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The pandemic as an opportunity

Online workshop by ESB alumnus Parwiz Torgull on the changes brought about by Covid-19

By Sophie Koch (MSc International Business Development)

“Crises can also be good for people, especially in terms of their development.” ESB alumnus Parwiz Torgull (2012) placed his statement in a clear context of megatrends and their impact. As part of Professor Gerd Nufer’s lectures on “International Marketing Cases”  in the MSc International Business Development programme, Torgull held an online workshop on marketing and strategic challenges.

He began his guest lecture with a short round of introductions and then went into the current issue of the coronavirus pandemic in the business environment. Torgull shed light on the importance of crises. His theory that digitalization within many companies really only got going because of Covid-19 was confirmed in practice by a survey he conducted.

He described the combination of digitization and Covid-19 as a great challenge, but also as a great opportunity. He highlighted the importance of the individual need for life-long learning to build new skills. Such new skills can help individuals to establish themselves in digitalized companies and to create added value.

We can see change not only in the digitization of companies, but also in a change in individual career paths. To reach leadership positions, individuals should take steps to change themselves and to adapt their plans, he said.

Furthermore, changes within companies can also be observed in marketing. Important things such as trust and artificial intelligence (AI) are in focus as drivers of the trend. In this context, break-out sessions provided an opportunity to analyse megatrends and to discuss the changes they effect on society and the economy. To connect this with business management thinking, solutions were sought to the question of how companies can deal with the current megatrend. These solutions were presented and discussed. The exercise illustrated that the combination of marketing and megatrends results in basic strategic challenges that companies have to master.

“Parwiz Torgull's personal experiences and practical insights were very exciting against the current background and the changes that are being triggered by Covid-19. We thank you for the great online workshop,” was the participants’ unanimous conclusion.