Mumbai: With almost everything going online, various educational institutions took to the e-learning mode of education and in a very short time have adapted to a new normal. In an ideal world without Covid-19 this time, which, at the end of May, would have been the fag end of the summer holidays and children would be ready to go back to school, hence marking the most awaited time of the year for stationery brands.
These brands would have been at the top of the marketing game and would advertise in the full swing. However, they too have been hit by Covid-19. In a world post-lockdown where the rules of the game are set to change, or rather have already changed, stationery brands are now targeting E-commerce platforms.
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, keeping a note of some of the new buzz words such as ‘social distancing’, ‘work from home’ and the latest one; ‘atmanirbhar’.
Medianews4u brings to you, yet another perspective, this time not only from a particular sector but from various sectors, and especially from the ones that were terribly hit by Covid-19.
Well, Covid-19 is not over yet, but it’s definitely the start of good. It’s time for Back to Business…
In this story of Medianews4u’s new brand series, Back to Business, we spoke to Abhijit Sanyal, Chief Strategy Officer, Stationery Division, Youva from the legacy brand of Navneet.
Read on for insights from the world of stationery.
How are you coping up with the impact of Covid-19 on Youva by Navneet? How effectively have you used the lockdown period?
Sales and production have indeed been disrupted for quite some time. But our sales team maintained continuous telephonic contact with our channel partners, to maintain the relationships, and share news about relevant developments.
Since this is the normal back-to-school (BTS) season, when the seasonal sales spike happens every year – the disruption has affected every stakeholder. There is still uncertainty about when schools will reopen. The frontline team has been booking orders from the trade for the anticipated BTS sales boost.
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 Youva by Navneet?
Online classes are the one major development in this category. This has implications in terms of the kind of, and size of stationery required by students. We are keeping our ears to the ground and will be tweaking products as necessary. We do realise also that many general management and staff function decisions/discussions can be adequately taken care of by working-from-home. The importance of e-commerce channels has been enhanced under the current scenario, and Navneet is gearing up for it.
Navneet launched its official WhatsApp business account, through which they can stay in touch with employees, retailers, students, parents, and many other stakeholders in their business. The first use of this account was done to send Gudi Padwa wishes and to release an advisory on the unprecedented crisis we all are facing, i.e. COVID-19. Further, it will be used for:
Engaging with stakeholders regularly and addressing their queries.
• Festive wishes
• Updates/information about key campaign launches etc.
• Dissemination of monthly Navneet Newsletter
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?
Market working has resumed in the Green zones, with masks, hand sanitization, and social distancing being strictly adhered to.
What will be your communication strategy post the opening of the lockdown? What will be the objective of the communication/marketing strategy?
Once lockdown is lifted, what will significantly matter is the ability of different suppliers to cater to the demand by category, since everyone would be affected by the disruption in the production and supply chain. The communication strategy will have to be gauged and determined on a dynamic basis, reading the market demand-supply equation.
How did you keep the morale of the employees during this lockdown period? On a personal note, what kept you positive?
There has been frequent communication from the management and HR to all employees, providing them lockdown-related tips and positive messages. Relevant apps have been developed for the entire set of employees to be able to keep in touch and update on their activities.
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 anticipate that with our widespread manufacturing locations, better paper buying strategies, and intensive distribution structure we will have an edge that we intend to leverage fully. As mentioned earlier, there will be additional thrust on e-commerce too.