While the country still continues to be in self-quarantinement, the economy makes an effort to come back to normalcy.
Medianews4u reached out to experts to understand how this has affected the businesses and the solutions to this global menace.
Pradeep Kumaar, CEO Neil Patel Digital
Senior Management along with the HR’s should encourage the team members to work from home, we have implemented work from home this week and requested the team to avoid travel. We have also avoided face to face meetings with clients for the time being and the preferred mode of communication is Skype. This ensures the safety of our employees which our priority.
Though this is not an enduring solution, our teams communicate constantly and keep posted on the happenings. We trust our team and they have always met their deadlines be it work from home or office. We have never compromised on quality.
Corona has impacted every industry, sadly this situation will continue for a while and business will struggle. Now from a digital marketing and SEO standpoint, we have witnessed a steep decline in organic traffic for most industries, we cater to different sectors through our agency. We have witnessed a huge dip in conversions which had a big traffic boom.
We haven’t seen a huge difference in pay per clicks, costs haven’t come down as much, that said our team is putting in the extra yards to ensure we have minimal impact and hopefully, the corona effect will fade away soon.
Nupur Jain, Co-Founder, XP&D
If press reports are to be believed, the loss to the experiential marketing industry would be to the tune of 3000 Cr. While the number can’t be verified, we can tell you from personal experience that we were chock-a-block with work and running full steam. COVID-19 has put everything to a grinding halt. Our first reaction wasn’t to run to our CFO but our HR Director because our primary responsibility at this time is to save lives. XP&D needs to get back into the trenches and see this time through, keeping our team safe and their livelihoods intact.
While we are in the trenches, we won’t be sitting still. We were already on overdrive to upskill but the future has hit us before its time! That’s the silver lining – our last mile digital platform that plugs into the physical dark mile is up & running and has become even more relevant. There is another O2O2O (Online to Offline to Online) initiative we are working on and we are certain it will be a game-changer. Watch this space!
Maruthi Sandiep Medisetti, Founder of MetroMedi
We have seen a huge surge in organic demand. Customers are reaching out to us for hand sanitizers, masks, generic drugs like Paracetamol. Chronic patients also started ordering medicines for longer cycles, earlier it used to be for 30days, now they are ordering for 60-90days.
We have ramped up our operations to deliver medicines within 24hrs. The big challenge is maintaining the supply. We have seen close to 100% increase in demand but find it challenging to meet the demand due to constraints in manufacturing.
This is a unique time, probably once in 100 years scenario. Businesses have the responsibility to act thoughtfully. The economy might be stagnant for next 3-6months but it will be back to normal. Businesses should support their employees by facilitating work from home and any other help the employees might need. Especially for an operations heavy business like online pharmacy, we need to take all sanitization measures at the warehouses and during the deliveries, educate our delivery team about social distancing, and try our best to deliver medicines supplies to the consumers. The big challenge would be a supply shortage. Businesses should plan for that. We should realize that we all are in it together.
Chhavi Dang, Founder, Comm Sutra
Our business is a B2B consulting business advising clients on their communications strategy WRT to important stakeholders who have a direct impact on the business’ image. We specialize in working with startups, entrepreneurs, SMEs, and investors. The outbreak of Covid 19 has resulted in impacting our bottom line as we lost out on 2 customers leaving us because most small companies are now looking to manage their cash flows better. With the uncertainty of the virus impact, potential job losses and already weakening economies, the funding tap is running dry for many startups who are looking to raise funds as a result allied businesses like ours are feeling the heat too. As of now, it is not hurting much but if the trend continues, we expect some of the business even large one of them folding up.
Pranshu Sikka, CEO, and Founder at The Pivotals
We have offered the option of work from home to many employees, especially the ones who use public transport. Considering this seems to be a long-ish battle against the spread of the virus, the most important aspect besides safety is to ensure continuous productivity. Frequent video calls, regular task-oriented updates and conference calls among relevant people ensure that inefficiency does not creep in while working from home.
We also advise that employees who have kids or older people to attend to, should inform us about the time they need with family while being home and treat other hours working as if they were in office. The other crucial thing that we’ve discussed with our employees is to not treat this as a holiday and go out. Because then it defeats the purpose of maintaining social distancing to contain the spread of the virus.
Hersh Shah, CEO, GLECO (Exclusive India Affiliate of Institute of Risk Management, UK)
Being the premier leading body for enterprise risk management, we at IRM India, started taking precautions from January 2020, by following basic hygiene at our offices and in our training programs. Ever since the panic has increased, we have been conducting free crisis management workshops at coworking spaces, colleges, and business schools to create awareness and also equip participants with basic strategies for managing crisis and risky situations.
We have also initiated work from home as an option to anyone who is showing symptoms of cold, cough or fever. Effective February end, we had reduced the batch size of our Level 1 Qualification from 40 to 15 students. Further, students who are unwell are being given a full refund or a batch and exam reschedule option at no additional cost. We strongly feel at this point everyone should focus on spreading more awareness about hygiene rather than spreading unconfirmed news and creating unnecessary havoc & panic at this time of crisis. Communication and response mechanism is crucial to managing risks and crisis situations.
Anuradha Singh, CEO founder at Indi Collage
The retail sector hasn’t remained untouched by the Coronavirus outbreak. Closure of malls and shopping complexes in various Indian states has led to a significant decline in sales figures. Malls and major shopping complexes have witnessed a drastic decline in customer footfall because of the ongoing health crisis. If the situation doesn’t improve in the near future, then retailers across the country are expected to lose big in the near future.
Retail stores in major cities, such as Delhi and Mumbai, have been worst hit by the ongoing crisis. At present, the total number of malls in Delhi-NCR stands at 33, which means that a large chunk of the business is concentrated in the region. Now, a further decline in footfall will lead to the rise of unsold stock. Quite frankly, these are testing times for the Indian economy, and even more so for the retail businesses spread across the country.
Jatin Modi, Founder & CEO, FrogIdeas
We’re learning a new skill- collaborating online. Which is not easy. There is certainly uncertainty of the business impact because we foresee marketing budgets being cut down owing to an expected slowdown.
If you look at the current situation, every business owner is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of the workforce. While there is no need to create panic, WFH has been implemented or is being implemented across several companies to ensure that everyone is safe.
At FrogIdeas, we have created a COVID19 checklist to ensure that every employee is safe while working from home. The office has been shut and a directive has been issued to step in office only if utmost necessary.
Cash is king. Business owners need to be mindful of spends and need to cut costs and increase efficiency and productivity in the next 3 months. Businesses need to have a business continuity plan which is based on different scenarios if the crisis has little, medium or major impact. Cut down on all non-essential expenses, especially in discretionary spending business categories.