May the Force be with you

As the pandemic marches on relentlessly in the UK, it seems that a second wave is inevitable with another lock-down on the cards. ITARMI has been alive for three and half years, and every one of those years has seen an event that could have completely destroyed us.

I can’t help likening the journey of a start-up business to the migration of the wildebeest on the Serengeti. These wildebeest never stop migrating; they are continually moving from East to West and then West to the East, following the rains in search of fresh pastures. As part of that journey, they have to cross the infamous Mara river.  

There, crocodiles lie in wait: 20-foot giants that only feed once a year and pick off the inexperienced and the weak. Every start-up business has had to cross the Mara river and, in most cases, these crocodiles have had names. In our case, they were Bankrupt Supplier, Unethical Recruiter and Covid-19.

The first crossing is undoubtedly the most dangerous. You are a yearling and yet to be weaned, so sticking with your mother is vital. Even if you aren’t targeted by the crocs, there is still a chance that you may get separated from her, which will also certainly lead to death. We crossed that damn river twice in one year, coming face to face with two huge crocs,and it sure as hell felt like we were in a death roll.



Well over two years has passed since making it across to the other side: emerging profitable, flexing our muscles and marking out our territory, with new clients and investors starting to eye us up. Expansion was on the horizon. However, a storm was building and the vast herds on the plains had to move towards the rains to survive, meaning that the Mara had to be crossed again. Now, a young independent bull on the fringes of maturity had to navigate the same treacherous stretch. This time, lying in wait was Covid-19 - the mother of all crocodiles.

Rumours of Covid-19 started to filter from the East and move towards West, with fear paralysing large swaths. Hindsight is 2020 as they say, but it seems that we either had to go all out and be as aggressive as possible to start off with, or we had to punch through it and carry on regardless. There is clear evidence of both strategies working in countries that adopted either one or the other.

Indecisiveness and lack of courage has now taken that Covid-19 croc and turned it into a python. Every time the business community breathes out it constricts, and we all know what the outcome will look like when that happens. The effect of long-term constriction will decimate and affect a lot more than what this virus can throw at us. History has proven this over and over again; this is not something we have not seen before.

Truth be told, Covid-19 is a way of nature fighting back. What we are doing to our environment is a lot more dangerous and our shelf life is going to be very short if we don’t drastically address it. We need to roll the dice and take our medicine from nature. Fires, floods and now a pandemic are its warning shots.

Economically ruining those that can institute the change is not the way to go and the knock-on effect on developing countries will be catastrophic. These are the same countries from which the western world obtains its natural resources and when people start starving, the first thing that gets plundered will be the environment, just so that they can survive.

So, let’s keep the wildebeest of our world crossing rivers like the Mara. Yes, there will be crocodiles in wait and, yes, some of us will perish, but a vast majority will make it. That’s just how it is: natural selection, nature at its best.

May the force be with you.