Harveer Sahni: Impact will show up when we open and it’s going to be difficult

With the industry under lockdown, PrintWeek asks Harveer Sahni of Weldon Celloplast about how the company is dealing with the situation.

13 Apr 2020 | By PrintWeek Team

Harveer Sahni

What has been the impact of Covid-19 on your business thus far?

At this moment, it is a total lockdown for us as well as for our customers. The impact will show up when we open and it is going to be very difficult as expenses were ticking on and income stopped, anyone can foresee the result.

In the short term, how are you assessing the risks and planning for the possible impact?

Well, we have to see how it goes, we are dependent on the health of the label industry overall and the rotation of money. We can decide on the way forward once it becomes clear on how the situation will shape up and what facilities and reliefs come our way from banks and regulatory authorities. Expenses have to put on a very tight leash, travel restricted to necessity when things improve and take tough decisions as things evolve.

Some businesses have acted, asking staff to work from home, doing daily temperature checks, distributing critical tasks across offices, and restricting travel. What steps have you undertaken?

In a locked down situation, I wonder what work the label industry can do from home other than just be in touch and network with peers and customers. Some essential supplies companies have started working but we cannot source from foreign suppliers until flights, customs and logistics are smoothly in place.

How is your company staying in touch with your partners / customers?

By phone and social media.

Do you invest in health care, and is there a robust system in place?

We implement safety measures once we are back to work.

Confluence of creativity and technology will be the key to crafting a successful future in print. One creative print project which can make a difference you?

Creativity and technology is always a winning proposition but that can be implemented once the lockdown is lifted. The priority will be to get back to normal operations as soon as possible to be able to fund the indulgence in creativity and technology. So, for the time being, all that must take a backseat.

One suggestion for the government?

At least for MSMEs, the government should make it easy and comfortable to operate, as most label companies in India are family and first generation-owned and in some the second generation has started to join in. They operate purely on a rotation basis with payables planned on receivables coming in. They are not sitting on parked funds. Now at a time when receivables are at a virtual stop, restarting normally will be challenging across the board. It is bound to be a jerky situation and will become smooth if government gives supports with financial support without making tough condition and resorting to ifs and buts. This will of course be a risk for banks but in the current situation the government will have to take it else business will go into hands of a few and the smaller ones who cannot conform to strict norms will be suffering.

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