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Issue - July/August 2021


“Be Safe, Be Smart, Be Kind”
How We Are Moving Through the Pandemic

By Amit Thakker, Partner, 21st Century Relocations

In the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, tweeted saying that to be ready for COVID-19 we had to be safe, smart and kind. At first, the new normal was really difficult to navigate, given how our headquarters were located in Mumbai, one of the most populated cities of the world. Everything shut down. Our minds were boggled. It all felt really difficult.

But then we remembered what we do. Like this cool Batman dialogue: “It’s not who we are underneath that defines us, it is what we do,” we reminded ourselves what we did as an organization. We moved. We kept moving. We moved others. That was the key.

The first thing that changed for us was our health. Followed by how we worked. Then it was all about how strong we stood in tough times.

BEING SAFE: We Started Taking Care of Our Team Members More than Before

Is an organization a good one if it doesn’t look after its employees? With the focus on health and wellness becoming more paramount due to the onset of COVID-19, we ensured all our employees had the help they needed. Not only did we follow sanitization and social distancing norms, but we also ensured that none of our employees had to face the Covid stigma.

Also, we offered them security through additional insurance coverage and, when it was needed, additional wages. What is an organization without its workforce? In the coming years, the focus on our employees’ physical and mental health is only set to increase. We are now more humanized as a workforce.

BECOMING SMART: We Embraced Technology at the Speed of Light

Before COVID-19, everyone was sure that technology would change the world, but everyone kept saying that would happen ‘someday.’ With COVID-19, the ‘someday’ came now. The acceptance of digitalization in businesses over the last decade as compared to the acceleration of acceptance of technology in the last 18 months has been the biggest gamechanger. The way we all adopted and adapted has been phenomenal.

We have accelerated the process of incorporating new technologies. The traditional technology was more local where as new technologies are more cloud-based. In addition to that, we are looking at increasing our use of robotics and automation in the future. Our management, our customers and the pandemic itself were driving forces to bring about this change rapidly.

BEING KIND: We Ensured Everyone Had a Job

Even though our business and the logistics sector were not affected as an industry, we did encounter some challenges. There was an inherent fear in people that stopped them from coming to work. We were concerned about their safety at the same time. Despite all of these challenges, we did not ask anyone at our organization to leave.

Another thing that we did was, like most organizations, we equipped our people to work remotely. This brought about a drastic change in our company culture, but in the long run the effort was worth it. We have become more productive; many team members do not have to travel and can continue to function from the safety of their homes. Travel takes up a huge chunk of time for many who work with us, and eliminating that need has led to them spending more time with their families. This has given our organization’s efficiency a boost.

The Road Ahead

The Indian government has undergone a lot of changes to facilitate the simplification of our business during these uncertain times. We have been able to keep up with the changes using additional technology, and more importantly have ensured that our customers also are well-informed.

We have learned many lessons as an organization during the pandemic. It has made us more receptive to new technology, increased our ability to adapt to change, and taught us to keep moving despite it all.

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