Note to readers: While we accept the reality of the coronavirus, it is important to be optimistic. We must believe that there will be a day when the disease will no longer be the all-destroying scourge it is today. And when that day comes, we will be able to enjoy life, maybe with a few adjustments, the way we did before Covid-19. To that end, we are starting ‘If Covid Vanished ...’, a series of interviews with corporate heads and achievers, where we ask them where they’d like to travel or eat, who’d they like to meet, and so on, if the world became Corona-mukt. Follow the series here.
Taxes and Covid. If only both could vanish.
Archit Gupta would have to find a new career if that happened, though. His firm Clear, formerly ClearTax, was built to make it simpler for Indians to file their taxes, among other things.
But Gupta surely wouldn’t mind it if Covid disappeared. There’s a lot he has thought of for life after the pandemic, as he tells us in this chat.
If Covid went away or became manageable, which city would you like to travel to first and why?
Kyoto, Japan, for its strong mix of culture, food and nature. Ideally, in the cherry blossom season.
Which restaurant/bar would you go to first and why?
Toast & Tonic in Bengaluru is a great spot to go on a weekend for brunch or to spend a relaxed Saturday night.
Which famous stranger would you like to invite home and talk to, and why?
I love playing sports like frisbee, football and tennis and would love to connect with icons like Roger Federer, Lionel Messi and LeBron James. I look up to them for their passion for the sport and also the spirit, determination, focus and commitment and their never-give-up attitude.
What public performance/occasion would you like to attend?
Working from home is great, but I miss meeting and hanging out with folks. I would like to go back to attending fun events like music concerts or marathons.
What group activity would you like to participate in?
I’m looking forward to going camping at national parks. I want to do hiking, rock climbing and simple things like going for a run in Cubbon Park. I also want to play ultimate frisbee with my teammates.
What new skill would you like to learn?
Covid-19 has accelerated a longer-term shift in the skills a leader needs. As a CEO, I would like to be more connected with my co-workers. At a personal level, I would like to master my newfound culinary skills.
A song that comes to mind when you think of a Covid-free world.
‘Better Tomorrow’ by Matt Simons.
What would your approach to money be for life post-Covid?
The approach to handling money has always been conservative for me.
- I believe in the rule of 50:30:20 in finances. It says 50% of your monthly income should be allocated to cover needs such as groceries, utilities, and house rent or EMI. You must spend 30% of your monthly income on wants, such as dining out, vacation and clothing, while the remaining 20% of your income must be saved and invested in suitable investment options.
- I also have a systematic approach for creating a corpus to deal with such unforeseen situations (and) for personal goals.
What new invention/gadget would you like to see that would help us deal with future pandemics?
Gadgets and devices that can monitor health more accurately and detect early signs of diseases can help us avoid morbidities. More accessibility of appliances that kill germs can also help us deal with future pandemics.
What would your motto be for life after the pandemic?
Don't let go of your centre under any circumstances. Your calm mind can help you think through any difficult and unexpected situation. I have followed this throughout my life and I intend to not let go of it even after the pandemic.