Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], May 18 (ANI/VU Technologies): Around four months ago we were introduced to a strange virus named COVID-19, much to our dismay that most pieces of the world should undergo lockdown and billons of lives and organizations worth millions will be influenced.
Nevertheless given the idea of COVID-19 pandemic, everything is going to change drastically. One fragment that need to defy problems are entrepreneurs who ought to change in accordance with another reality: that their business won't simply need to encounter an enormous sanitary and health crisis yet moreover battle a remarkable downturn of the overall economy.
Fortunately, entrepreneurs are warriors, optimistic and resilient. They will overcome this problematic period since they figure that every crisis isn't inexhaustible.
One such business diva is Devita Saraf, who has carved a niche for herself in a transcendently male universe of innovative manufacturing and technology.
She started her own company at the age of just 24, and today her company, VU Television, a 1000 crore ($130 million) income extravagance Television brand, is one of the top selling television marks in India.
The company makes televisions and serves clients around the world. Devita examined the board at Harvard Business School and has been recorded as one of Fortune's Top 50 Most Powerful Women in India.
She is an individual from the Mensa - The High IQ society and has been an Op-Ed editorialist for the Wall Street Journal. She has also articulated on the advancements of leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation at forums around the world.
Being in the leadership position, how are you addressing the challenges faced both internally and externally?
During the first phase of the lockdown, most of us were making strategies on using the time as a sabbatical assuming the market will pick up from where it has closed, once the lockdown ended. But with lockdown 4.0 coming into force, everyone discerns that the market is going to be in a very different shape when we start working again.
There will be so many companies that will have run out of capital, many people will have lost their jobs, and not to forget the shortage of cash flow and liquidity in the market. I think the best thing one can do is to stay calm and prepare themselves to piece the business together once the market reopens. When it does, the change will be evident and not being able to adjust to it will be unwise. Taking the cue, we are preparing ourselves both internally and externally for a changing world at VU.
How are you helping your employees to cope with this unprecedented time?
As per my understanding, cash and communication are two keys. We are making sure our employees are getting paid even if it comes at a high cost to the management. We are looking at juggling our finances and budgets in other areas, but we are committed to not give our employees their notice. We are communicating these messages over emails to the staff so that they are reassured about not losing their jobs. We believe this will also motivate them to work harder once they come back and contribute to business continuity.
As being the role model for the entrepreneurs, what are the key points you would like to address to them to deal with this situation?
The first idea is to simplify your business. If you have too many different domains of business, are selling multiple products, have manpower and resources deployed asymmetrically, simplify all of it. The market is going to be very confused and everyone will be grappling with inadequate resources.
The second approach is to save. Nothing will help you survive more than having cash flow in hand. Individuals or entrepreneurs - everyone will need money.
The third task is to select. There's a lot of information and news going around that can get overwhelming. I make TVs and so I know how people are increasingly consuming news these days to stay informed. I want to tell everyone that they don't need to be addicted to the screens.
Be selective of the news, don't keep a daily run rate of what's happening, don't watch every webinar, and don't follow every post on social media. Be judicious about the sources you want to get your news from and keep it limited. Indulge in some self-care to keep the peace of your mind.
What opportunities do you see for future entrepreneurs that are emerging from COVID 19 crisis?
I believe essential goods and services will be the new cool. Before the lockdown, everyone had been trying to build lifestyle and luxury brands, but this time has made consumers realise that they can lead fulfilling lives even with basic amenities in place.
So, even if you are an entrepreneur who runs a glamorous business, make sure that one arm of it deals with the basic products. Add a mid-end section to your lifestyle-oriented brand. I think the change in the market after the lockdown will make businesspeople understand that it is okay to not have a cosmopolitan business but one that makes money and is bigger on cash flow.
You recently donated your one month's salary for the daily wagers, what other support would you like to offer them may be in cash or kind?
I have donated three months of salary for the cause of daily wage earners. Like I said earlier, I believe that cash can help boost the economy right now and these people need it right now more than ever. I am also helping promote the campaign to encourage more people to donate for this cause. It's not necessary to give money to a specific NGO, you can give to one that you trust. It's important to be empathetic and realise that many people are struggling to keep their heads over water.
Whatever little or more we can provide to them can go a long way in feeding their families. We could shake up our vacation money or shopping funds or other discretionary notes that we had kept aside.
Another thing I would like to request everyone is to pay their support staff. Holding their salaries in these difficult times when they are not unwilling to work but are compelled to, is utterly insensitive. Our house helps and other staff that take care of us all year long are counting on us and it's our turn to do our bit for them.
You keep yourself motivated and entertained with your dance regime and other live interactions, what would you like to tell your followers about being positive during this time?
I would suggest, think of this as a new routine. I wake up in the morning and begin the day with either yoga or a dance session. I use an app called Asana Rebel, which has a fantastic mix of fun workouts like pilates, yoga, and cardio. Then I sit on my emails, followed by spending time with family. Evenings I spend on my terrace, walking and taking in the fresh air.
So, I have a bit more of a routine around what I like to do. We have all used the initial time under the lockdown to discover or rekindle with our hobbies like cooking, painting, writing, or whatever makes us happy. It is now time to create a routine out of that hobby. Because why give it up even after the lockdown ends?! However, I believe that working out is a very important element to add to your routine - whether under lockdown or not.
The article has been produced by ANI on behalf of VU Technologies. (ANI/ VU Technologies)