Three young business leaders, at the helm of family ventures, spoke of the challenges thrown by the pandemic during a virtual session on September 25.
The pandemic suddenly turned a business into a game of roulette, felt one of them.
“We have come from a line where most of us feel that we have been handed over a large platform. Then things are going well, you are delivering year-on-year growth on revenue as well as profits. All of a sudden you are put in a situation where you have to think on your feet,” said Ankit Daga, head of business development, McNROE Consumer Products, the makers of the Wild Stone deodorants and perfumes.
“There is no guidebook that can help you come out of it. That’s when you realise that in life, you are at a roulette table or a chess table. Business is about strategy and implementation of that.”
He was one of the speakers at the second day of Brandemic — Insightful Discussions on Strategic Business Transformations, organised by The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in association with The Telegraph.
The session was moderated by Rohit Ohri, chairman and CEO, FCB Ulka.
“Has the pandemic in some way accelerated changes you wanted to implement in your organisation? Has it helped you in pushing new ideas through?” he asked the panelists.
“I was already planning for a digital extension for the company. One festival after another meant we never had the opportunity to break from that cycle and focus on our digital performance. In one way, the pandemic helped us push through that. Because consumers were now wanting more and more digital options,” said Rochita Dey, director, Sreeleathers.
“I am not an FMCG brand. For products like mine, tangibility plays a very important role. I did not have the motivation to leave something that has been working so well for us and shift to a digital platform immediately.”
Arpan Paul, executive chairman, SAJ Food Products, the owners of the Bisk Farm brand, pointed out a key change brought about by the pandemic.
“The kirana stores were coming to our distribution points to pick up stocks (post-lockdown). I had always seen it the other way. Our representatives were going to stores and convincing them to take our stocks,” said Paul.
The first session of the virtual conclave was a fireside chat between Ohri and Diana Maiman, president and CEO of IPG Health.
“Most of the time our audience is physicians, consumers, and patients. For physicians, pharma companies have great reliance on field forces. Their sales representatives who go and call on physicians’ offices. That reliance on reps... had to change overnight. We needed to start with virtual representatives calls to these physician offices,” said Maiman.