We live in ‘exceptional times’ and we should acknowledge not only how the industrial gases industry has shone during the Covid-19 pandemic but also has so many heroes within its ranks, says Linde plc COO-elect, Sanjiv Lamba.
Lamba was speaking at the gasworld Virtual Event 2020 earlier this week, where he provided the official Opening Keynote and took the opportunity to not just pay homage to the tireless workers in the gases industry that have essentially been on the frontline of the pandemic all year, but to look ahead to positive new challenges and opportunities in the future.
Titled Asia-Pacific: Realising New Market Opportunities & Supply Chains, the event represented gasworld’s first foray into virtual events and a strong and wide-ranging agenda of industrial gas talking points and top speakers to match.
Lamba, recently appointed COO of Linde plc from 1st January (2021) headed that agenda, and delivered a typically charismatic, enlightening keynote to officially get the proceedings underway.
He began, “I want to start off by acknowledging that we live in exceptional times. We live in exceptional times where the world is seeing challenges beyond what we would have imagined when we started off this year.”
“In many parts of Asia we started off the year as the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Rat, with a great deal of expectation for what was likely to happen around us; the reality unfortunately was, that it all came to a grinding halt. This pandemic in many ways, has brought out the best and the worst in our world.”
“I have to say, with some pride I must admit, that as an industry the industrial gases industry has shone through this pandemic. A large part of that credit goes to our frontline staff – they have stepped up, they have delivered and through their dedication, very often they have saved lives.”
Lamba continued to discuss the effects of the pandemic, and described those frontline staff as heroes amidst one of the hardest years for the industry and for us all as a whole.
He said, “I think it’s appropriate that we start this conversation off today by acknowledging what I would call the heroic efforts of our frontline staff, who have stepped up and created optimism and a little bit of positivity around a very dark period in the course of this year. It has been one of the hardest years that we have faced.”
“Let’s talk about those frontline staff who have delivered, who have stepped up day in and day out, whether it was to institutions, to communities or supporting patients at home – all of that was happening every day and an acknowledgement of that is, I think, appropriate from all of us.”
“And we must remember that this happened across our industry; whilst you see pictures here of staff from Linde over here [in the Asia-Pacific region], every member of our industry did that and again, I am proud that as an industry we were able to create that positive change that was needed.”
Lamba explained that the next step is to look ahead, adding “I don’t think anyone really wants to talk about 2020 anymore.”
He proceeded to explain the three global trends that he believes are and will shape the gases industry in the future, and the lead that the Asia-Pacific region is taking in many areas of these. Those trends were going digital, going green (decarbonisation), and going to clean hydrogen.
For more information on the gasworld Virtual Event 2020, how you can catch-up on the discussion, debate and networking, or to take a look at gasworld’s upcoming virtual events programme beginning in February 2021, visit www.gasworldconferences.com