Tough 12 months. Was it all doom and gloom? Your view...
Extremely tough! However, we need to accept the fact that Covid-19 is going to be here for a while – 24, 36 or maybe even 48 months. We need to be mentally prepared for a not-too-enjoyable roller coaster ride. Therefore, continuous planning and formulation of new protocols for your company is a must. An uptick in demand will always be there post a Covid-19 wave, as the vacuum created will have to be fulfilled and it is entirely in our hands to keep reinventing along the way.
A number of firms tried to reshape their businesses as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This has meant staggering print production or taking stock of warehouse and logistics. One change you have initiated in your methodology...
In a pre-Covid-19 world, we were primarily dealing with the footwear industry, which is a huge market and the demand is massive. But post the first lockdown in 2020, we realised the need to diversify our client portfolio that included packaging in times of lockdown as well. Our goal was to continue working even at half capacity, simply to sustain and not harm our company’s future or the employees.
Many firms have been “switching work back on”, but not at the same volumes. How different are the new-world requirements for your team as compared to the old?
As mentioned before, Covid-19 is here to stay. We need to understand that if we want to survive, we will have to think out of the box. For example, as a result of the limited workforce due to labour migration, we invested in a brand-new folder gluer in order to cope with the production requirements.
By automating further, we were able to continue producing the same output or maybe even more with a smaller number of people. Automation and upgradation in any capacity, as per your comfort, will help sustain your company’s future in the coming times.
How did your team and task force (and indeed family) cope with the virus? Any lessons for the fraternity in India...
I was very impressed with our team. Usually, when one implements a new protocol there is reluctance to accept or understand the need for change. However, as the pandemic hit us, we started educating our workforce about the virus and its devastating effects on us as a business and on a personal level, if the right precautions were not taken.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quick acceptance of all norms that were put in place. Our workers have been very disciplined about following all safety guidelines and making sure that we stick to our “zero Covid-19 cases” track record to date.
If you could send a short message from April 2021 to yourself in April 2019, what would you say? What do you wish you’d known about things such as Covid-19, pandemic and lockdown back then?
It took me a lot of time to answer this question, but if I really could send myself a message back in time, I would have told myself not to take this lightly. It’s only going to get tougher ahead. Regardless, I guess we all learn through time and experience.
says, "It’s only going to get tougher ahead. Regardless, we all learn through time and experience."