Lessons from Corona Epidemic: Discussion with CEO of VyGon India Mr. Pavan Choudary

Video Link- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8ijJ1E5Uo4


This discussion with Pavan Choudhary, CEO of French multinational 'Vygon India', was recorded on Zoom platform. He begins by describing some of the earlier pandemics in Europe which led to far reaching changes in the economy and personal lifestyles of people. Pavan Choudhary also shares his views on the changing geopolitics of Post Corona Era and the challenges facing the corporate sector. In response to questions regarding the poor performance of the corporate sector in recent decades, Pavan Choudhary describes the factors that inhibit the growth of manufacturing industry in India.


Kishwar: मानुषी के मित्रों को मेरा नमस्कार!

आज मैं अपने एक बहुत ही विशेष मित्र पवन चौधरी जी से आपकी मुलाकात कराने जा रही हूं। पवन चौधरी is currently the CEO of Vygon India, a French multinational. He is also Chairman, Medical Technology Association of India and has authored several books. He's a very colourful personality. 

One of his books, apparently a best-seller, is "How a Good Person can Really Win", but I actually prefer the earlier title of this book, which was "When You are Sinking, Become a Submarine". Then the second one is a trilogy of wisdom on Chanakya, Confucius and Kabir. And  then,"The Rx factor" on healthcare marketing and strategy, that's his specialisation. He's also written a book on Lal Bahadur Shastri, “Lessons in Leadership” with Anil Shastri. He has hosted several TV shows on Doordarshan and that's how I initially met you Pavan ji, on your TV series called "Hum aise kyon Hain"… And he is a well known columnist for various newspapers. Now today, since Pavan ji represents the corporate sector, जो कि बहुत चिंतित है कि GDP का क्या होगा economy का क्या होगा, I am convinced Pavan ji has a different take on it. At least likely, that it's not a doomsday scenario. So, let's start with your assessment of the socio-economic scenario in the coming decades on account of the Corona pandemic. Are we going to witness a totally different world or is it going to be much of the same with small amendments and small adjustments? So, all yours now.

Choudary: Madhu Ji, it is a big pleasure to be with you. I feel if one has to look at the crystal ball, he has to borrow illumination from the past, and then we can attempt to humbly look at what the future may unfold. So, to borrow illumination from the past, we have to look at how pandemics changed us before. There are certain signature changes which come during a pandemic or after it.  Let us look at Black death. When Black Death came, it altered the socio-political, the socio-economic structure of the society, because it killed a lot of farm workers. This demographic correction improved their bargaining power and this demographic correction also reduced the load on grains, otherwise the entire fields which were there, were used to grow grains….

Kishwar: You are talking of Europe?

Choudary: Yes, it happened in Europe and what happened is emblematic of changes which happened in many other countries during pandemics, as you will see when I finish this part of the conversation. So, this change allowed space for growing of cash crops. Cash crops made the society wealthier actually, and a lot of export and import started, because of which a lot of best practices from Italy moved to the rest of the European continent. So, conspicuous consumption was frowned upon. Even the height of the heels which ladies could wear were limited. You know there were norms set around that. The use of lead which was used to make expensive pottery, that came down. A lot of changes happened. 

Kishwar: What does the height of heels have to do with Black Death?

Choudary: It means that all kinds of conspicuous consumption after Black Death was frowned upon. One of the luxuries of that time were the high heel sandals, which also the society decided, that we will not allow more than a certain height of heels. Let us not flaunt our wealth anymore and let us not apportion are wealth into luxury…

To hear the full conversation, please watch the video at-


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