How has your organization strategized to tackle this sudden pandemic and economically challenging scenario?
The ongoing pandemic is an unprecedented occurrence which has put the economy of the entire world in a tough spot. Our business is also affected and accordingly at CASE India, we have taken several steps to ensure safety of our employees as well as business continuity in the given situation. In our organization, we implemented work-from-home well in time and ensured that all employees stay at home to remain safe and stay connected to each other at the same time. Leveraging the government announcement to mark the construction sector as an essential sector, we have opened our dealer outlets in order to support ongoing construction activities by helping our customers. Using our dealer network, we are also trying to support those in need with food distributions and machine maintenance in the vicinity. Our Geo Infrabuild Indore & Sanghi Infra-equipment Bhopal dealer group has reached out to those in need in their local communities. To continue to business momentum, we have increased use of technology and online medium to connect with our dealers throughout the lockdown as well as for training purposes. We have conducted online training sessions and imparted product specific knowledge through e-meetings. We continue to engage and be in constant touch with prospective customers. In order to compensate loss of time due to lockdown, we have given extension on warranties and retail loans to our existing customers to take the pressure off them and further strengthen our relationship with them. CNH Capital, our financial arm is making sure there’s enough capital available for customers who wish to make purchases. To provide faster solutions to our customers we have come up with a 48 hour loan approval policy. We’re hoping that any liquidity crunch is alleviated through these efforts. These steps shall help minimizing the sluggishness when the markets reopen. We have also extended the Work from Home period for our employees till May 15 to ensure the safety of our employees. In order to minimize the presence of the virus in the workplace and in CASE India plants we are doing a proper sanitization and including facilities which will ensure a safe working environment for our employees.
What are the operational strategies adopted to keep the business going by embracing the mantra of social distancing?
Our employees are our number one priority and we’ve made serious efforts to stay connected with them during this lockdown via internal team meetings, webinars, motivational blogs, etc. We’re taking every measure to ensure that we acclimate to the current conditions in the best possible way. Our employees are in constant touch with the dealers to redress any issues they might be facing at this point. A lot of online activities are being conducted to engage with them throughout. We’re also connected to our customers and have given adequate extensions on loans and warranties to ease their lives. We’re hopeful that these measures will mitigate any sluggishness when the markets open again. CNH Capital, our financial arm is also making sure there’s enough capital available for customers who wish to make purchases. We’re hoping that any liquidity crunch is alleviated through their efforts.
In your opinion, tell us about the possible impact the situation will have on India's manufacturing sector and on the economy as a whole.
As mentioned earlier, this pandemic has been an unprecedented occurrence and is impacting economies and all sectors worldwide. Reports from ICRA, KPMG and FICCI suggest there will be a further dip in the overall economy. The manufacturing sector has been affected largely due to the uncertainty of the situation. Low availability of labor, reluctance in resuming import and export, difficulty in procurement of raw materials are just some of the areas that are on a temporary halt. However, the government is trying to salvage the situation and discussions have commenced on re-opening some manufacturing sectors to attenuate the effect of the lockdown. We’re also preparing ourselves and charting out plans to restart effectively. It may be a slow recovery but it will be a full one nevertheless.
What are the immediate measures one can expect from the government in and post covid-19 scenario?
The government is trying its best to balance the health and economy. The lockdown and their constant supervision of the same is a measure that’s absolutely necessary at this moment. The government has planned and executed elaborate measures to sanitize the various parts of the country. They’re also trying to ensure that some level of economic activity takes place during the lockdown by re-opening certain sectors like construction in a phased manner. Their focus is on the economy and how to lessen the impact of the slowdown on people and industries. We’re confident the government will continue to be as watchful in the future. Even though our economy is suffering right now, we’re positive that with timely and adequate planning and execution, the government will be able to recover the same.