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, every business no matter the industry has to re-look at their business and innovate at every step.
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 super successful brand series, Back to Business, we spoke to Vaijayanti Bhalchandra, co-founder of YLG Salons & YLG Institut.
How are you coping up with the impact of Covid-19 on your brand and organization? How effectively have you used the lockdown period?
We are in a space which is essential services for modern urban life. Being a touch business brings multiple challenges in building trust with our customers that they will be safe when they visit the salon hereafter. Preparing the team for a complete reset and upgradation of the safety and hygiene protocols has been the main operating focus for the organisation. The modes of communication and training have moved online, as well as much of the administrative work. The lockdown has given us pause to reflect and create the business model for tomorrow.
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 your brand & industry?
Technology like virtual reality as an alternate for contact training, partial shift of business to mobile led home services will be seen in the salon business. New compensation, performance metrics for frontline workers and health and safety as part of daily practice will be forced upon us. We will see a re-evaluation of the capital investment definitions and a new age salon design to make service safe keeping social distancing in mind.
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?
The brand operates in Chennai and Bangalore, both of which are currently Red zones. We are awaiting government permission to restart operations.
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 and marketing strategy?
The core objective of the marketing strategy is to build customer confidence in the safety of the services. Further to emphasise the core values for the brand which are centred on professionally trained and certified experts serving the customer at all times.
How did you keep the morale of the employees during this lockdown period? On a personal note, what kept you positive?
Frequent communication and honest sharing of the reality, with a positive message always. Engaging the team in new learning with extensive education online during this period, and preparing them for the new reality ahead has been our effort. On the personal front, yoga and meditation is a big help in staying positive, as has been watching the re-run of Mahabharat with family for a better perspective on life and way ahead.
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?
There is no silver bullet for bringing business back on track. One cannot overemphasise the importance of articulating a clear vision of what the short and medium term future can be for the organisation. Subsequently it will be a series of consistent effort every day which focus on safer way of working, up-skilling and handholding to get better productivity from each individual, working on every cost, building a highly motivated and committed team to tackle the challenges ahead which can make the organisation navigate these uncertain times with the vision serving as a beacon light.