The Future of Business in the Post-COVID Era
Channel: Mansoor Danish
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Okay. Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim al hamdu Lillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah Allah Allah was fabby admin in my bad brothers and sisters Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. I welcome you all to the business webinar series, organised by the Department of Business Administration at the International Open University. This is going to be a part of a series of webinars that we will be hosting every Saturday. And almost all of the topics that we shall be discussing will be pertaining to the field of business, the field of management, and of course, the most important thing, how does the whole business dynamics change in this post COVID era. As we all know, we're
living through difficult times the Coronavirus syndrome, which has spread all across the pandemic is all across. And while we are all waiting for normalcy to appear, the reality is that this is not going to be something which will happen in the near future. In fact, in all fairness, it is wise to predict that this is perhaps the new reality that we are living in, the whole dynamics of business is going to change. And we are already seeing the changes starting to take place in the business world. So through these webinars, the International Open University is trying to reach out to all of you to share a perspective on how the business model will change. We have different topics which
shall be taken up over the next month and a half different faculty members from the university will be addressing these issues. And I look forward to all of you participating. Do remember to subscribe to the YouTube channel of the International Open University. If you're watching this live right now, please remember to subscribe to the channel and click on the notification button so that you get updated about all our upcoming events and programs which will come up. Let's get started. I have a very short presentation today to make. The topic that I'm addressing is the future of the business in the post COVID era.
We'll take you through some of the points and then we'll try to open up the session for question and answers.
Now, before I proceed, I would just like a quick confirmation in the chat box. I can see the chat box in the YouTube, if you could quickly confirm if I'm audible to all of you a quick confirmation if I'm audible to all of you.
Okay, all right. Excellent. Thank you so much for the update.
Thank you so much. All right. So let's start with the topic, future of business in the post COVID era. Now, if you look at the situation that we're living in today, the entire business model have turned upside down. Everything has changed in almost all the aspects of governing. The most visible change that has taken place in and around us today is the fact that the remote working model or the flexible working system or arrangement has now become a dot has been adopted by almost all organizations.
A few years back when the flexible working arrangement was being discussed was being debated in a normal circumstance. There were a lot of people who were critical of this approach, many question about the productivity of the staff using such a model. But today, we see almost every organization adopting the flexible
Working arrangement. And this can be clearly seen, therefore, that there is a visible change in the business model, the staffs have been sent home, all of us are working from home.
In addition to this, there are those who were in a line of business, which were considered as not part of the essential service provider. And so all of those who were in the business, which was not part of the essential service provider, they have had to face difficult circumstances, the entire supply chain has got affected, the entire demand and supply has got affected because of this lockdown, many of them have had to take a hit on the revenue, the bottom line has got affected. And this has led to many businesses trying to shut operations are laying off staff laying off employees. In fact, the airline industry, the travel industry, the hotel industry is seeing considerable
pressure in sustaining themselves in the current setup in the current situation. And we don't see things changing in the near future. I mean, let me ask all of you who are attending this session right now, how many of you would consider it safe to travel right now on a vacation, we all would be looking forward to a vacation when 2020 started, everyone was talking about 20, the grip, everyone was looking forward to it. It was the year of the World Expo which was supposed to take place and the world. The the the whole world was gearing up for massive changes taking place. But what happens, all of a sudden, everything comes to a standstill. We're all sitting at home, attending
this session, and seeing the visible changes around us. Many businesses are now shopping shop, many businesses are laying staff, there might be some of you who are attending this session, who would be seeing it in and around you.
So we understand that this is not just a crisis that was being foreseen by any one of us. You have crisis management set up by different organizations, they all have teams, which are continuously working there is a risk management team which tries to understand the risks associated with running a business, what are the kind of crisis that they have to look forward to? And let me tell you, even the most transformational leaders around us did not foresee a crisis like the one which we have with us in in front of us today. No one was able to foresee such a crisis. So what are the visible changes that we are going to see now in the business model? And how does it go on from here? First
and foremost, as I mentioned in the beginning, there is going to be a rise in flexible working arrangements and flexible working as more and more people are now being shifted to home they are being asked to work from home staffs are being asked to work from home they are being asked to take up the flexible working arrangement, something like I mentioned was not being addressed in the normal circumstances, it was being looked at critically by people. In fact, some of the line managers or some of the management people felt flexible working hours is not going to be productive. Today, flexible working hours seems to be a reality. In fact, those organizations, which has been
able to start off with flexible arrangement, have been able to sustain themselves even in this period, while those who did not have such an arrangement in place, are finding it difficult to get all the acts together.
So we need to understand that post pandemic. This is becoming a new norm, flexible working hours. And any business. any organization, which wishes to survive in the post COVID era will need to address this issue. We'll need to come up with systems and rules and regulations in place to adopt flexible working hours. This is a new reality, flexible working hours. In fact, as a staff of the International Open University, we've been working
in a virtual setup for more than four years now. And I remember in the initial days, people used to wonder what kind of a job can you do sitting at home? What kind of a work can people do sitting at home today, almost everyone who was questioning me or my colleagues about working from home, they realize that this is the reality. We all need to now work from home and almost every sector, whether it is the banking sector, whether it is the
other sectors, for example, the pharmaceutical industry, etc. so on and so forth. They're all
Asking the staff to work from home, avoid coming to offices, which actually brings us to the next big challenge that the businesses will need to face. And that is an increase in the need to have a more global presence. Many businesses, many operations would rely on surviving in one country or two countries, many of them them would depend on procuring the materials from a particular country. And now, with the entire COVID crisis, you don't know how will you make your system run, how will your operation be functional. So you need to increase your exposure, you need to have a presence globally, living in a global village, everyone's connected. So there will be now more and more need
to have a presence in more and more countries, this is going to be one of the best ways that you can sustain yourself that you can survive yourself. So that even if there is a pressure, even if there is, let's say, a lockdown or a shutdown in business operation in one country, it does not affect your top line, it does not affect your revenue, it does not affect your normal progress.
So increasing the global presence becomes an extremely important aspect to be looked into
one of the industries which is going to be worst affected, and we can already realize, and we can get a sense of it is the real estate industry. You see, with more and more people opting in for flexible working arrangements.
Apologies. So with more and more people moving in for the flexible working arrangements, more and more people working from home, what happens to the office, what happens to the office buildings, would you require a big office building to house 500 employees 1000 employees, you will not need such a big office, we might see closure of many big office setups, there will be a lean structure in the office, and more and more people will be requested or asked to work from home.
And when you have a lien structure, what happens to these big buildings, which was set up, I predict that many of them may be converted into residential buildings, they will be sold off to as residential buildings. In fact, as more and more people realize that they can have the luxury of working from wherever they want. And as more and more companies adopt the flexible working arrangement as a norm.
More and more staff will realize that they don't need to stay in the main city, they can probably stay in a smaller town, stay back at the home have a proper setup in the home, and they don't need to move to a bigger city to work. So, we will see more pressure on the real estate in industry the cost of renting and accommodation may go down because of the demand and supply the demand will be less to move to a bigger city.
So the real estate industry will get affected.
In fact, even in this current market that we are living in, we can already see more and more people are currently holding on to investments in the real estate sector. No one wants to get let go of the additional liquid cash that they have. No one wants to let the money go into real estate sector they are hoping that the industry will correct its prices, the prices will come down because there is no demand right now. Whoever had the demand, they are pushing the demand to the future, everyone is delaying the purchase decision. No one wants to commit themselves with a huge amount of investment.
So with all of this setup in place, we need to again relook how the things are going to be in the coming future.
One of the most common things that will happen and it has already begun happening is the increase in the use of automation and artificial intelligence. In fact, in the banking sector, we have already been hearing about digital digitization, where almost all the transactions were getting digitized, more and more staff were being laid off and their jobs were being replaced by machines, everything was getting optimized.
What happens in such a sector in such a setup today because of the COVID-19 more and more business is now going to adopt the process of automated automation and this is going to lead to temporary job loss.
I will not want to say that this is going to be there in the long
Run as well, I would hope more and more companies and industries would try to replace or get these people employed in other ways. But at least in the short run, many people may lose job because of the increased use of automation and artificial intelligence. This is a reality, this is going to get adopted by almost all the sectors.
The best example is the technology that we are using today. Zoom, zoom technology, it was unheard of by many people in many parts of the world, only those who were already working in the virtual space knew what zoom was. But for many, they didn't know what zoom was today. Zoom is there on everyone's mobile, everyone is connecting to zoom zoom is now coming to big business straight away, this entire COVID-19 has pushed one industry, which is the industry where which is connecting you using different kinds of technologies, zoom, Skype,
Google has come up with their systems in place, Microsoft has got their meeting rooms, everyone is now looking at a different business model in order to support the running of businesses, and at the same time, find an alternative business model to sustain themselves in this current setup.
Further, we will now see more and more influential leadership. Look, I mentioned right in the beginning, many leaders were critical of the flexible working arrangements. Today, the leadership is adopting flexible working arrangements. So what does this entail, it will entail that you need to track the productivity of your workers. And in order to track the productivity of your workers, you will have to come up with novel ideas, not the not the novel virus, but novel ideas in order to see how you can track the workers, their productivity, they need to be motivated, you have to find different ways of motivating them. Look, when I have my staff right in front of me, I'm addressing
them and talking to them, I can motivate them, but for those businesses, which are not used to virtual space, they will have to invite influential leadership, they will have to have leaders who are transformational in nature, who are ready to adopt to adapt to these changes, okay. So, this is going to be one of the things which will be a critical part of the change which will happen and more trust based leadership will come in, because now you need to trust your staff, you also need to understand that many of the staff who will be using this new in flexible working arrangement, they are being forced to use this arrangement because of the given situation the scenario.
It's not because of a normal circumstance. So, there is a mental health which is involved, the workers are going to go through a lot of stress in this period of time, many of them are not even certain how long they will be continuing to work. So at this period of time, we require more and more influential leadership, the entire definition of leadership has to change. The entire approach of motivation has to change. New ways have to be adopted. And this is where we will see the difference between transformational leaders and transactional leaders, transactional leaders, they wait for an event to take place and then they try to make some changes and adapt to changes.
transformational leaders are continuously looking at making changes, they are foreseeing what could happen in the future since COVID-19 was unexpected and almost all of us are at the same level of shock. So, what will make a difference it will be transformational leadership leadership, which is ready to think for the staff or the employee can show their concern for the mental health of the staff show the trust on them and proceed from there on.
The other aspects which we will see changing in the business in the post COVID era is the entire supply chain system.
And the best example I can share with you of this is
an American equipment manufacturing company was
had to stop the production because one of the suppliers was a British supply firm, which was supplying one of the unit for the assembly. And the reason they had to stop the production was because this British supply firm had to suspend the operation because they were procuring the material from an Italian supplier who in turn was picking it up from a plant in China.
Can you see the supply chain? This is how supply chain works right? So you have different players in a supply chain.
Normally, a supply chain manager would not worry about going into a deep level. So if an American manufacturing firm has to look at its supply chain, it would be more concerned about the British firm, that they would make sure that the British firm is supplying things to them on time. Today, when they get into contract, they will need to find out where is the British firm supply supply firm picking up their material from where are they picking it up in turn from because I gave you an example. And American equipment firm, which was procuring the materials from a British supply firm had to stop the operation, because the British supply firm was dependent on an Italian supplier to
supply them raw material, and that Italian supplier is going to procure that from a plant in China, and the plant in China is under a shutdown under a lockdown. So, when China goes under a lockdown the entire supply chain gets affected.
So, now the definition of supply chain will change. The managers who are part of the supply chain system or the supply chain managers will have to go into deep levels to analyze Where are the things being procured from they will not stop at one level, they will go deep down. And that is the kind of new business operations that will take place in the coming future.
Now, another thing which will happen, and I think this is something which we are already seeing in and around us, that the environment in which we are going to stay in might tend to get a little more healthier, the buildings that we are staying in will tend to get more healthier. I give you the example of the airport. Normally when we go to the airport system, they have a very strict security system, because they want to make sure that there are no criminals traveling on the flight carrying, you know, ammunition or arms and ammunition which can harm the society. So you have a very strict policy, which is adopted by the airline industry, or by the airports, the airports have a very
strict security system. Today, the security system is going to get is going to look after not only the concern of arms and ammunition from criminals, but they have to look into whether the people who are traveling are the COVID positive or they have symptoms, which are symptoms of COVID. If they are having similar symptoms, you probably will have to ground them or you will not allow them to travel. The entire system is changing. You're trying to make your environment more and more healthier.
So the security systems are getting more beefed up. And this is not only in the airport, it would get in it would happen maybe in your office, it's probably happening in your residential premises as well. That there are people who have a thermometer in the hand of they have these infrared thermometers, they're checking the temperature, they are continuously giving you the hand sanitizers to sanitize your hand why are they doing all this they are trying to ensure that the environment remains as healthy as possible.
So that the Coronavirus spread is controlled, eventually the breakout will keep happening. In fact, if anyone is under the impression that this is a face, it will get over. According to many experts, this will keep coming back and it will the outbreak will keep happening from time to time. It will keep reoccurring. So this is a reality that we have to live in.
And of course, one of the things which will stop happening in the business world is in person meetings, the regular in person meetings, which we used to see, we used to see the launch happening of the mobile phones and other products being launched in front of a large audience. All of this is going to change the cinema theaters and everything is now shutting down. And everyone is opting for other medium and other platform to launch the programs and events. Everything is changing, the entire business model is changing around us. And if you are under the impression that this is going to be temporary, and if you are yearning for normalcy to appear, let me
inform you that this is not going to be
this will not happen in the near future. This is the new world that we are living in. We need to adapt to these changes. We need to accept these changes in our life, that this is the way this is how things will function going forward. With that I would like to conclude the session, I would like to open it up for discussion. I would also like to mention to you that at the Islamic online university or now called the International Open University, the Department of Business Administration is offering to you three programs that you can take up in the field of Business Administration. We have a degree program which runs into four years, we have an associate degree
program which can complete
In two years, and we have a certificate program, which is a one year program, you can complete it in two semesters. Considering the kind of changes that we are seeing in and around us, I think it's a golden opportunity. I think it's an amazing opportunity for all of you who are out there to take up one of the course, maybe a Certificate course, maybe an associate degree course. And if you want to invest in yourself in over the long term, consider taking the degree program so that you can slowly and steadily enhance your skills and learn about the changes which are taking place in and around us. With that, I would like to open up the forum for questions. If you have any questions, please
post it in the chat box on the YouTube. I will take up the questions if there are any. If Of course there aren't any questions, we will close the session.
So I will quickly move to the chat box to see if there are any questions.
Running college and institutions. Dan wants to know what is the future? Well, we can already see many universities around us many schools, many institutions have already started conducting the classes using the digital platform.
In the near future, this is how it will be more and more institutions and universities are going to adopt to the online platform. So this seems to be the most reasonable thing to do in the current times that we are living in. And as I mentioned to you, I don't see normalcy appearing anytime in the near future. So it will take a lot of time before things work out. So there will always be options available for people who probably wish to conduct or take a distance learning course. So in the past, universities would avoid offering distance learning courses or online courses. But I think this is going to change now. More and more universities will now open it up and allow others to come
up and you know, take up the classes take up the sessions using the distance learning model.
In what business we can invest now, I think one of the best business you can invest now, Dan is the business of hand sanitizers, you know, everyone wants to buy a hand sanitizer, and I'll see rusty me that you know, this, anything related to your personal protection, you know, the PP the protective equipment, all of these are in demand right now. So if you ask me right now, what is the best business to do? Certainly, this is one of the best business you can look into. But of course, there are a lot of other things which will happen. For example, if you are a person who has a lot of IT skills, if you can come up with these different kinds of platforms through which people can conduct
online classes, online sessions, and you can offer it at a competitive rate. Perhaps people will use your platform. So there are a lot of things that one can do.
Okay, there's a question on how we can open a business with lower budget. I will request you to join us on the 12th of September when we have Mr. Abdul Rahim, who will be joining us. Mr. Abdul Rahim is a farmer entrepreneur. He is also a chartered accountant by profession. And he will be addressing the subject on what kind of a business can be set up in this post COVID-19 era. So for more detail, best business to open using a lower budget, we will have Mr. Abdul Rahim taking that session on the 12th of September.
Okay, according to your observations, what are the main jobs that will not be affected, and what new jobs are coming to the market? Well, according to me, the main jobs that will not be affected will include the job of those who are in the field of
or rather those companies, those businesses, which are providing essential service, their staff may find more safety may find more security in the jobs. But my understanding of the current situation is that the jobs may perhaps get more enriched going forward. So you might expect that your contract might change the kind of job that you were doing with probably change, you would be probably given more additional responsibilities, because you probably would be asked to work from home, people who are in the field of education education sector, they may probably again, you see, I might say that those in the education sector might feel that their jobs is secure. But perhaps that's not the real
case. Because many universities, many of them would probably want to shift to an online model. The moment you shift to an online model. You might not require as many staff as you originally had. So it's raining
difficult to say which one will be least affected, but I would say safely the businesses which are into essential service, they will find that the jobs will be far more secure in the immediate run. And then, of course, in the long run, as I said, automation will take place is taking place. Work From Home is now a reality. In the short run, some kind of job losses will take place. But we hope that industries will be able to come up with alternate solutions for the staff for these people. And in fact, at this point, I want to stop here and make a very important point to all of those who are listening to me, please make sure that you start investing in acquiring additional skills, it's
extremely important that you start enhancing your skills. Look, if things are changing in and around you, are you ready for the change, you need to let your employer know that Listen, I've invested in myself, I have acquired new skills, I have got new, I've got new skills, which can allow me to sustain myself in the current setup.
Do you have that in you?
Have you made those changes. So you need to take the initiative, you need to keep working on enhancing your skills. The problem with many of us is many of us feel once we've completed our degrees, we've got a qualification, we've got a job. That's it, that's good enough, now we can continue for the rest of our life and we retire. That's not how things work. You need to keep enhancing your skill. You need to keep taking short courses, maybe a three month course on communication, maybe a three month course on interpersonal skills, maybe a course on how you motivate people using the digital platform. I mean, there are so many kinds of courses, which are
there. So many free courses are there.
Go to teachable, so many courses are being offered there. You could take all of these courses up according to your free time and upgrade yourself. If you upgrade yourself that's going to be of benefit. Okay.
All right, we will be taking a couple of more questions. And then we will be concluding.
Can you give some advice? What are the good opportunities now? But I don't know. In which field? Are you referring to good opportunities in which sector? All right.
All right. Xena wants to know is public speaking good to enhance professional skills. No professional skills is different. Okay, so now, but when you talk about public speaking skills, public speaking is a form of interpersonal skills. It's communication skills. So that is one aspect of professional skills. It totally depends on what kind of a sector you belong to what kind of an industry you're working in. What are your areas of expertise are right? So you need to firstly see which industry you are in. And accordingly you need to identify,
which is a better skill to upgrade yourself, is public speaking the skill that will help you get jobs everywhere? The answer is no, that is not.
It's not that if you take a public speaking course, or a communication course, any kind of jobs can come to you. No, that's not the way things work. Communication or public speaking are skills which are required in any sector for that matter. So that is something which any buddy working in any industry needs to have. If you don't have it, you will face a problem later on in your career, where you will see that you are not able to grow after a certain point of time, your growth will get affected. So my suggestion to you is why public speaking interpersonal skills like communication, negotiation, self help courses are always good, you can keep doing them from time to time, try to
also focus on your sector, your areas of expertise. If you are let's say an Islamic banker, what are the new developments taking place in the field of Islamic banking? What are the new additional skills I can take in the field of Islamic banking to a great myself? Okay.
Yes, this lecture will be available on YouTube later as well. It's getting recorded anyways, as soon as this session ends, the entire recording will be available on YouTube. You can view it later as well. What about selling gold and investing in buying buildings for getting red?
Why would you want to sell gold right now you know the price of gold is
moved up. I know it's really good right now. So if you had invested in gold in the past, that must have been a wise investment. You must be making a lot of money, look,
buying buildings and putting it up for rent, selling gold. They are different asset classes.
Any investment company will tell you there are different asset classes where you can invest. Mutual Funds is one of them. Share markets are one of them. Gold and commodities are one of them. Real estate is another kind of asset class. For each asset class, there is a defined time period. What is your objective of investing into gold? Did you invest in gold to buy buildings, or for long term investments? Were you trying to save some money in gold in the short run so that you could sell it later to buy buildings? I mean, I need to understand what your needs were. There is no quick fix here than I can't give you a quick fix solution here that Listen, you send your gold and buy a
building, there is no quick fix solution here. One needs to sit down and understand from you what your goals were, what your objectives were, what kind of money are we talking of? What kind of exposure you have in gold? Okay. What kind of a building are you planning to invest in? Are we which which area are you going to buy in which country are you going to invest in in when it when it comes to buying a building? Do we foresee that the prices over there will go down in the future? If yes, is it wise to buy a building over there right now, or buy a land over there right now or buy an apartment over there right now.
Okay, now, you do need to pay zakat on gold. Of course you need to pay zakat on gold. And if you let out your building on rent, you will have to pay the Zakat on the rent as well. Okay, so I mean, once you have your rent, whatever is saved, you will have to pay the cost on that just to escape paying zakat. You are looking for other alternatives. I don't think that is the wise solution, you will have to look at your need first. All right. This is a very risky market right now. You don't take decisions on the basis of like what you are suggesting. I want to save my money from paying zakat. So I'm trying to look for other alternatives. This is not income tax Zakat, you are investing in the
way of God. It is a command from Almighty God. If you are going to pay zakat, you can be rest assured, you can be 100% assured that your money will grow in ways you can't imagine. The Baraka of blessing in your monies will come from places you can't imagine. Alright, so don't try to think that paying of Zakat is a kind of an expenses which you need to save your money from.
If Almighty God is giving Baraka in your money, the prices of gold is going up, you are making additional money, and he expects you to take up some money and give it away in charity. What's wrong in that? There is going to be more Baraka in that. Okay, Dan, so look at it from that perspective.
We don't have Islamic banking in Chicago, USA is creating such a bank possible with the pandemic and how, look, as far as banking guidelines are concerned, every country has a central bank, the central bank, the Ministry of Finance, they are the one which regulate the banking sector. All right, so the banking sectors require regulations to be in place, there are already Islamic banks, which are functional in USA, the larabar Bank is one of them. And there are other Islamic banks, which are already there in USA, I don't know specifically of Chicago. But look, if you don't have an Islamic bank in your country, at least what you could do is you can try and minimize your Riba base
transaction. For example, as an individual, you don't open a savings account you rather open up for a current account, when you opt for a current account, then you know that that current account does not give you any interest. Alright, so you opt for current account, you avoid taking bank loans to do business, you avoid taking bank loan for education, you avoid taking bank loan for buying a house, you rather stay in a rented accommodation.
That is what you do. As far as setting up often Islamic bank is concerned that, of course, is a different topic altogether. I mean, for that there are a lot of things which can be done, which we can discuss separately. Okay. It's not part of the business administration discussion that we are having today. Okay, it's already a quarter past six in India right now. And it's almost time for me to close the session. I can see more and more questions are coming in. But I'm not being able to address all the questions right now. What I would request you all to do is these questions will stay here. I will try and stick out some time and reply to all of you in the chat itself later on. So
leave your keep your question coming in. If you're listening to the recorded sessions right now, if you have any queries, leave your question behind on the YouTube channel. And I will get back to you with any questions. Now, before I conclude, I remind you that we have these sessions which will happen every week. And this is being offered to you by the Department of Business Administration.
I am the acting head of department for the Department of Business Administration. And I'm inviting all of you who are listening to this session, whichever background you are from, whether you are a working professional or you are a homemaker. If you wish to enhance your business administration skills, consider taking up one of the programs that the IO u offers. We have a certificate program for one year, Associate Degree Program for two years, and a business administration degree program, which is a four year degree program, you can take one of these courses and study with the different faculty members that we have and benefit from the knowledge. At the same time, I also would like to
remind you that
we are living through difficult times. And as I mentioned in my initial presentation, this is a new normal that we are living in, if you are yearning for old normal to return, this will not happen. So let us accept the new changes that we have around us. And let us start working towards making the changes which we need to if you're going to sit back and hope for some changes to take place or the old things to return, that will probably not happen. All right. So with that, I would like to conclude the session. I can still see comments coming in, but I'm unable to take it further from here on. Thank you so much for taking the time out and attending the session. If you have any
further questions, share it in the chat box. And once again, remember next week, we come back with another webinar. Please watch the Join us on the IOU page. Remember to subscribe to the channel. Remember to click on the notification button. Remember to follow the IOU on Facebook and be updated about all our programs which we are going to launch in this semester. With that we conclude the session some Hannukah lahoma behenic a shadow and light island as a filmmaker to Bullock was Salam alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh