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.
A lot of people went back home to their native places and followed a new normal of working from home. While the initial hiccups were bad for most businesses, rental furniture started to pick up soon enough.
In this story of Back to Business, we spoke to Geetansh Bamania, Founder & CEO, RentoMojo to understand their post-lockdown comeback strategies and the way forward.
How are you coping up with the impact of Covid-19 on RentoMojo? How effectively have you used the lockdown period?
This pandemic has brought various dimensions in opening up new customer segments. A big chunk of the workforce is working from home but not necessarily have the right infrastructure. Many corporates and startups reached out to us to partner with them in providing WFH set up to their employees. They were looking for a solution that did not directly add to their Capex, and ensuring a positive employee experience – this is where we entered, ensuring we are a one-stop solution for everything they were looking for – both in terms of business and employee satisfaction.
People are avoiding to step outside and this was another opportunity for us to reach out to them to fulfill the furnishing needs in less than 72 hours.
During the lockdown, we encouraged teams to come together and work on product features that will be helpful to our users. For example, some customers went to work from their hometowns and wanted to return the products but they also wanted to rent the same when they come back. We worked on a solution that will help them to ‘pause the subscription’. A lot of time during the lockdown went in anticipating customer requirements and proactively working and building the service to cater to their new requirements.
The quest for a solution to a particular crisis helps invent new business opportunities and sometimes leads to a revision of existing business models … What sort of innovation has or will the Covid-19 pandemic bring to RentoMojo?
Job scenarios are highly unstable. While the situation has slightly starting to get better the market is still characterized by low-income levels and huge uncertainty. Today, consumers are driven towards value-based solutions more than ever, which provides the same offerings at an affordable cost and no commitments.
People are spending a lot of time at home and creating a space that elevates the senses and increases productivity. They are creating breakout corners for their own and family time within their homes. Working out at home is one of the biggest activities we observed and in doing so, they want a service that provides products that are cost-effective and comes with convenience. This is an inflection point of rentals for furniture and appliances and it is only going to go up.
In the current Unlock plan being implemented by the government, how have you resumed RentoMojo?
According to the government lockdown instructions, furniture and appliances delivery did not fall under the ‘essentials’ category. We resumed the operations as soon as the guidelines got a little relaxed and we received permissions from the authorities. The process was tedious, we would follow up every day for the necessary permissions we could serve the customers. Currently, all the operations have resumed in all the cities we are present in, and we are committed to delivering a great experience to our customers again.
While the lockdown is almost over…what is your communication strategy? What will be the objective of the communication/marketing strategy?
Today safety is the most important concern for any customer. The immediate steps were to get the fear out through sharing the stringent sanitization and refurbishment processes that our products go through. We also trained our delivery teams to attend on-ground questions of our customers.
A lot of customers have turned to the brands that provided quick solutions to their problems and a seamless experience from order to delivery. In addition to creating more awareness about the brand, we are creating content that resonates with the customer’s mindset for an increased brand affinity. We also created many consumer stories of optimism that resonated with our audiences on how staying at home is a blessing in disguise.
How did you keep the morale of the employees during this lockdown period? On a personal note, what kept you positive?
The times are certainly difficult for all of us. We have all decided to work from home till the end of this year making sure the employees are working from the comfort of their homes. We also facilitated the teams with the right infrastructure to work with focus and productivity, making sure that they can reach out to any of us anytime if they have any difficulties. There was a lot of anticipation on how the situation will pan out, strong support of the teams to each kept all of us going.
What are some of the new-normal 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 are glad to see the way the market is gaining some momentum. With the flexibility of staying anywhere and not just closer to the office, there is also a lot of intra-city movement where people are living in areas with lesser rentals and larger spaces. This is leading to an increased demand for appliances and furniture rentals. With the increase in online education and the whole family working from home, categories like laptops have also seen a jump in the demand. We are hopeful the economy will get better in the coming months and the businesses emerging stronger with new learnings with this pandemic.