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My learnings from talking to 3 Indian brands on tackling COVID-19 crisis

My learnings from talking to 3 Indian brands on tackling COVID-19 crisis
Published On
May 13, 2020

Gain invaluable insights from real Indian brands on overcoming the COVID-19 crisis. Discover firsthand experiences and learnings that led to their success. Xeno's blog offers practical strategies for businesses to tackle challenges and thrive during unprecedented times.

During a crisis, change is inevitable. Mostly negative, there are some people who always find ways to turn the tables and make it a positive one. Throughout my 10 years plus career, I’ve heard “There’s always a way”. This time around, I couldn’t have been more sure.

Recently, I got a chance to interact with some of my acquaintances who are CEOs and Marketing heads of many successful brands across India. While most of the brands are going ahead with shutting down their businesses, they all are doing a tremendous job of keeping their business activities live during this untimely crisis.

I observed one particular trait which was shared by each one of them. They all were proactive and were able to dynamically adjust how their teams work according to the situation. This enabled them to effectively communicate with their consumers. Through this blog post, I aim to share the learnings I had from these inspiring executives on how their brands are managing through the COVID-19 crisis.

Swayam is a home furnishing company owned by Manoj Garg.

After the declaration of lockdown by the Indian government, his business came to a halt. With only 20%-25% payments being realised from multiple B2B partners, Manoj needed to think creatively and improvise fast. And that’s what he did. Observing the shortage of many personal protective equipments, the manufacturing team at Swayam started to manufacture masks, medical bed sheets, isolation curtains, medical mattress covers among other things. This way, Manoj was able to generate much-needed revenue and sales for the company. With only 35%-40% labour available, he was able to retain them as they had work to do and were sure of their future at Swayam. When I talked to Manoj, he had a few things to share as follows:

Since the imports from China is banned. They are able to generate minimum sustainable revenue from making personal protective equipment. But, once the imports from China are allowed, they won’t be able to continue this. Owing to this, they are considering it as a short term strategy.

Manoj quoted a very precise statement as “Do you see the light at the end of the tunnel”, to which I replied “No”. Then he said, “yes, that’s the whole thing, no one knows for sure, what the future holds. So, we all need to go with the flow and adapt accordingly”.

Manoj is positive that he will revive the brand once the lockdown is over and markets start to get back to normal.

Sindhi Sweets is an F&B brand which specialises in savory Indian sweets and dishes.

They have a dine-in and takeaway model. With multiple branches spread across India, and employing 800-900 people, Sindhi Sweets owner Neeraj Bajaj &  Chander Bajaj carried the responsibility of many families. Understanding the upcoming struggle of his employees due to the COVID-19 lockdown, Neeraj Bajaj & Chander Bajaj made a goal to take care of his employees in these times of crisis. At a time when most of the workers across India are struggling for food and keeping their homes running. Sindhi Sweets is taking care of its employees by keeping their homes running and providing all of them with a 3-time sponsored meal by the organisation. The management at Sindhi Sweets is positive that post lockdown, everything will get normal with time. And they will be able to recover very soon.

A Chandigarh based high-end retail brand had to put their manufacturing on hold owing to the COVID-19 lockdown.

After which the management displayed agility and moved all of its inventory online. They are now completely focusing their marketing activities on social media to generate online sales. Even with the condition that the deliveries will be made after the lockdown is over, they are able to sell out many of their clothing, as observed from their website. Due to sales coming in and inventory getting booked, the brand is able to keep a positive outlook on the possible situation surrounding their business in a post-lockdown situation. Apart from this, they plan to leverage the power of online video shopping to move more of its inventory as the footfall won’t be massive initially.

So, there you have it. These are some of the ways that brands across India are making sure that their business stays active even in times of crisis. The main drive behind their success is being able to think outside the box and displaying agility in this movement restricted situation.

In the end, take care of your family, Stay In & Stay Safe. The team at Xeno will keep on sharing more of these actionable tidbits in the future.

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COO & Founder at Xeno

Ayushmaan Kapoor is the founder & COO of Xeno. Ayushmaan & Pranav started Xeno together in 2015 and together have a vision to make Xeno the #1 customer intelligence platforms for retailers all across.  Outside of work, Ayushmaan finds joy in traveling to the hills and often takes short trips to recharge & rejuvenate

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