It has been three months since India went under lockdown. The country is slowly opening up now. The recent outbreak of the COVID – 19 has caused a tectonic shift in most people’s lives.
WFH is the new norm now, many companies are now willing to extend this facility even after the lockdown is lifted. In our endeavour of bringing our readers views from a wide variety of stakeholders in the industry Medianews4u spoke to Kalpesh Patel, Director of Martech Services.
Optimum use of the lockdown period
COVID-19 has indeed impacted all organizations directly or indirectly when it comes to ongoing business. The economy has taken a hit at a global level. Since we are a digital agency, at the beginning of this lockdown we hoped that we would be able to adapt the fastest and continue serving our customers without any challenges. And, as expected, we did this with the same efficiency as we plan digital transformation for our clients. In a way it was an operational transformation when it comes to doing our day to day jobs and as an organization we adapted quite quickly.
Since shops and factories got closed due to lockdowns, pretty much all brands decided to hold back to their marketing investments. This has directly impacted communication businesses and even more the media vertical. However what we have seen that companies who are investing in technology builds or digital transformation initiatives, continue to do so, recognising that these investments will pay off once we are out of lockdown.
Innovations in the Digital Industry
The digital world, by its nature, is one of the fastest changing ecosystems. And as custodians of digital brands, we are quite used to adapt to these rapid changes. We have taken this as an opportunity to change the way we do business. There are multiple business opportunities that are emerging.
Post the lockdown, we saw that the people started looking for options for online purchase of essentials. For brand who had online presence, this saw a massive surge on their websites, which were not equipped to handle this kind of load and hence crashed or were unable to provide the best digital experience to the consumers. Our company is offering, capacity planning and augmentation services to these brands. Our team of DevOps engineers would evaluate and identify opportunities to improve the website performance with a very quick and thorough audit of the infrastructure and the architecture.
We have also started offering, UX audits to brands who want to optimize their eCommerce journeys, including options to conduct remote user and stakeholder interviews, usability tests, etc.
Our SEO team has come up with offerings around how to gain the largest share of the increased organic traffic caused due to the sudden surge of people searching for brand presence on the internet.
When it comes to international opportunities, models of offshoring and nearshoring have become non-relevant. Every team member is working remotely, and it doesn’t matter whether she’s sitting in London or suburbs of Mumbai. Why should a European brand pay USD 150 per hour for a resource in London when a similarly skilled resource is available for less than 1/3 rd the cost out of India.
Back to work
As of now, our teams are fully-functional working remotely. Fortunately, the kind of tools and processes that we had implemented in the past, have helped us make this transition without any challenges. We currently are fully equipped to continue delivering digital solutions to all our clients.
As and when situation in cities like Mumbai and Delhi normalize, we will follow the government guidelines and directives from WPP to ensure that all resumption of operations would be driven solely by the wellbeing of our employees.
Communication Strategy post lockdown for clients and self
Our communication strategy even now is to educate brands to look at this lockdown as an opportunity to plan for the times when the economy starts its upward curve. This is the time when technology platforms can be built, transformation can be planned, and strategies can be brainstormed. If brands wait for the opening of lockdown, they have already lost a golden opportunity to gain the first-mover advantage to come out all guns blazing from the starting blocks.
We are going back to brands with a plan to stand out in these times. Demand is never going to be an issue as the lockdown has just made the spotlight on digital brighter.
Positivity during the crisis
We have been awarded ‘Great Places to Work’ in the last year and that’s due to the wonderful employee-friendly environment that the organization has provided to all. This employee-first approach has continued even during the lockdowns. Teams across the company have daily informal meetups, which very aptly are called ‘Cocktail Sessions’ and the participation has been a huge success. Everyone from the CEO to the intern participates in these sessions having an eclectic selection of themes.
Change in mind-set
While there is a lot of negativity going around about how the virus has caused a lot of death and destruction around the world, we are failing to look at the positives. People have come together to fight this challenge regardless of class and religion. We have started appreciating the little things in life and valuing our families. We have realized that we can continue living happily without constantly running in a rat race. Humans as a species have survived worse eras than COVID-19 and we will not just survive but come out much stronger on the other side.