To say that 2020 has been tough would be an understatement. The things we once take for granted like travel and gathering with friends and family were put on pause—and there's no telling when it would be safe for us to roam freely again. Most of us are also spending more time at home than ever before and learning to adapt to working from home. Business owners are forced to adjust their strategies according to the new norm with big plans put on hold as they work to stay afloat.
But humans are resilient creatures and challenges reveal opportunities one might not have considered during the good times. Restaurateur Roberto Guiati and managing director of Gamlite IT Aaron Chin are two entrepreneurs who have taken it all in their stride, keeping an optimistic outlook for 2021. Wearing Omega Constellation Gents 41mm watches, these dapper and dynamic gentlemen clue us in on the year that was.
Looking back on 2020
What were the big plans you had for the year but couldn’t see them through?
Roberto Guiati: On the business level, we were lucky to be able to complete our projects albeit with some delays. On the personal level, we had to cancel our trips to Europe.
Aaron Chin: Several business plans had to be pushed back because of the pandemic. The launch of our hotel in Kota Kinabalu has been postponed to at least the middle of 2021. Initial plans to launch plant-based vegan restaurants in Kuala Lumpur were also delayed.
What have you learnt in 2020?
Guiati: I tried to be positive, seeing opportunities in these times of uncertainty. I wouldn’t say it changed me but I adapted on both business and personal level, and trying to get the best out on these ever-changing situations.
Chin: The one thing that 2020 has taught me was to realise how little we actually need in order to sustain life and find true, lasting joy.
How has the enforced isolation affected your perception of time?
Guiati: The idea of limited liberty was hard to grasp at first but like I said, I quickly adapted. Frankly, it was a quiet period that I actually enjoyed. I needed to slow down and appreciate what we have rather than what we want.
Chin: I've heard people saying that time passed so slowly for them but my experience was quite the opposite. I felt the year flew by faster than ever before.