Tough 12 months. Was it all doom and gloom? Your view...
The printing and packaging industry is a supplier to many other economic sectors. The effects of Covid-19 on all impacted sectors will ultimately impact the Indian printing and packaging industry. Companies focusing on printing brochures, leaflets, templates have been the worst hit because of cancellations of exhibitions and of course travel and tourism agents who are still having hard times because of the travel restrictions across the globe. On the flip side, companies focusing on pharma have been bombarded with so much work. We’ve also had a slow couple of months during the beginning of the first wave, but since then we have managed to get back on track.
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...
Reshaping or restructuring only happens if you have been hard hit financially or in a potential expansion phase. We chose to do expansion, which will result in producing new jobs for the community and also be future-ready by getting technologically advanced, installing the latest machinery, which saves time and provides value and savings to our existing and potential clients.
The market is so transparent and competitive that you may be lucky in having increasing turnover, but profit levels stay the same and can plummet if you’re negligent in maintaining efficiency of the overall production.
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?
If your client isn’t ready to pay you the increased price of the paper, would you personally bear the losses incurred? Volumes won’t be the same if fussy clients aren’t ready to pay. Everyone has their own problems, but an effective solution to tackle the current situation is must. Since we are in the expansion phase, we are doing our best to have SOPs in place, which will include all plans of actions.
Basically, every employee must know who they need to approach and they should be well aware of the company SOPs. Since we are into the manufacturing industry, unlike IT or consultant firms, we can’t work from home. We don’t have a work-from-home advantage, but in our scope, we are trying our best to implement GMP standards and strict hygiene protocols.
How did your team and task force (and indeed family) cope with the virus? Any lessons for the fraternity in India?
A known enemy is better than an unknown friend. We’ve all gotten sick by eating street food, had seasonal flu because of changing seasons, sore throat because of eating too much ice cream and here comes our unknown friend Covid-19 where you don’t know what new variants it will bring and when it will stop. Please follow government guidelines by not stepping out of your home unnecessarily and wear masks all the time when stepping out. Also keep a safe distance while meeting anyone.
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?
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen – I’d take this positively. We have witnessed earthquakes such as the deadly tremor that hit Gujarat in 2001. Since then, people have been more conscious and builders have been building structures that are earthquake-proof. We need to be future-ready; we are new India. Jai hind.