The new normals in a world where Covid-19 unfortunately is becoming a part of our life will bring about many changes in the way businesses will be conducted, and more importantly the way we live our life.
In a world post-lockdown where the rules of the game are set to change, or rather have already changed, the way forward for the lifestyle and retail space is also entering an unknown road.
The nation-wide lockdown is slowly being lifted across orange and green zones and life is slowly crawling back to a new-normalcy. Businesses and brands are now are making their way back into the business; planning their communication plans for a new world post the covid-19 lockdown.
In this story of Medianews4u’s new brand series, Back to Business, we spoke to Krsnaa Mehta, Founder & Executive Director – India Circus.
How are you coping with the impact of Covid-19 on India Circus? How effectively have you used the lockdown period?
As we all know, retail has also been hit hard because of the lockdown. We are all being creative in innovating how we can be trendsetters in the space that we are in. Having said that, at a brand level and at a group level, we are doing to best help individuals and communities. The last two months have seen drastic changes in our lifestyles and the way businesses function.
Face Masks have become a regular phenomenon and we have launched our affordable range of face masks for our audience. Apart from that, we’ve strengthened our e-commerce operations by making technology upgrades and we’ve focused heavily on the training and development of our retail teams for a post-lockdown era of retail shopping experience.
The quest for a solution to a particular crisis helps invent new business opportunities and sometimes leads to a revision of existing business model what sort of innovation has or will the Covid-19 pandemic bring to your brand/industry/category?
COVID-19 has transformed the retail shopping experience in an unprecedented way. Once our stores open, our focus will be to deliver a safe and stress-free shopping experience to our customers.
Currently, we are working on a strategy to drastically reduce the in-store physical contact points of the customers without hampering the India Circus shopping experience.
Our range of products has always added colour and vibrancy to homes. So, whether one is working from the office or at home, we have accents and accessories for them all. From throw pillow covers to mugs to desk organisers and snack platters, we’ve got you covered throughout the day!
As mentioned above, we saw an opportunity in having a range of designer face masks and thus have launched them. Our masks have exhibited 99.66% Bacterial Filtration Efficiency and we are a certified product as per ASTM: F 2101 – 19 standard.
While some parts of the country have become Covid-19 free, cities like Mumbai and Delhi are still in a lockdown situation. How are you planning to resume business across cities that are not in the Red?
India Circus as you know is part of the Godrej & Boyce Group. Several of our group warehouses and stores have opened across India bringing in much-needed liquidity for the group.
We have also started shipping-certain permitted products like face masks in red zones as well. We will continue to function as per the latest norms of the government in respective zones. We will follow the necessary guidelines required to resume business across cities that are not in the red zone.
What will be your communication strategy post the opening of the lockdown? Understandably bringing customers back to you would be difficult… What will be the objective of the communication/marketing strategy?
At India Circus, we’ve always believed that we are a brand that is inspired by India and proudly designed and made in India. Our communication in the coming days will surely match the aspirations of people who would want to buy high-quality contemporary products that are made in India.
Also, we are regularly updating the status of our stores and deliveries via our websites and support team. The focus will also be to build safety protocols for our stores and communicate it effectively to our customers so that they develop the confidence to start shopping at our retail outlets again.
How did you keep the morale of the employees during this lockdown period? On a personal note, what kept youpositive?
Our HR team has been proactive in developing quiz activities and e-learning modules that keep our retail staff busy learning new skills and updating their product knowledge. The HR team is maintaining a scorecard for the quizzes and there are certain giveaways which will be handed over to the top scorer at the end of the lockdown.
On the personal front, I’ve enjoyed walking on my terrace and completing my 15000 steps every day. It’s important to stay physically and mentally active during a lockdown. That’s what has kept me going too. We’ve been working across teams and have been creative across all group-wide initiatives. And that’s what is thrilling in itself.
What are some of the post-lockdown business strategies that you will use to bring the business back on track or at least get it in the right direction and also create demand for yourself?
We have stores lined-up for opening in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi. The work for the same will commence post-lockdown and tentative launch is planned pre-Diwali.
Fortunately, we started India Circus as an online-first brand. Our website www.indiacircus.com has been operational since way back in 2012.
In the coming times, we are looking at strengthening our digital ordering infrastructure and some technology integration to retain our existing customer base. We are also seeing how our stores can be enabled with local deliveries.