Since when have you been working from home? Who else is at home with you?
I have been working from home since March 23. Only my wife is with me. Our two sons and daughter live separately. They are all working from home too. It is the need of the hour to stay home and stay safe.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced working from home?
As chairman of my group it is my job to provide direction and delegate. Although this has been a challenge while working from home, we have managed to do this by phone, and by attending management meetings on Zoom and Teams. Use of technology is encouraging, however, the human touch is missing. One of the other challenges for our team has been how to do perfume evaluations from home, but we have managed efficiently during the lockdown by getting samples sent from our factory to key stakeholders and streamlining the process.
How difficult was it to adjust to this new reality?
This was not difficult. We are realists. We have adapted to this new normal and taken things positively. Every experience in life is a learning in itself. Covid-19 has shown that it will affect mankind and will not spare people of any particular country, origin or religion. It has shown us how nations are coming together to fight this global pandemic and live in peace and brotherhood.
How are you and your family spending time? Favourite activities that you enjoy doing together? Exercise routine?
This holy month is a month of contemplation, prayers, reading the Quran and giving to the less fortunate. I also take a walk in my garden and practise yoga in the evenings. We are avoiding any gatherings and maintaining social distancing.
What are you and your family doing to manage the anxiety that is stemming from the pandemic?
Although the situation is worrisome and very difficult, we try to remain calm. There is no point in worrying about something that is beyond our control. We must do what is in our power to make the most of every situation.
What are some of the things you miss from your life when Covid-19 had still not affected us?
Playing bridge (although I do play some bridge on BBO with some friends), meeting my music friends, and our Friday family lunches.
What will be the first thing you’d like to do once this scare of Covid-19 is over?
I believe Covid-19 will affect us for a few years to come. We will just learn to do things more carefully and differently, which is good. This pandemic has taught us a big lesson to be self-reliant and ensure we make our health our top priority. Being safe is better than being sorry. I recommend people read Bill Gates’ take on it.
What have you learnt about yourself during this trying time?
We are not infallible. We are at His mercy. In addition, we should not keep running after things but count our blessings.
What will be your favourite memory from this experience, something you’d perhaps like to share with your grandkids one day?
We were carefree before Covid-19 and enjoyed life to the fullest. We still enjoy it but in a different way. We have adapted to the situation. My favourite experience would be the time I take out for myself to contemplate and work more on improving myself and my fitness. It has given us all time to think about what is really important outside the materialistic world.
One lesson you think the world should remember from this experience.
Never take things for granted and think that tomorrow will be like today. Be ready to adapt and change.
How other celebrities and public figures are keeping busy while in isolation
- Harbhajan Singh: I have never cooked before and now I'm enjoying it
- Kapil Dev: I have reconciled to the situation
- Khalid Al Ameri: I am never going to take anything for granted again
- Elisabetta Dami: My life is very intense, even in this special period
- Nick Watson: I would like to remember the beauty and importance of slowing down
- Mobeen Ansari: I will miss how clean the air has been
- Kris Fade: We want to spread that positivity
- Shah Rukh Khan answers questions about coronavirus, marriage proposal and his toothbrush in fun Twitter Q&A