating powerful, meaningful messages for the readers. practicing the use of correct grammar and spelling (Grammarly app is one such tool) and setting the right tone in the writing is very important. If not drafted well, written communication can fail or backfire due to misunderstanding, as it does not have the advantage of being face-to-face.

Visual Communication: Pictures, graphs, charts, and all kinds of imagery are part of visual communication. Pictures/images speak a thousand words, have the power to set the tone of communication, leave an impact, and project the intended message without hours of speech or pages and pages of writings. The presenter must have the skill to navigate the mind and eyes of the audience to create an impactful visual presentation with the right captions, slogans, etc. Learning visual arts professionally or with practice and guidance can tremendously help a communicator.

Overall, for effective communication, it is very important to know the mind of the audience and shape the message accordingly by appropriate use of communication tools.

Communication Skills in Education 

A good communication course or certification is an added advantage but not enough to become a real good communicator. Life experiences and good education teach us that indispensable skill. Not many organizations especially educational institutions, present an education rigor that makes one an effective communicator. But there are some which do.  World-class educational institutions like IILM in the Delhi NCR region, have a brilliant history of producing positive minded and competent professionals with excellent communication skills. Such institutions are known to lay stress on creating a learning ethos with communication skill development at its core. Students hone their oral and written communication through impactful and professionally designed study programs including active and participatory classwork, club activities, dissertation, outreach projects, competitions, events, etc. Every student comes out of their shell, gains the confidence to stand up in face of an audience, learns skills to lead, collaborate and connect through good verbal and non-verbal skills and shun negativity from their life.

For students, as college years are formative years of their personality and crucial years for building their career base, IILM is a great investment for those years and emerges confident and competent.

The Beautiful Road Ahead – IILM, School of Management

Just out of school, a student enters a life, less cocooned, more puzzling, and challenging full of promises and heartbreaks. Parents also anxiously want their children to be on the right track of a steady career growth that promises a secure future. Wise decisions taken at this stage by the student and parents about the choice of course and institution will ensure good learning and focused career growth that is both rewarding and fulfilling. A beautiful road ahead is possible if one plans and decides well. Who wants a rickety ride in the graduation years?

In the market that is full of enticing offers and promises for a beautiful road ahead in education right after school, IILM, a top-ranking institute, is a name of trust running the helm of top-class education for decades. It has a unique reputation of welcome and warm ambiance with student-centric education that is in line with the demands of the market. One can see the wonderful reviews of students and parents on the internet about the quality education being offered in echelons of IILM. IILM has three imposing campuses in Delhi NCR, namely in Lodhi Road, Gurugram, and Greater Noida. IILM University, in Gurugram, offers several graduate and undergraduate courses in Management, Law, Psychology, Design, etc. apart from its rigorous Ph.D. program in different streams. All the departments boast of high-profile faculty and management, having an illustrious experience in their fields.

The School of Management

IILM University is nestled right in the heart of Gurgaon on the glistening Golf Course Road. The School of Management is one of its oldest and prestigious departments. The well-guarded campus housing the School has beautiful green manicured and well-tended gardens and lawns full of trees of mogra and pansy buds striking a contrast amidst the concrete and glass jungle of the Golf Course Road. One can see students sitting in the gardens with their laptops studying in the natural peace of nature or busy playing basketball/volleyball on the courts. Everywhere you see students, busy, happy, and secure.

The school of Management offers different undergraduate and post-graduate degrees and diplomas in varied streams of Management, Marketing, Human Resource, Entrepreneurship, Insurance, and Risk, etc. A well-equipped library that is regularly updated does not leave much for asking in terms of knowledge resources. The School of Management also aims and delivers 100% placements to the students in companies like Toyota, L’Oreal, HDFC Bank, Gartner, etc.

Faculty

‘No one should teach who is not in love with teaching.’ Margaret E. Sangster

Indeed, at the School of Management, the teachers are in love with their profession. The faculty is well-read and industrious in their efforts to impart impactful classroom teaching to the students. Many teachers have rich industry experience behind them and have research papers published in top research publications. The teaching sessions involve students and teachers in active, engrossing discussion of insights and wisdom. Case studies and role-plays, debates, quizzes, projects keep the students alert in the learning drill for a competitive future. Faculty is also deeply involved in continuous mentoring of students even after classroom sessions and students are active participants in organizing conferences, events, annual fairs, and social outreach programs.

Student life

‘The secret in education lies in respecting the student.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Student-centric education is the mantra at the School of Management. Students are involved everywhere, be it classroom, conferences, placements, etc. from day one at the school, the student feels part of the IILM family that builds his sense of responsibility and deliverance. The activities and clubs, like Marketing Club, Finance Club, Entrepreneurship Club, etc., keep the students busy in the learning mode. Yearly life skills training rendezvous to Jim Corbett Park help to relax the freshers and help them connect with their new friends and faculty and developing in the team spirit. Industrial visits and industry connect meetings and seminars help students gain exposure to the market they are readying up for. Students also participate in various competitions and social work programs with equal interest. long hours are also spent in the peaceful library. The hostel available for students is safe, secure, and hygienic. The management of the School is very cordial with the welfare and development of the student of topmost priority for them.

Good Decision

Choosing IILM University, School of Management is a wise decision to invest in a wonderful future in the business world. The teaching pedagogy is world-class and placements assured. Great global exposure is a value add with a number of student exchange programs and international visits. Guest lectures from the best in the industry help students get attuned to industry practices. They also become socially aware and responsible citizens. And of course, the beautiful green shaded campus is a big bonus.

The graduate years must be the best as they do involve the precious youth of a person’s life. A good institution will make focus on the future clear and be the mantle of guidance and support for the students. School of Management, IILM University, offers just that with passion and commitment. Students can get in touch with the IILM University admissions team on the university website and will be guided in the admission process and assisted with any queries. As the seats are limited in various programs offered by the School of Management, it will wise to submit applications as soon as possible.

So, for the prospects out there, make the right choice. Visit iilm.edu.in now to apply.

Surely, a beautiful road lies ahead!

 

Keywords: IILM University, IILM, Management, MBA, Gurugram, Student life, Placement, Golf Course Road.

The Community Identity, a Sense of Belonging

A community is an identity, an entity. And therefore, it is important.

Community is a group of people in a shared interest or loving space and have similar characteristics. When it comes to human civilisation, a community is a thriving ecosystem having its unique DNA, social and legal structure, beliefs, and practices. Threads of reliance and togetherness among the community members keep it alive. Community is an important facilitating agent of influence and change as it consists of people who share common thought processes and camaraderie. We usually talk about urban, suburban, and rural communities. But communities are varied and formed based on shared lifestyle and beliefs, like religious communities, occupational communities, political ideological communities etc.  All this make the concept of a community very relevant and important for businesses and government and whoever intends to sell an idea, service, product, or positive behaviours.

Building Community

Community building is a field of practice that aims to connect with a target group of people with a message in an effective way. Sometimes also called community development, it is a communication strategy and has time and again proved successful for the enhancement of a community. Community building exercises are important especially in a developing and populous country like India having a huge stratum of poor and rural population with high illiteracy and traditional belief system. Many social development policies and interventions of government and non-government agencies use community centric implementation strategies to bring about positive change. Social marketing of public policies and interventions are most effective when designed in a community specific manner, e.g, ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ interventions will be different for a tribal community in Rajasthan or Haryana which are areas steeped in patriarchy and religious beliefs than rest of India where female infanticide problems are not so grave. Health insurance concept can be promoted in a better way through community-based health insurance schemes (CBHI) to bring more adoption and utilisation of the concept, eg. VimoSewa of Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in Gujarat that built a community of poor and self-employed women. Community buildings help the government in achieving the goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). In a similar way, the power of community has been leveraged in many other development interventions like immunization, mother and child nutrition, disease or pandemic management, awareness programmes etc. The community members look up to community influencers and their peers to adopt to change rather than a plain reason to change.

Marketer Relevance

The community has always been attractive to the marketer who targets specific markets or niches to sell its products and services. A new whey protein manufacturer targets the gym going and vegan community specifically as it makes more sense to gain ground and a steady revenue stream. Lakers team in basketball is a world-famous brand that has built its own community of Laker fans to whom it sells its Laker merchandise. When Harley Davidson was incurring losses and had reached on the verge of shutting its shop, it tried the community building method (HOG-Harley Owners Group) for its bikes and accessories through its community building strategy.  Podcast uses community building and marketing strategies successfully to run its business in the face of tough competition from video-centric content. Mobile companies like Oneplus and Apple use community building and marketing strategies to promote their products and new launches.

A business can build its community through face to face personal contact, social media presence where the page google analytics can help the business check the leverage. Campaigns, events, theatre plays, festivals, fairs, social work and relevant, quality offerings that connect with the members help to build communities for the products where members feel involved. Marketing efforts for any product or service to the communities is easier and fruitful.

IILM and Community Building

Community building efforts help maintain lifelong connects. Many educational institutions, for example, IILM University, lays a lot of stress in harbouring its alumni community, roping them in for guest lectures, motivational talks and placements and highlighting them on a pedestal pf inspiration for future students. Every student feels part of the IILM family long after he/she has left the organisation. for its social work and CSR initiatives, IILM University also adopts villages in its vicinity and promotes education, healthcare, and other programmes of social upliftment for the poor communities. Students actively participate with full zeal in such programmes and develop a commitment towards community building for the larger good of the nation

Therefore, community building and marketing is important for organisations and businesses to remain relevant and in the competition. It not only empowers the business but also the customer. A thriving community ensures a happy society. Community building will also help in reducing social disintegration, harmful behaviours and will knit fabric of social support, social justice, and economic development along with brand loyalties.

The trend of community building and marketing is getting more prevalent and more niches will be created. It will not be exaggerating to say that community will be the future of marketing. Future marketers and policymakers should concentrate their efforts towards community building to remain relevant in the new age business and marketing scenario. It will be very beneficial for students to opt for Institutions like IILM that have dedicated community building programs which give ample exposure to students in this domain and help with their placements and career development. Students need to take up skills like interpersonal communication, blogging, public speaking, communication design etc. very seriously to gain competitive advantage. such skills are much in demand and will bring an added shine to their personality to make them stand out in the crowd. In this regard, students can further follow the author’s blog on IILM blog site or connect personally for queries and guidance on the email given.

Follow my blogs or write to me at shahana.qutab.phd2019@iilm.edu

Responsible Marketing Will Run the Mile

 

Source: https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/company-socially-responsible/

Ah! Marketing and its relentless endeavour of profit maximisation! A marketer would not mind making the world one hoarding and splashing its ads everywhere (how do you like seeing automobile, electronics, movie, lingerie etc. ads splashed across on every inch of trains, aeroplanes and their cabins, beautiful scenic highways, public spaces…?)

In the process of bringing a firm’s products and services to the end consumer, a marketer has left no stone unturned acting like a magician casting a spell on the consumer’s mind to spend, buy its products and justify whatever its selling. In this endeavour, the marketer has by and large ignored adherence to ‘virtues’ and ‘philosophies’ like ethics and responsibility towards society. Marketing is increasingly creating and encouraging artificial or false needs (Apple Corp. limiting supplies to create perception of high demand, cosmetic companies coming out with non-essential and expensive products), promoting discrimination (fairness creams, size zero body size) floating false promises (fairness creams, deceitful packaging or excess packaging, flu vaccines that really don’t work etc.) intensifying materialism, hoarding and greed (EMI offerings for luxury products, brand endorsements that pushes consumption etc.) All this kind of irresponsible marketing will impact an organisation negatively, damage the reputation/brand-name, bring slump in sales and profits, mistrust in shareholders, legal disputes and many more.

Ethical issues do influence marketing, its planning and long-term sustainability of the organisation. Ethics, as defined by Peter Stanwick and Sara Stanwick in their book ‘Understanding Business Ethics’ (2013), are values that individuals use to interpret whether an action or behaviour is acceptable or appropriate. It is very important for organisations to respond to ethical issues in their marketing strategy. Marketing mix should compliment ethics and social responsibility to be called as a responsible marketing that considers and honours the long-term benefits of its customers.

When a company vows to practice best interests of society in both short and long term, it practices responsible marketing. Responsible marketing is a philanthropic philosophy and includes many related marketing concepts like cause marketing, green marketing, environmental marketing and social marketing.

The responsible marketing process of an organisation has to be guided from the very start by ethical practices with focus on customer and societal needs and well-being. The marketing process should end with fair and enriching value creation of the business for their markets. Trend is changing now and increasing number of organisations and companies have become socially and environmentally aware when it comes to planning and implementing their marketing strategies. More and more companies are going ‘green’. During the Covid-19 pandemic we witness many companies promoting ‘social distancing, hand washing and stay at home’ practices. Online portals like Amazon, Nykaa, Myntra are selling only essential hygiene and health protection products. Uber and Ola ride services practiced hygiene and promoted adherence to social distancing guidelines during the pandemic. Local kirana and grocery stores adhere to rationed supply and social distancing through the pandemic lockdown.

For businesses that embrace responsible marketing practices, there are many distinct advantages. It provides financial advantages like tax-cuts and other incentives provided by the government, instills faith, goodwill in the market especially in the customer base and improves public relations. Companies gain more business as customers appreciate social responsibility. Responsible marketing will gain more and more leverage especially post COVID-19, because it promotes respecting the planet and each other as there will not be one without the other.

Keywords: Responsible marketing, social marketing, green marketing, marketing trends, COVID-19, ethical business.

About the author: Shahana Qutab is a doctoral research scholar of Social Marketing at IILM University, Gurugram, India.

Marketing of Social Good

Commercial pace of the world is ever increasing. Marketing is one important ingredient that fuels this pace. Focus on reaping profits and more profits and some more is the usual norm. There is no denying that commercial marketing is necessary but somewhere it is also leading to wanton greed, recklessness and lack of responsibility towards environment. Commercial pursuits of organisations increasingly show their distancing from ‘social change for social good.’ Therefore, the need for marketing of social good, also called Social Marketing, which strives to promote positive human behaviours and progressive social welfare, through a well-planned strategy involving tactical and targeted research, design and outreach and last but not the least, an active feedback system.

Commercial marketing as we all know, thrives on competitive race for market share, brand building and profit maximisation. More importantly, it promotes consumption which many times goes unchecked. Commercial advertising plays its subtle tricks to cast a spell on the mind and reasoning ability of consumers. Social media bewitches and builds perceptions effortlessly and rewards any and all who know the art of killing your boredom with something worthwhile or who just kill our valuable time with just an information overload. In this scenario of a very influential commercial marketing atmosphere, people either callously spend, hoard or waste while being subconsciously ‘obeying’ the influencer (can be a product or idea or campaign trending that a consumer follows). Rampant consumption doesn’t make us responsible citizens and we tend to lose focus on society and its problems and our responsibility.

As opposed to commercial marketing, Social Marketing adopts a framework of building an ecosystem which helps nurture welfare, good will, good health and security. Social marketing takes the basic principles of commercial marketing and rolls out welfare strategies for a targeted approach towards promoting positive behaviours e.g. vaccination of children, breast feeding, better sanitation, safe driving, seatbelt/helmet use, no smoking, bicycling for better health and environment, addressing mental health, saying no to drugs, communal harmony, fighting casteism etc .  Participation of communities and partnerships of various stakeholders and philanthropists drive social marketing efforts. Apart from commodity or idea, a good behaviour is also the product the marketing campaign sells. The profit is in the social good. Consumers (and not beneficiaries) adopt positive behaviours with clear understanding, awareness and acceptance that it is for their welfare.

Time and again, governments, NGO’s, corporates and individuals have strived for social good through campaigns and interventions aimed to improve lives of people in a positive manner. To make such welfare programs more effective in terms of reach and building positive social behaviours, social marketing is the scientific and strategic answer. Many developments campaigns of Government of India with huge budget and resource allocations like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Ayushman Bharat etc. have huge potential to become robust and successful social marketing campaigns.

A welfare driven marketing approach is a necessary step for success of development programs and community outreach.  This marketing of social good will yield long term benefits, improving sustainability of a healthy and progressive ecosystem for human life and business.

GAME CHANGE!

Can’t help but write on or in context of Covid-19. The hangover is ‘novel’ too. That’s the power of the invisible, it seems, sweeping across the mighty forts and displays of awe-inspiring ‘development’ of God’s creation with brains – Homo Sapiens. The yet unconquerable, invisible-microscopic-protein something has caught us sapiens on the wrong foot – of careless greed and stubborn pride. The resultant ‘halt’, as it now seems, and as I feel, was long coming and inevitable. Bleak and daunting as the scenario might seem now, the soul of humanity from the time of Adam, knows well, that humans will rise, build and thrive……again.

Challenge is huge and unprecedented, as game has changed. World economy and Industry 4.0 is ready for an inevitable facelift globally. The present pandemic brought about a change in perception of needs and wants in the consumers and business owners. New business models will have to be developed to cater to the altered consumer behaviour for many established industries and sectors. Industry 4.0, for generations to come, will be remembered as being ‘Novel’, for whatever Novel Corona virus did to it!

Even though, hardly any economic or business activity is happening these days, trends will start brewing and taking shape. Some new use cases or trends for economy and Industry 4.0 are presented below:

  1. Make-in-India mission will get a boost as domestic manufacturing will be preferred and help the economy grow.
  2. Automation will generate positive arguments in its favour. We witnessed during this pandemic when factories and processing units, using human labour were shut due to fear of contagion. More and more businesses will now see adoption of automation.
  3. Digitalization will accelerate for obvious reasons of reduced ATM access, paper cash contagion etc.
  4. On the job front, more jobs will be created in the digital arena as a result of need for setting up of data centres and expansion of digital infrastructure.
  5. An increasing number of start-ups in the healthcare sector will emerge, as health and sanitation has become a top priority as never before. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan will get a new fillip and its necessity in peoples lives and psyche will get highlighted.

The new trends mentioned above are just a few. Use cases abound in arenas of politics, security, research, finance, international trade, travel and tourism, work and home space, leisure and day-to-day life. Sliver of hopes or ‘silver linings’ are always there and waiting to be changed into opportunities and leveraged both during and post-pandemic. The discussion is open to all. More views will bring more ideas and maybe, plant seeds of innovation and creativity in some mind, somewhere. Students can think, mull over the trends and come up with probable emergent scenarios.

The ‘lockdown’ is the best time to ease out the many ‘extras’ from our lives, think, focus and prepare. Nobody gets this solitude, again, ever.