It is nearly six months since India went under lockdown. Though the country is slowly opening up now. The recent outbreak of the COVID – 19 has caused a tectonic shift in most people’s lives.
WFH is the new norm now, many companies are now willing to extend this facility even after the lockdown is lifted. In our endeavour of bringing our readers views from a wide variety of stakeholders in the industry.
Neha Kulwal, Country Manager, Admitad India who has along history of working in the internet industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Sales, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Market Research, and Management. Kulwal tells us how Admitad India is gearing up for the new Normal.
As WFH is the new culture which will be adopted by many companies, how have you positioned yourself?
The WFH model, in our case, has been very successful for several reasons. To begin with, we here at Admitad never believed in micromanagement. Our employees have a sound understanding of the work processes and what is expected of each team member. Moreover, we have taken the necessary steps to ensure that the switch to WFH model does not affect our productivity and quality of service. Admitad arranged a WFH dry-run to eliminate and prevent all the lags and errors associated with working from home. We also held a number of meetings with our employees and instructed them on how to efficiently manage their work from home. That is how we have achieved uninterrupted workflow at all times. To ensure a seamless workflow between teams, we have enabled a smooth and secure process of WFH via VPN, Bitrix, google meet for calls and slacks for communication.
During this lockdown many Brand communication has changed, your thoughts?
We saw only a handful of industries, namely Insurance, Gaming, and Online Education pick up pace during/because of the lockdown. It has been difficult for most businesses to cope and change their approaches to branding with changing times. The post-pandemic communication has been more about saving families, countries and the future of mankind rather than selling. Clients have changed brand communication to ensure their messaging is centred on delivering the best of consumer interest, safety and hygiene.
Customer loyalty is foundational for long term success. Once it is achieved, brands can then work their way up by adding other layers such as convenience, safety and ‘Indian-ness’ to their communication and positioning.
As a Digital-first agency what has been the new toolkit for survival?
Our goal has always been to find the right ratio between what campaigns can bring revenue and what is the extent of reach we have for that brand. We have been rapidly expanding to new territories as well. Industries with all-things-digital capability will thrive now. For instance, Gaming and Education have not got their full exposure and reach in India yet, but they have been the most revenue-generating industries during the challenging times. The scenario will also change in the case of SEO. The focus of keywords will not only be on what the brand resonates with but how the brand can fulfil the customer’s need for trust, safety and convenience. Since the lockdown has pushed consumers towards online modes of product searches, the metric of these searches can really be a useful tool for publishers as well as brands to come up with new strategies.
What are some of the post-lockdown business strategies that you will suggest to your existing clients to bring the business back on track or at least get it in the right direction and also create demand?
Focus even more on the digital space. It is essential for survival of business right now.
Keep safety protocols and customer care at the top while strategizing, planning and executing your plans.
Explore and make use of new revenue and performance-driven channels for your business
Perform short term analysis and review
Consider both short term and long term forecasting necessary for your business.
Effectively communicate with your employees and customers at all times.
As a Digital Media expert, what are your thoughts on this unprecedented pandemic?
The pandemic has certainly caught the world unprepared and confused, but all of us are trying our best to cope with it. I don’t believe the current scenario will continue in the coming years. However, we cannot ignore how the pandemic has changed certain things, especially how businesses approach brand communication and positioning. We are currently seeing businesses compete frantically for attention and ultimately for survival and growth. Meaningful communication with customers is now the topmost priority. These are testing times for everything from loyalty from customers, to internal team processes, to effective communication between all spheres. Although this is difficult and overwhelming, if we follow the right approach, it can open up new avenues for us.
During this lockdown how have you boosted the morale of your team and some of the measures you have taken at this juncture?
At Admitad, we put the team above all else. We organize regular surveys to gauge the morale and well-being of our team members and accordingly we take steps for the betterment of our employees. We then take the necessary steps to ensure that our employees always feel appreciated, heard, respected and valued. Also, Admitad regularly boosts morale and keeps the team members engaged with each other through organizing Friday fun sessions, educational courses and regular surveys etc. Globally, Admitad has launched a social fund as well to support the ones whose family members are affected by COVID-19 job losses or pay cuts.
Learning and a message to the young millennials.
Historically, pandemics and global crises brought out a series of innovations, creating more jobs and opportunities than they destroyed. Millennials don’t need to worry about their careers. In India, there is no lack of talent amongst youth. They are full of energy and new ideas and they hold the solution to challenges we are facing right now. A focused and performance-driven approach to whatever they are doing is all they need to excel in their pursuits. Innovation and creativity thrive in times of crisis. It is now the time for them to take up this opportunity and innovate something from their own experience.