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‘The pandemic was like a speed breaker on a highway’ – 15 quotes from India’s COVID-19 journey

Launched in 2014, StoryBites is a weekly feature from YourStory, featuring notable quotable quotes in our articles of this past week (see the previous edition here). This special series of compilations focuses on India’s COVID-19 struggle. Share these quotes and excerpts with your networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights.

See also our pick of Top Quotes of 2022 on Entrepreneurship, Motivation, Investments, Women Changemakers, Social Entrepreneurs, Environmental Change, Pandemic Resilience, Digital Transformation, India Opportunities, Design, Art, Failure Lessons, and Storytelling.


From a graduate selling chai to an 80-year-old couple starting business, the top 10 SMB stories of 2022

As the world recovered post the pandemic, we witnessed a significant resurgence of students seeking higher education at international locations. – Amit Gainda, Avanse Financial Services

This significant spurt [in online learning] was primarily due to COVID-induced lockdowns, demand by traditional educational institutions for edtech infrastructure, and the general shift towards digital in society. – Nishant Chandra, Newton School

Since the pandemic, it’s clear that professionals have built up a bank of resilience, and we’re seeing this in their response to tackle the year ahead. – Nirajita Banerjee, LinkedIn India

In an increasingly interconnected world, we need to ensure that our communities are resilient and have equal opportunities to protect themselves in the face of a crisis. – Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare

India is a land of opportunities and there is wide scope in the Indian market, which is conducive to business growth, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. – Aurelia Menezes and Abhilasha S G, King Stubb and Kasiva


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It is very difficult to recollect and remember those tough times again. Tears roll down. How does it feel if the designated salary is suddenly reduced or not received at the end of a month? – Ganapathi Agnihothri, Chitra Santhe

This repeated activity, not interacting with the outside world, and staring at the concrete structures, started showing its impact in week two. That’s when I decided to break the cycle and decided to stay positive, with the best non-prescription medicine. – Kayal Vizhi, Chitra Santhe

There is strict cost control because of the learnings from the COVID-10 pandemic. – TV Mohandas Pai, Aarin Capital

It was a baptism by fire, given COVID and recent challenges within our business. – Reed Hastings, Netflix

COVID-19 put extra strain on healthcare systems, disrupted global supply chains of essential products and pushed overburdened care providers to breaking point. – WEF

The country has gone through an attitude transition and it was at its best show during the COVID pandemic when we saw our own vaccines getting manufactured in India. – N Chandrasekaran, Tata Sons


Top 15 startup stories of 2022

COVID-19 has revealed and reminded something that many are telling for the last 70 years: we need hybridity in systems. – Alok Nandi, Architempo

According to the United Nations, human activity has altered almost 75% of the earth’s surface, squeezing wildlife and nature into an ever-smaller corner of the planet and increasing risks of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19. – Pamela Srivastava, Shiv Nadar Foundation

With demonetisation, GST, and now COVID, there’s been a lot of uncertainty in the manufacturing sector. – Sagar Gupta, Ekkaa Electronics

The pandemic was like a speed breaker on a highway. It taught us to slow down, to control, to manage, to rearrange, to plan. – Manjunatha (‘MANZz’), Chitra Santhe

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

Edited by Suman Singh

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