Back to Alumni News

Driving progress: Alums find solutions for a new normal

As we begin to look to a post-COVID future, alumni are finding ways to help us return to a safer, more stable world.  
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com
Amit Bhambi's nonprofit organization The First Wave has raised $140K and delivered 120K medical masks to hospitals throughout the U.S. 

While many populations around the world remain tightly under quarantine, others are slowly being introduced to a new normal. Leaders and organizations must balance today’s realities while also preparing for the challenges of tomorrow. Here are some alumni who are meeting these challenges and working on ways to navigate a post-COVID world.

PPE

A smiling Asian man wearing glasses leans over packaged PPE
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com
 Amit Bhambi (SCA 05-07) is helping to increase the accessibility of essential supplies and restore peace of mind to care facilities. His nonprofit organization The First Wave has raised $140K and delivered 120K medical masks to hospitals throughout the U.S. “The new normal is going to be filled with bumps in the road, and a large part of this burden will fall on underprepared hospitals and medical facilities,” says Amit. “Keeping people safe should be the priority when navigating the road to a new normal. Even if we can help tilt the scale in the smallest way, I want to do everything I can.”

An image of colorful face masks arranged in the shape of a heart
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com
 Lisa Sun (DCO 00-11), founder and CEO of Gravitas, is combining her fashion expertise and love for her community by creating stylish face masks produced in the heart of the NYC Garment District. “Part of the new normal is cloth face masks, combined with a renewed sense of community,” says Lisa. By offering fun, colorful patterns, Lisa is hoping to change the stigma of mask-wearing. “We need to view face masks as a service to protect others from us,” she says. “The face mask can become a feeling of connection to our community, [expressing] that we are sacrificing something for the common good.” In the past month Gravitas has donated 5,000 masks to frontline workers and sold 5,000 masks nationwide in a "buy one, donate one" model.

Tech Solutions

A woman with dark hair wearing a blue shirt and smiling
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com
A black and white image of a smiling man wearing a white shirt and glasses
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com
Andrada Paraschiv
(BRU 07-10) and Herbert Sablotny (FRA, BER 08, 14-16) at Oakland/Zurich-based employee communications app Beekeeper have released a global crisis communication and business continuity solution for frontline workers. They’ve also helped launch the "Next Normal Package," a program focused on helping companies quickly and safely restart after the lockdown. “We are using the Beekeeper platform and learnings from our customers to help our partners adapt to the new normal,” explains Andrada. Herbert adds, "We are proud to do our part in helping frontline organizations adapt to the new normal and to improve the agility, productivity, and safety of their workforce.”

A man in a gray suit standing against a wall and smiling
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com
Karan Arora (DAL 07-09), Chief Commercial Digital Officer at AstraZeneca, and his team have launched a remote health monitoring system, Virtual Ward. The system enables rapid identification of patients suffering from deteriorating COVID-19 symptoms, enabling clinicians to react quickly and avoid further complications. “The team and I felt a deep responsibility to figure out how we could use our knowledge and technical skills to help patients, clinicians and governments rapidly deliver tangible digital solutions,” Karan says. “While none of us know how things will evolve, AstraZeneca and this team will remain committed to finding solutions to these complex challenges.”

An Asian man wearing a blue shirt and tie and smiling
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com
Kash Kapadia (DM Northeast 07-10), founder and CEO of Anchor Health, has launched a COVID-19 digital solution within the Anchor Health platform to address the health and financial challenges of the crisis. The service offers global updates and a virtual COVID risk assessment that connects individuals to clinical care as well as financial advocates who provide guidance on insurance and bill payment. Additional platform offerings include access to medication information, prescription discounts, mental health screenings, and guided meditations. “All these needs are inextricably linked and Anchor Health integrates best-of-breed solutions for the end user,” says Kash. “We continue to grow our global engagement and are partnering with organizations who wish to support their members in navigating this new normal with the highest caliber resources.”

Knowledge

Headshot of an Asian man wearing a dark suit a blue shirt a tie and glasses
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com
Euvin Naidoo (JOH 98-04), faculty member at Harvard Business School, is author of the HBS Working Knowledge article “7 Winning War Strategies to Beat COVID-19,” a resource to help leaders and organizations navigate the volatility and uncertainty of the crisis and better position themselves for the new normal. In the article, Euvin emphasizes the importance of agile best practices. “The role of business, from strategy and leadership to execution, and the choices leaders make over this time, is critical to define how long or short the runway to recovery will be,” he says.

Travel

A man in a dark suit smiles and stands in front of a stone wall with carvings
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com
Mark Call (LON 84-89) believes the need for disruptive change is critical in the evolution of the new normal in aviation. He is bringing his blend of aviation and early-tech sector expertise to encourage airports to embrace younger specialist tech solutions. “The development of indoor navigation and deep location services can contribute to social distancing control and contact tracing and Cloud-based remote monitoring of critical assets, which can reduce human input and increase employee safety,” he explains. “My experience gained at McKinsey of seeing business organization systemically has helped me bridge the gulf in corporate cultures and make some contributions here.”

Mental Health Services

An Asian man wearing a turban and smiling stands in front of an office full of cubicles
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com
Mohanjeet Singh (GGN 12-19) is a crisis counselor with the COVID Response Helpline for the government of Delhi. He helps provide remote frontline support to populations coping with psychological issues, lack of food, shelter, and medicine. Mohanjeet also helped pilot a digital resource center aimed at increasing awareness of resources for NGOs and other frontline organizations, enabling them to better collaborate and coordinate government resources. “Psychological issues are under-appreciated, even though they cause significant and long-lasting damage in any global or personal emergency,” says Mohanjeet. “Only by focusing attention and effort into resolving these can we return to true normalcy."

Career Services

A man wearing a blue shirt stands in front of a tree with a view of mountains in the distance
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com
Rainer Kurz (STU 93-94), a managing director at freelance career platform Freelance-Market International in Germany, has launched a free career service on the site: Corona-Jobfee.de. The service places those unemployed by COVID-19 at client companies with critical staffing needs. While many employment agencies focus on permanent positions, Corona-Jobfee is using their freelance-tailored network to offer a less restrictive alternative to self-employed people and populations who are only seeking temporary work through the crisis.Rainer and his team have experience with pivoting to accommodate populations in need. In 2015, the team launched the “Jobs for Refugees” initiative, the success of which empowered Rainer to launch his COVID-19 initiative. “In view of the rapidly developing coronavirus pandemic, it was clear that we had the right people and processes in place to be able to help quickly,” he says.

* * *

There are many other alumni contributing their time and skills. Here are some we’ve seen in the news.

Rufus Black (MEL 00-08) named to Tasmania's Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council

Pradeep Chakravarthy (CHN 13-14) organizes workshops on India's history for children during lockdown

Mohammad Chbib (CBI, COL 04-07, 09-11) launches Dubai-based B2B eMarketplace Tradeling, which has pivoted to fee- and commission-free trading to support companies during COVID-19

Michael Hinshaw (CHA, SVO 11-15), COO of furniture manufacturer HSM, leads effort to shift company's production to make PPE

Radha Ruparell (TOR, NYO 01-03, 08-13) writes about her battle with COVID-19

Louis Shapiro (PIT 99-02), CEO of Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), discusses hospital's transformation to coronavirus care during crisis

Related materials

Coronavirus: Leading Through the Crisis

Insights on how organizations can respond, and what happens next

Relieving the burden: 9 alums who are helping overcome COVID-19 challenges

– From feeding frontline workers to starting a virtual barbershop, alumni are contributing across the globe.

Hope on the horizon: Developing a COVID vaccine

Alum Vas Vasan leads the pre-clinical response at Australia's scientific research agency.