2020 has been a tough year. The pandemic and global lockdowns have changed the way we live, learn and work. Despite all the constraints, this year has also provided an opportunity to take stock and prepare for the road ahead.

As founders of Harappa Education, we found ourselves stepping back repeatedly in 2020 to see what we could do to make the year count. Being at the forefront of how the world of work is changing—and will continue to change—we rethought all our plans, explored new avenues and reconfigured our offering to give our learners, our teams and ourselves ample room to continue to learn and grow. Here are our top learnings from this year:

  1. The biggest setbacks and challenges also present unique opportunities for growth and innovation.

Yet again, the adage “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” has come true. For us, this meant reframing the challenges of 2020 into opportunities that shape our success. At Harappa, we accelerated our direct-to-learner launch and opened up our courses to consumers in April 2020. Since then, we have helped more than 150,000 learners conquer challenges and navigate setbacks through our free  Embracing Change course. And, in the process, we’ve learned valuable lessons in consumer marketing and online learning for the future of our EdTech business.


  1. Work from home (WFH) and work from anywhere (WFA) will now become the semi-permanent reality of modern workplaces.

It’s efficient, productive and combines the best of a global work environment. For one of us, it has meant even greater productivity and good health. For the other , it has meant a more balanced model that lets her successfully juggle the roles of a teenager’s mom, a home-maker and a start-up CEO. Yet, most people aren’t equipped with the skills necessary to make this format a success. We have observed teams struggling to communicate with each other over video calls and emails. Today, it is more important than ever that professionals—employees and leaders alike—learn how to communicate effectively regardless of the medium. Learning how to speak, write and engage impactfully is paramount. No wonder then that Speaking Effectively continues to be one of our more popular courses for learners.


  1. A new world brings with it a new set of problems and new ways of solving them.

This demands fresh thinking, which, in turn, starts with paying attention to how you think today and how that needs to change. This is a mindset that has mostly been ignored in formal education, but we believe it is the skill that will truly set someone apart from their peers. As workplaces become more decentralized, employers are looking for people who can think and work independently and solve business problems efficiently. At Harappa, we increasingly value the ability to think critically and reason logically about problems before arriving at solutions.

Getting back on the path to success is top of mind for everyone. A new world needs a new way of thinking—2021 looks like it could be an even more challenging year.

So, how do we define success after such a massive reset?

We believe in the power of Good Habits and encourage everyone across age, industry and career path to never stop learning. Whether 2020 was an accelerator towards your goals or a chance for you to rethink what you really want, investing in yours and your team’s improvement and growth will help you win in this new world of work in 2021 and beyond. Success will be driven by your ability to continue learning, no matter what you have already achieved or accomplished.

(This article first appeared on the People Matters website.)

Pramath Raj Sinha is the Founder and Chairman of Harappa Education. Shreyasi Singh is the Founder & CEO of Harappa Education. 

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