Compiled and uploaded by Gunaprasath Bupalan (YouTube – Emjay Communications / / / An article by Kawal Preet, President, FedEx, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA)       “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there’’. A famous line made immortal by the events of 2020; it certainly sums up the sociological chasm between our pre-pandemic lives and the reality we now face. But – is it true? Can we ever let go of what we know? Many businesses continue the pivot toward post-COVID recovery. But it is clear that there’s an even greater shift to be considered. In recent decades, the global agenda for change has been led by the World Economic Forum. And as the world looks to a more buoyant, hopeful future, WEF Chairman Klaus Schwab is campaigning for more than change. He’s advocating a ‘Great Reset’ that would cut ties irrevocably with the past – creating a ‘new social contract’ that rises from the ashes of an old world order. A system that’s been laid bare by the global pandemic and revealed to be unsustainable. So what does Schwab’s theory (and warning) hold for our outlook ahead – as small businesses, large corporations and citizens?   The truth is: we’re at a crossroads – whether we like it or not. But who is responsible for the navigation we take? Short answer? All of us. The lodestars for the Great Reset compass are:
  • Economic
  • Societal
  • Geopolitical
  • Environmental
  • Technological
Pandemic aside, globalization in the digital era has proven that these macro issues are all related and can’t be considered in isolation. Which means we’re all in it together – and COVID-19 has simply reinforced our global interdependence. What world, then, should we want to create with the Great Reset? A more resilient world. One that promises more security – both in safety and in health. More inclusive, and more sustainable. We often make the mistake of thinking that it’s only corporations who can reshape our world. But it strikes me that entrepreneurs or small business owners can often be the most powerful changemakers of all. Sure, multinationals wield the might to deliver impact, but time and again, SMEs have proven the nimblest at harnessing progress and innovation. As we progress through what many have defined to be the ‘Asian Century’, Asia Pacific’s small businesses continue to move ahead of the times. Take Industry 4.0. SMEs across Asia and beyond who are living and breathing the 4th Industrial Revolution through digitization of supply chains, manufacturing and workplace, demonstrating that geography is no longer prohibitive to them achieving their business goals. But the greatest agility and innovation is not always enough. Despite government funding and resources designed to facilitate small businesses, even more of a helping hand is required when times get tough. And it’s been a tough year for many.   We owe it to small businesses to look forward, not back. Asia’s SMEs, no matter how dynamic, will all need help to action a Great Reset, and thrive in a post-COVID world. Despite the short-term difficulties, it’s clear that transition must come. The past has always been held up as a lesson, but now it’s up to us to take heed of our immediate present. -end-  


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