First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Prabhu Ram: This year, unlike any other year, taught me to focus inwards – on being in the moment, enjoying it, and contemplating in silence. At the beginning of the year, we all had to adjust and reorient ourselves. For instance, my two young daughters swiftly adapted to online classrooms. My wife and I adapted to an always-on work environment, juggling tasks, and schedules. While the work schedules were initially pretty uncertain and hectic, we soon found our rhythm and schedule. We could manage to avoid burning out, and more importantly, were able to retain and further our creativity.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined CMR.
Prabhu Ram: I have been with CyberMedia Research (CMR), a leading technology research and advisory firm from India, for close to a decade. During this period, I have handled various responsibilities. Over the past three years, I have assumed a leadership role in managing, guiding, and envisioning the research roadmap for the Industry Research Group at CMR. Leading global technology companies depend on CMR for furthering their strategic priorities, including communicating their thought leadership.
How does CMR innovate?
Prabhu Ram: Our company philosophy has centered around driving agility and profitability for our clients. We have focused on enabling clients with our strategic thinking and advisory, guiding them with our continuous intelligence, and building their go-to-market roadmap with, for instance, virtual events with CxOs. I pride myself on the storytelling capabilities that enable us to share actionable insights succinctly to CxOs.
In a difficult year like 2020, our agility helped us align ourselves with our client thinking, proactively guide our clients, and enable them.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Prabhu Ram: The COVID-19 pandemic is a severe humanitarian crisis. It is a crisis that will define our lives irreversibly.
Amidst the pandemic, we had to lean on our strategic thinking and come up with creative strategies to enable our current and potential clientele. We undertook several primary research initiatives to understand changing consumer sentiments and how they are adapting to the pandemic. We also undertook initiatives to map how business leaders are charting new trajectories for their enterprises. The cumulative research at CMR has been appreciated by the industry at large in India and beyond.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Prabhu Ram: We stood by our employees during this period and did not have to make any difficult choices. We looked at encouraging and enabling them to cope with the new WFH environment. We looked at ways to bring the best out of them, taking care of their health and wellbeing.
Our workforce is our strength, and we will stand by them always.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Prabhu Ram: In navigating the pandemic crisis, there were several stages where uncertainty, anxiety, and stress ruled large.
Thanks to my interest in reading and gardening, I could spend a greater amount of time unwinding and unlearning. With all the commute time and all the unnecessary distractions gone, I could focus on connecting with myself and with my loved ones, including my beautiful daughters and my strength – my wife.
Your final thoughts?
Prabhu Ram: There is no going back to how things were. There is no point longing for the past. It is also true that there is no new normal, as well. The workplace of today and tomorrow will evolve based on the learnings from this crisis.
At CMR, we remain committed to enabling a better understanding of the trends that will shape the future of consumer and enterprise tech. Trust us with market research, market intelligence, and go-to-market advisory. When it comes to storytelling, look up at us.
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