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Hard Times #3: Tamzid Siddiq Spondon Reflects on The Impact of Pandemic on Our Life and Work and Asks Are We Ready for The World That is Waiting For us Post Pandemic

In this episode of Hard Times, I speak with Tamzid Siddiq Spondo, founder of a number of successful ventures across technology, communication, online grocery, and travel and leisure, about how he is dealing with the impact of COVID-19 in personal life and business, the impact of the pandemic on advertising, travel, and online grocery, and the World That is Waiting For us Post Pandemic. 

We discuss: 

  • What’s happening 
  • How to deal with the impact of COVID-19 pandemic emotionally and keep your center solid and stay productive. 
  • What kind of monologue do you have with yourself on a daily basis? 
  • The impact of COVID-19 on Zanala Bangladesh, Neofarmers, and Basecamp and how each company is responding to the challenges
  • The tactics and strategies companies can use to survive and thrive amid pandemic 
  • Operational changes to cope with the impact of the pandemic 
  • Everyone is now remote: how to ensure that everyone in your team remains productive and delivers at their best
  • How to deal with hard times 
  • Post pandemic world 
    • Structural changes 
    • Trends and verticals 
    • Life and society 

Show notes: 

1:42: It is critical to stay strong psychologically in this circumstance. 

3:18: Obviously, there is some lifestyle related stress we are going through now. However, it does feel like a significant problem when I think about my teammates who work in a few of my businesses. When I see that they are stressed and worried about what would happen, it makes me stressed. 

3:50: When we invest and run a business, we don’t operate with a lot of cash. In simple, we are not sitting on a ton of cash and our runway is not unlimited. What will happen after two-three months, that uncertainty is the biggest source of pressure for me. 

4:04: To keep myself off the stress, I’m trying to stay calm so that I can make better decisions, operate at a high level so that we can weather this challenge. I’m trying not to take any pressure myself. There are reasons to be worried. This is not only for me. This is true for every other entrepreneur because you need to pay salaries and all that. I will stay safe and live well but my teammates and people who work in my companies will not, that’s a painful thought to endure. That’s now how I think. My philosophy is that we all will live well together. To that end, how we can ensure that everyone who works in our different ventures stays well is my biggest concern at this moment. 

4:54: I’m meeting with my people online everyday and if I show my pressure to them, they will feel stressed. When I’m in a meeting, I try to break jokes and keep the meetings engaging and fun instead of adding extra tension. 

5:00: I’m also trying Yoga with my wife.  

6:15: Since operation is largely slow now, I’m encouraging my team to learn and do online courses. In fact, I’m asking everyone to do one online course and I’m paying on behalf of them. I’m trying to keep everyone in some kind of engaging activities so that they don’t feel the pressure. 

8:11: I feel that the world will not be the same after this pandemic. That’s my understanding. Our life is going to change fundamentally. How am I going to survive in that new world - that’s something I’m thinking a lot. The next couple of months, we are trying to get by but are we ready for the world that is waiting for us post pandemic? 

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Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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