AT a time when the entire country is in a lockdown, supply chains disrupted, crushed hopes for what could have been a great year, companies facing rough times , TiE Pune (The Indus Entrepreneurs), a not for profit making organisation dedicated to start ups is engaging the start-up fraternity with a slew of initiatives.
TiE Pune has started off with a series of webinars every Tuesday and Thursday to support, share knowledge and provide networking opportunities to thrive together for startups. These include topics like ‘Engaging employees in the new normal’, ‘How startups can navigate the covid19 crisis’, ‘How different industries are impacted during the corona times’, ‘Keeping business going in the corona era’ , ‘How to keep worry at bay in the corona era’ and Surviving Through COVID and Thriving After .
The questions in the minds of everybody are common viz how can we navigate through the whole crisis, how can we survive and thrive thereafter, how many months will the crisis continue, what will happen to supply chains and cash flows , how to keep continuity of work, how should we engage the employees, legal issues, etc. Vivek Gupta, Spokesperson for TiE Pune said, deliberated and moderated by eminent panelists, these webinars have helped cool off the initial anxiety amongst new entrepreneurs and now we are focusing on topics that will help give a definitive direction to navigate through these tough times.
Many eminent panelists including Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman, 5F World, Dev Bhattacharya, Sr Exec President, Aditya Birla Group and Tapan Singhel, MD & CEO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, Zelam Chaubal Director Kesari Tours and Travels , Vaibhav Domkundwar, CEO & Founder, Better Capital, Jitendra Tanna, President & CEO, Eternus Solutions, Mandar Mhatre, India CEO, Apex Fund Services LLP, Leena Karia, Director and Head of India Operations, Kingfish Consultants, Vishakha Agarwal, Founder CMO, Vsynergize, Paresh Madani, Investor, and Senior IT Management Consulting Professional, Prakash Iyer, Leadership Trainer and CEO, Vivek Sadhale, Co-Founder- LegaLogic Consulting, Ajay Bhagwat, CEO of Renu Electronics , Advait Kurlekar, CEO, Upohan Management Consultants, Darshan Doshi, Director, Adeption, Founding Director, FLAME Center for Entrepreneurship, Shashank Deshpande, Managing Partner, Pentathlon Ventures, Raman Nanda, Founder, and CEO – STEP Transformations, Vandana Saxena Poria, The Human Alarm Clock, Dheeraj Agarwal, CEO Founder – Vsynergize and Ravi Nigam, president, TiE Pune have participated in the webinars .
With the uncertainty of job security and the anxiety on the continuity in employment looming large in the minds of employees not only in India but globally too, many initial questions were centred around how these leaders were tackling this issue. Jitendra Tanna President &CEO Eternus Solutions Pvt Ltd mentioned the importance of promoting transparency & collaboration within the team by opening up multiple consistent lines of communication instead of just a single line of communication thereby facilitating effective communication even in the absence of a face to face daily work place communication. He lauded the role of his HR team in creating new initiatives like online contests, virtual coffee sessions and so on to boost the employee morale and motivation, which in turn enthuses them to work well and deliver results.
Leena Karia said that her company, King Fish consultants has always been a people centric and vibrant organisation. The regular routine during the Pre-Corona lock down days would be to start the day with informal talks, “chai “and sorting out key issues that may impact work before settling into the day’s routine. The current lock down has disrupted that regular routine but the digital space has more than adequately filled in for that sudden break. Now we hold informal get together and virtual coffee sessions online. While the current lock down may have disrupted the physical proximity, the bonding between employees is still strong and the employees are working with a great sense of responsibility and ownership.
Most of the them were of the view that layoffs would never be an option. Infact they said they have dispelled any anxieties and fears related to termination of employment saying that as leaders they were eager to instil this confidence in their employees that this indeed was not being considered.
And then with the people centric approach, the discussions were focused on how to engage with the clients through these times where they could be even more badly hit, how to keep the work going. As Ganesh Natrajan put it in his presentation, it is extremely important what we do now because it will impact our future. Entrepreneurs need to focus on a three-stage process which includes relief, recovery and resilience. Relief includes critical aspects like employees, partners and customers which need urgent attention in terms of collaborative work culture, process, financial to keep up the productivity. Recovery includes getting business back to scale and resilience includes reimagining the new normal.