Pune, June 23, 2020: The Coronavirus epidemic has changed the way things used to be till three months ago. It has also changed how companies operated. Punekar News spoke to officials from various companies to know how COVID19 has impacted them.
Shiv Sundar, Co-Founder and COO, Esper: At Esper, our priority is our employees’ health and well-being. We quickly switched to working remotely as a response to the Pandemic. Apart from working on projects and maintaining business as usual, we also continued to host monthly hack days virtually, which helped to keep the team in good spirits. While we are still largely working remotely, we are gradually returning to the office. Currently, we have a limited, rotating schedule in place wherein our teams take turns to collaborate face-to-face on alternate weekdays. We have strict guidelines in place to sanitize our office as well. We plan to maintain this balanced model of remote work and office hours until physical attendance is a completely safe option.
The global pivot to remote work was a valuable reminder for organizations to always have a backup plan in place. The New Normal will emphasize the need for IT resilience and cyber hygiene in every organization. Going forward, we will see businesses be more strategic about technology performance and look beyond just using cyber hygiene to avoid risk. It will be embedded in the very structure of businesses as a staple to ensure business continuity and seamless customer engagement. A strategic and resilient IT infrastructure system will be a key feature in defining the New Normal for businesses, regardless of their size.”
Abhishek Patil, Co-Founder and CEO, Oliveboard: Oliveboard Team is still working from home. We will continue to do so until the end of the month and then make a decision based on the situation. To stay connected with all the employees, we have zoom/hangout calls in smaller and company level groups. While work is going on constantly, to keep employee motivation level high, we also share fitness challenges in our company WhatsApp groups. We play games like Tambola, Quiz etc. to keep our spirits high during these times.”
Mr Jasal Shah, CEO & MD, Markelytics & Velocity MR: The fact of the matter is that Covid-19 will have a global impact on business and economy. Our primary concern at the moment is the wellbeing of our employees and our community. Also, we’re in the unlocking phase, and hence, we’ve allowed a few employees to work from the office, whereas most of them are working remotely. This has ensured that there is no interruption in the services we offer to the clients globally. Ours, being a digital company, online research is our core capability. So, we already have online tools & online panels to support our clients’ projects. We are also receiving quite a few requests for our DIY Online Qualitative Solutions, Online Brand Communities, Panel Management Solutions et al. There will be a new normal post-COVID-19, and methodology (from traditional to online) will be the first to change.”
Dr Sankar UV, Director, The Sports School: Our prime focus is always on the wellbeing of our students and staff. We have taken appropriate measures like regularly sanitizing the entire campus, mandatory usage of masks, regular health and temperature checks, and also distanced seating arrangements to abide by guidelines of social distancing. Moreover, ours being a residential school with a focus on sports, we provide a much safer opportunity for students to continue their education and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The pandemic has had a huge impact on schools and has led to the suspension of physical classroom and shift to online classes. The new normal post-COVID-19 will be the transition to digital from traditional classroom teaching. At The Sports School, we have been adapting to this and have been conducting online classes for academics, and even sports fitness and well being, online”
Mr Gaurav Burman, APAC & Vice President, 75F: The world is amid a pandemic with so many unknowns, where the brightest minds are developing innovative ways to modify their businesses and we do that for the commercial building industry. Being able to give companies and their employees some peace of mind that their facilities managers are taking the initiative to make their environments safe and healthy is extremely important and we believe will become the norm even when the outbreak is over.”
Mr Prem Kumar, Founder & CEO, Snapbizz: Kirana stores are today the heroes and the lifeline for serving over 1.3 Billion people across the country and the current COVID 19 crisis has led to a new norm of doing business in the present economic environment. Besides, being experts in grocery tech and the FMCG ecosystem, our relevance has exponentially gone up due to the present situation and we expect this to be a turning point in our journey. Our goal currently is to keep pace with the expectations of the retailers and their partners. To keep things in order we are constantly strengthening our operations on the technology and data sciences front to rise up to the emerging expectations of the marketplace. As a result, we are enriching some of our product features such as SnapOrder (retailers’ B2C ordering app), SnapSupply (distributors’ B2B ordering app) and SnapPulse (retail analytics solution) to enable the ecosystem players to effectively meet the current demand. We have also rolled out a lighter version of our retail technology solution exclusively for small Kirana stores to hold the fort during these difficult times. Furthermore, we are currently on a fast-track model to build a network of over 3 lakh stores across 42 cities and becoming a $ 21Bn platform.”
Priyan DC, CEO, Star Squared PR: The Global pandemic has unleashed a trail of death and misery globally. This is a tragedy of such an enormous scale that it will take years if not decades to fully recover from it. Only recently, the Star Squared PR team was preparing for yet another year of exciting growth when news of the virus took us all by surprise in the first quarter of this year, followed by the immediate lockdown and work from the home mandate for all employees. Our learnings from work from home have been pleasant though, with the teams stepping up to the occasion and delivering professionally. More importantly, we quickly streamlined our processes to ensure our client work does not get affected despite the challenges and continues to be our main priority. We also developed fresh protocols for reporting and brainstorming to ensure there is no dip in our creativity when it comes to client counsel. We used this opportunity to develop new training modules to keep the teams engaged, energised and motivated at all times.
I think the Pandemic has also taught us a lot of things including the fact that we are resilient and will adapt and succeed despite the odds. The new normal is hard to predict but will definitely include social distancing for a long time to come, along with flexible working hours factoring in a lot more work from home. The PR business is also transitioning and new formats embraced by journalists such as webinars to debate news will also become the norm. Face to face meetings with journalists and clients will also reduce as it has emerged that this is possible through video calls and other avenues while saving precious time for everyone and delivering the same results.”