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.
The nation-wide lockdown is slowly being lifted 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 brand series, Back to Business, we spoke to Jayati Singh Global Head, Marketing – Tally Solutions.
How are you coping with the impact of Covid-19 on Tally? How effectively have you used the lockdown period?
With almost 3 months of lockdown(full/partial) and WFH for the organization, we at Tally have been able to work rather effectively while ensuring the health and safety of everyone. Our key focus has been to support and enable our customers through this tough time and ensure that they can manage their business with ease. We focused on driving communication through several webinars and digital means with conversations around automation and tips from industry experts, Chartered Accountants etc.
With a lot of daily information coming in, we set up COVID related policies, segment-wise and country-wise for support. We introduced a free of cost 30 days license of our flagship product- Tally.ERP 9 to businesses across the globe. The initiative that was live for two months- April and May 2020 saw 65,000 downloads of the software across the globe. Additionally, we extended the Tally Software Services (TSS) subscription for all customers whose TSS expired in March and April, this benefitted over 1.3 lakh customers to access a bouquet of connected services and latest product updates that comes with it without being financially burdened in these difficult times.
For our partners, a dedicated COVID-19 fund was set up to provide financial assistance to over 1000 partners across the country. Through this they took an advance against their future commission for business continuity, payment of salaries and meet other business expenses.
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/category?
The era of digitization is definitely a reality now. Digital transformation is no longer just a choice, it is a must do, to survive. In our industry where we cater to MSMEs the need is even more apparent.There is an ever growing need now to pivot on digital means to generate demand, go sell product and services, manage customer relationships and service them remotely as well.
For us in Tally, anytime anywhere access of our product and services have therefore become critical. We had launched Tally on web browsers a couple of months back and are continuously expanding its features to meet the MSMEs current and immediate needs of working remotely. Our product and engineering teams are striving towards creating best solutions for remote access and using Tally virtually, which we will launch very soon.
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?
We have been monitoring situation on a daily basis and staying connected with our partners and customers in all these areas. Where they are in green, we are emphasising on safe working environment and sharing with both the partners and customers key MSME related schemes that can be availed. Additionally, in areas that are green, we are continuously checking and advising on what would it take to get back to business with respect to generating demand and customer connects.
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?
We kept our communication focus on the SMSEs right from enabling Business Non-Stop to recognising their spirit to find means and ways to sustain themselves and also to fight back. Tally has a huge customer base and we are further working on ensuring that we focus on existing customer relationships through proper customer management to ensure their success and satisfaction MSME day be celebrated on June 27th across the globe and it is an important occasion for everyone at Tally. We have been celebrating it with partners and customers across countries. This year it will be even more important to impart a new sense of hope, optimism and renewed vigour. We will be hosting multiple virtual events with industry experts and industry bodies to talk about the immediate needs of the sector, best practices etc.There are a lot of other things planned to engage with them and ensure that we help them bounce back sooner and stronger.
For new customer acquisitions, We have a strong product pipeline in works that will focus on adding a great deal of value to the small business in an ever-increasing connected environment and that will be our focus of communication in times to come.
How did you keep the morale of the employees during this lockdown period? On a personal note, what kept you positive?
Work from home was all quite new to Tally and that too a 100% workforce working remotely including the support centre but the speed at which we got to working so effectively was amazing. We ensured that the teams have all required support in terms of infrastructure, hardware and support from leadership. We initiated a number of activities on our internal social media platform, live fitness sessions with experts are regularly being hosted to promote fitness and health, the management regularly connects with everyone through MS Teams. In fact, each year we have Mahasabha, our annual meet, which is being hosted as Digi Sabha this year.
Personally, I got an opportunity to reflect on a lot of things at a personal and professional level, I started appreciating things which earlier were taken for granted. I got to better connect with my team and focus on prioritising important work areas, which has been helpful. Ample amount of family time and of course, not having to brave the Bangaloretraffic was a plus 😊
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?
I think the so called “new Normal” will force companies to reset their priorities. We for one continue to stay focused on our customers and partners and have been working on expediting our new projects that will drive the efforts towards demand generation. Our customers have also been complimenting us on the support given to them to set up remote working and various other advice. TallyCare our customer support centre moved from a centralized system to 100% decentralized system overnight and with zero downtime.We launched an exclusive COVID-19 page on website with all the related information to customers and SMEs at large. This includes impact on businesses across sectors, assistance to SMEs and the details of Government stimulus package for MSMEs etc.
Given the level of service, the power of our product and the support of our widespread partner ecosystem and influencers like tax practitioners and accountants will help us in keeping on path.