Picking Up The Pieces

by Pria Masson Tanwar

Tue, 05 May 2020

Picking Up The Pieces

Regular columnist, Pria Masson Tanwar, takes stock of what the post-virus future may hold.

Since the start of 2020, there’s been so much going on that it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the negative noise. In looking for threads of possibility, I thought of what will happen when we all get back to picking up the pieces once this is behind us. Will there be too many pieces to be picked up? Will I, as an individual or family unit, have specific pieces that are broken. The list of uncertainties is long, so, as always, let’s break it down to simpler terms.

Let me begin by saying that the human impact cannot really be “retrieved”, and the emotional baggage will need a whole different analysis. For this exercise, I’m sticking to aspects that are more tangible and hence “in human control”. 

Start with your own family. What industry do members of your family interact with; i.e. either work at or use the services of. Take the example of an individual who works for a telecom operator – so, one person works for and everyone in the family likely uses the services of the company. The question is, has your interaction as a user changed? If so, are you interacting more or less?

If the answer is either “the same” or “more”, it’s unlikely your job is impacted. Why? Because, the telecom operator is impacted if people interact with it (pay) less. If that’s not lower, its unlikely other things will change too much. You can run this exercise across all services to realise that a lot of economic activity may be on a break but is unlikely to be dramatically altered. Some will, of course, but all is not lost. Far from it. 

While a lot of businesses are impacted severely, there continue to be those that are more resilient such as the staple industries, namely telecommunications, technology, healthcare and education, because the services are price and event resistant. People will use technology, children will go to school, healthcare is needed (now more than ever). You get the idea? 

There are also those sectors that are impacted but not stopped – so retail, hospitality or restaurants. These, if run by individuals, will face larger issues. If operated as a franchise or part of a larger brand, the impact may be lesser since the larger firms have greater resilience to bounce back. 

Then there is banking. This sector is driven by economics and politics. In terms of the economics, if the stimulus packages are to promote spending, they tend to be inflationary. But, if infused for a specific cause, the inflationary impact may not be high. This means that post-crisis, banks will be happy to lend to stimulate spending to aid business recovery. 

Think about the companies where each of you work. Are people thinking there will be no tomorrow or are they planning for 2021? Cargo operations and trade seem to be carrying on to some extent. Stock markets (as of mid-April) have stopped falling. Zoom is doing great business – which means business is carrying on. The hope is there.

So, plan for that new business, that new project, that growth or promotion that you dreamed of. Stay positive and stay on course. The pieces can, and will, be picked up. 

Pria is an Advisor with JEO Management Consultants ( You can follow Pria at her Instagram handle @money_cues or know more about her professional experience at: