Innovations in Crisis!!
HKU Wealthskey Content Writing/Sharing Competition
It was a scary time. Although everything looked perfectly normal in Ruhaan's little capsule apartment. His Wi-Fi was working great, electricity supply was normal and so was water. It just felt like any other weekend... except that it was not. It was a Tuesday afternoon. Ruhaan had lost track of the boundaries between weekdays and weekends. Hell, sometimes he even forgot what day it was. Hours passed by, days become nights, evenings became mornings but he really felt the need to look at the time. It had all started a month ago but it felt like this lockdown had been going on for almost a year.
Ruhaan had come down to Beijing last December, before the Covid-19 took a grave form. It was for this internship for his master's degree. He was the first one from his little town back in India to come out and win a scholarship of this prestige and to get an opportunity to work with one of the market leaders in data analysis. Rohan had already been promised several job offers and projects on the completion of his degree. From here on, things were only going to get miraculous.
The spread of the virus changed everything. His internship had been paused, his office shutdown. The alarming bit was that the funding of the project had been diverted towards the health department, for coming up with faster means of delivery of health care products. Of course, Ruhaan and his team knew that this was critical and so there was nothing to complain about, but that changed the fact that his own future was suddenly under the storm. He had loans to pay and responsibilities back home.
Thousands of miles away from home, and away from friends and family, Ruhaan had been the only one selected from his university for this internship. There was no one around him from back home and he had not yet managed to warm up with his colleagues enough to call them friends. The lockdown had isolated everyone both physically and emotionally, especially Ruhaan who was stuck in a foreign land with nowhere to go. He spent a little time crying to himself but soon he realized even that was futile because it only made him feel worse.
One day, while on a video call with his mother, Ruhaan was discussing the situation back in India and realized that many people stuck in the lockdown were going through the same emotional disconnect and crisis. Most of the social media platforms had people talking about what they were to do to connect with others and how the right set of communication was not reaching the right people. But all he saw were words of complaints, reflections of restorations, and agitation. While Ruhaan continued to work on his project, there came a stage when he could go no further because there was not enough field data coming up to design the next steps of the program. One day, he was discussing this with another batchmate sitting in Munich and his associate in California. The problem was uniform across the globe. Problems were identified and there were many people willing to offer solutions as well but there was no channel that could guide the solution makers to the problems there was no collectivization in an organized fashion. And very importantly, the right messages were not reaching the right people.
There was a moment of silence between the three friends on that call, connecting them across the world when they were thinking about the respective situations in their lives and that is when Ruhaan had an epiphany. Here, Ruhaan decided that he was no longer going to continue simply discussing the problems and thereby contributing to their existence. Rohan made up his mind that it was time to become a part of the solution and to use his expertise in building something that could help the world around him and also help in his project.
This is when his idea of a startup started blooming. Across the world, there were many people with different forms of expertise, experiences, and efficiencies. He would bring them all together to form a consortium, a platform of a sort, with different verticals of expertise. and the experts would then channelize their respective networks to connect problems with solutions. “ We have been using connectivity platforms to make friends or find partners... even to find our food. But now it's time to utilize this data of the network where we can connect with like-minded groups of activists and volunteers around us, with their areas of expertise. These groups would be mapped on a platform and a user would be able to access them and then initiate conversations or actions based on the needs. The platform would be able to provide various services needed for activism, including video calling and conferencing, counseling from experts, channelizing of funds, and forums that would he...