Lincoln Bennet Rodrigues, Founder and Chairman, Bennet & Bernard Group

Lincoln Bennet Rodrigues, Founder & Chairman of Bennet & Bernard Group is of Goan origin, hailing from the island village of Chorao. At 19 years, Lincoln went aboard commercial cargo vessels. The voyage went on to be 14 years of total work experience of the sea, which attributes to the highest level of discipline, efficiency, and responsibility of conducting business. Joining as a cadet, he moved up the ranks finally moving out from his marine profession as SDPO 2nd Officer. In the spirit of entrepreneurship, he ventured into Real Estate which today is the primary business, setting the gold standard in Goa. He runs the two businesses of Bennet & Bernard Custom Homes Pvt. Ltd. and Bennet & Bernard Gastronomy Hospitality Pvt Ltd.

 

It can well be – learning times, tough times, challenging or growing, by far anyone could imagine playing out in a real sense, as it were. The twisters of COVID-19 have struck at the root of the global ecosystem and are structurally altering how one approaches the way of life. We have unprecedented challenges, and in the fight for survival and growth, business leaders are facing the ultimate test of their mettle. There is absolute chaos all around us, and it is in this cauldron that ideas emerge, which has the potential to alter the course of humanity. We need patience, we need foresight, clarity, empathy, and courage.

If anyone would dare compare the current situation to that of the 1997 Asian crisis or the 2008 global economic meltdown as the seminal events in the recent history, which tested the immunity of global businesses, it is like throwing a feather down the Niagara Falls and expecting it to have a smooth sail.

An entirely new situation inhibits what precise step has to be taken. The crisis of the past pale to the enormity this crisis has arisen. There is no precedence on how to react in such a flux and we as leaders have had to step forward led by our agile instincts, ensuring that our people, our communities and our business stay above the waves. These are remarkably challenging times, and it is heartening to see how business leaders are constantly evolving and adapting to new challenges.

It is important business leaders are transparent yet supportive, trusting, flexible, optimistic and should empower teams to do their best work autonomously. Create a sounding board with your teams and clients and ensure that the trust is built further. The clarity in a murky foreseeable future, employee empowerment driven by purpose and dovetail experiences of teams to forge strategies is vital.

We have and will embrace, every good and every difficulty, to rise above it and create something that leaves the difficulty far behind to a better day and a better future. The sun continues to shine, the beaches remain, the ocean and river breeze continue to be a part of our everyday life and its beauty.

The business truly never stops. The demands of an entrepreneur have not slowed down in a lockdown. All eyes have in-fact been more fixated on the entrepreneur. How is s/he going to progress through the phase, can s/he be counted on. Are they making long-term thought through decisions?

It has been very expensive for families, the human race and the global economy. If we have not come out learning from it, what a distressful loss it will have been. In fact, even the customer is looking at the entrepreneur to make it a better day for them. They have and are absolutely understanding of the time, but they have delighted and rejoiced at the moment when the entrepreneur has taken bold steps and changes to bring in new things, a change for the better. We count it a privilege to add that joy to a customer, direct or indirect.

Homes, families, businesses have been hit hard. It could have been us. Hard work and perseverance are habits over the years that have held ground for us. Every single act of kindness for the one receiving it could be lifesaving for that day. Encourage, appreciate every one of them. It sets the morale and tone for the circle to continue.

The COVID-19 situation has demonstrated strong possibilities in a very difficult scenario that has challenged us to think and work differently. There is a need to advance the use of technology in every phase of business. By keeping your eye on the horizon, investing in innovation where you can, and committing to your employees, you will be able to come out even stronger. If there is one most important lesson this pandemic has taught us, it’s to seize the opportunities presented to us and use the new learnings to adapt to the new normal. We cannot afford to miss tapping all these opportunities to make ourselves a more humane, sensitive, and kinder society.

As a leader, you are sometimes your own solo and best motivator. Doing things for others is an adrenaline we should always work with. Remain positive. We must remain firm in our strategy and show confidence in our country, its inhabitants and investors and in our resilience. The characteristics of this unique country are still here. Our people, our culture, our gastronomy, and our security are here and valued. Our resolve is to progress as part of our responsibility to our country and its citizens.

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