Tough 12 months. Was it all doom and gloom? Your view...
It was definitely a tough and unexpected 12 months. Well, we can’t say that it was all doom and gloom, because just like there are two sides of everything, this too had its own takeaways such as the realisation of work-from-home culture, realisation of how less a person actually needs to survive, building and investing in quality relationships, having a routine and sticking to it, and much more. As far as the demand is concerned, after the lockdown restrictions were lifted, there was an uptick in demand to a certain extent, but due to this some things have changed forever and the demand for them will never come back.
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...
Yes indeed! This was felt as the need of the hour since the beginning of lockdown. The production shifts, which used to work in two shifts, barely have work for one shift. Many people have done away with their warehouse/godowns to cut down on fixed costs.
One change, which I have initiated in my methodology, is that previously we used a lot of buffer stock as a backup in case of urgent and bulk print requirements. But that meant blocking of funds for a long time, which in the current times isn’t a wise thing to do because there is no such demand.
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?
Correctly pointed out! As I mentioned earlier about the working shifts, the volumes of print have certainly shrinked and individuals and companies have found out ways to either do away with many of the prints or cut down the quantity to a bare minimum.
For example, companies that used to print thousands of magazines and annual reports have come down to a minimum of a hundred copies, which are printed ‘just for the record purpose’. The new-world requirements are a lot different and we are in the process of understanding where and how we can get new business.
How did your team and task force (and indeed family) cope with the virus? Any lessons for the fraternity in India...
Well, this was quite an unexpected thing for all of us. Initially, it was a bit scary as we had very little to no information about it. The lesson that we all certainly learned from this is that no matter how difficult it seemed in the beginning, but somehow we all managed to adjust ourselves with whatever we had and were able to make changes in our mindset to be able to adapt with whatever was going on around us and live our lives. The strength we all showed to adapt to the changes around us was remarkable.
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?
Well, if I had this chance back in 2019, I would’ve told myself to be a little more mentally prepared and ready to see and expect a lot of change in front of what was waiting for us in 2020.