The rapid spread of the coronavirus and its hamper on the smooth functioning of business has been huge. The outbreak has caused panic, to which companies have reacted by announcing measures such as work from home among other things.
Medianews4u reached out to leaders from the world of advertising, broadcast, digital, brands and the universe; to understand on how this has affected the businesses and the solutions to this global menace.
Ronnie Screwvala, Co-founder & Chairman, upGrad
We acknowledge the disruption in learning which learners and educational institutes face due to shut down amid COVID-19 concerns. In the past few days, we have read that many global universities have taken their classes online to avoid large gatherings. Schools and colleges in many cities in India to have been asked to shut down. To minimize the effects of this disruption, we have opened up our Live Platform to educational institutions and universities FREE of COST
Company Spokesperson, Viacom18
At Viacom18, employees’ safety and well being is of utmost importance. Communication is crucial in such circumstances, advisories to guide and help Viacom18 employees in taking care of themselves and their families are also being circulated. While offices continue to stay open, all employees are encouraged to work from home until the end of March and non-essential travel has been placed on hold.
Viacom18 has also requested employees practice social distancing and is resorting to telecommunications tools to conduct all meetings, both with internal teams as well as external partners. Furthermore, medical support on-premises, dedicated transportation and enhanced sanitization measures for all people who have to report to offices for even the shortest of duration is available.
Siddharth Vishwanath, Head – HR, Zivame
Amid on-going concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, Zivame is taking all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of its employees. The organization has advised all its corporate employees to work from home with immediate effect to maintain social isolation to combat the spread of COVID-19. All in-person meetings with external partners and clients have been stopped for a week and have been conducted leveraging technology wherever possible.
The retail stores of Zivame are open to service consumers through all necessary precautions from everyday sanitization of the stores to training retail staff on protective measures have been taken to protect the health of the employees and the visiting customers.
Even at its warehouse on the outskirts of Bangalore, precautionary measures have been put in place, along with doctor visits, scheduled multiple times a week to diagnose any early symptoms among the staff. The health of our teams and their families come first. We’re leaving no stone unturned to ensure safety, while not losing productivity.
Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, Informa Markets India
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, we are confronted with a pandemic causing nations of anxious people, and a dented global economy, stock markets, and business prospects. With the current scenario, Informa Markets in India, as the nation’s leading B2B events organizer has taken necessary and responsible measures in a bid to flatten the COVID transmission curve. As front runners of the extremely resilient exhibitions industry, we are utilizing all possible channels and technologies to ensure that we can minimize its impact, care for the safety of our team members and collaborate on the roadmap to reinstate our businesses back on track.
Keeping in mind the current market conditions, we have sensitively responded by reworking most of our shows to the second half of the year. We have also reinstated a safe and stress-free work-from-home policy for our employees, identified critical team members to assist in crisis moments, and have a core COVID committee in place that is examining the situation closely. Most significantly, we are implementing technologies for our employees to work optimally from home. We believe, amidst the situation we are currently facing globally, we will also have found newer possibilities of using technology to its fullest and maintaining or perhaps increasing productivity while working remotely.
With the current stem in the tide for these few months, we can safely predict a reactive upswing as professionals the world over would be keen to turn to ‘business as usual’. We believe our responsibility lies in catalyzing the process of helping different sectors seamlessly spring back through our dynamic and innovative platforms. Meanwhile, we are continuing to utilize this interim period to reassure, engage and motivate our stakeholders, collaborating with them on ways to make the return to ‘business as usual’ safe, smart and swift.
Anindita Gupta, Founder of Scenic Communications
The coronavirus is definitely going to impact the communications industry and business. Before the pandemic itself, the Indian economy was in a bad state, now with the virus, the situation is going to be even worse. The period of Feb-March is always slow for us because that is the time the financial year ends and from April the business picks up since new marketing budgets are allocated for the next financial year. Now looking at April it seems very difficult that the business will grow. On the other hand, there is a looming fear of losing business because for most companies marketing budget is the one that is tightened first and foremost. If situations don’t improve and things continue to be like this then at least the 1st quarter will be badly affected.
The maximum companies can do is to have as many precautionary measures as possible. It is not possible to ward off the virus completely but by taking care of personal hygiene the risk of contracting the disease becomes much less. At Scenic Communications, as an organization we have asked all employees to take personal hygiene very seriously. Instead of once, the entire office is cleaned twice with disinfectants. We have provided face masks and alcohol-based hand sanitizers which are said to be the most effective. We have also made all the employees aware of the do’s and don’ts and have made sure employees coming by public transport do work from home for everyone’s safety.