The pandemic has compelled some innovative professionals to change career directions, and even helped them in excelling at it
While many have been utilising the lockdown period to rediscover long-forgotten hobbies, a few enterprising individuals have chosen to monetize their talents online teaching, baking, conducting podcasts and consulting, among others.
With the economic scenario looking dismal, industries such as fashion, travel, hospitality and entertainment are looking bleak.
With companies cutting costs to maintain their bottom line, many professionals have started picking up side jobs or even switching to new income sources to sustain themselves. Here are some people who've made a career switch
Tarini Nirula, designer, teaching online
Tarini Nirula took her love for teaching yoga and meditation online, which helped her reach several seekers and earn money simultaneously. “Because of the lockdown, a large part of my accessory business came to a standstill. Although I am still designing and strategising for the brand, I have more time to explore other interests. In the past three months, I started connecting with many who want to learn yoga online, especially meditation and pranayama. As I am a certified yoga teacher, I started teaching students online,” she said.
Tarini takes three to four classes a week for various batches. Additionally, she has collaborated with some wellness experts in India and abroad to conduct special workshops.
Amit Ranjan, Mumbai-based model, Started online classes, workshops
He foresaw the upcoming recession in March and joined an online fashion school for imparting his professional knowledge. “After reading the WHO reports about the pandemic, I could predict that things won’t become ‘normal’ anytime soon and that my modelling shoots would be on hold,” he tells us. “As work from home (WFH) became a norm and digitalisation was the next logical thing, I started with online classes and workshops for fashion students and aspiring models.”
Talking about how he understood the vulnerability of being in a career such as his, Amit tells us how he also realised the importance of having a backup and alternate career option.
“My next move is to increase my digital outreach with fitness videos and collaborate with brands for paid projects until the fashion market picks up,” he explains.
Moved from wedding events to technology
Saurabh Mehra, founder of Hookah Royals
Another industry that has been severely hit owing to the pandemic is the events and wedding industry. In a bid to sustain himself during the challenging time, founder of Hookah Royals, Saurabh Mehra, chose to transition from events to technology.
“We supply sheeshas for big-scale weddings and celebrity gatherings, but because of the lockdown, all events started getting cancelled. So to utilise the extra time, I used my technology background to develop two apps for home delivering. Party Royals and Bar Royals facilitate house party essentials and beverages, respectively,” he said.
The hugely enterprising Saurabh is currently working on his third app, which would feature food delivery options for people who want to order from local eateries. “The apps are already operational and I have started making money from the new ventures,” says a clearly excited Saurabh, summing up. “Of course, I plan to continue this even when things are back to normal.”
Karan Vij, Delhi-based businessman, Switched from fashion to healthcare
Karan, founder of Scentra, who was known for designing and retailing scented shoes, tells us how the crisis brought his family together. Talking about how they worked around the challenge by changing their core business to suit the ongoing situation, he said, “Post-Covid-19, our manufacturing units had to close down and labourers began to return to their hometowns. We run a family business and my brother Sidharth and wife Akriti joined in the brainstorming. Soon, we decided to make use of the infrastructure that we already have in place and started manufacturing certified PPE kits, disposable bags and protection jackets for the masses. From fashion to health gear, we switched the modus operandi and started selling these essential products online only to discover a new source of income.”
Kaveri Waghela, Bengaluru-based fashion writerMoved from writing to baking
Kaveri Waghela talks to us about the rollercoaster that the lockdown has proved to be. “I currently work with a start-up, and the lockdown has been tough for me. While the initial month was great, it started becoming too taxing for me. Baking has always been my passion, so I thought of baking some sweet treats and selling it only in my building premises for some extra bucks. This worked and slowly I began getting orders for cakes, brownies and cookies every single day.”
Archit Vasudev, Supreme Court lawyer
From law to trading in healthcare essentials
He’s another person who utilised the lockdown period to explore an alternative career. “During the first few days of the lockdown, I realised that this will be a long halt for us, and the physical hearings/ meetings with the clients will be difficult. Therefore, I started doing online consultations,” he said.
In addition to the legal work, Archit decided to dabble with a care solutions brand to create a new sanitizer brand. “I started trading in healthcare essentials such as sanitizer, gloves and masks to make some extra income till the courts get fully operational,” he elaborates.