What, in your opinion were the top challenges you faced in the past year?
- With the closure of international borders, business crunched to a standstill. Reducing the cash outflows while maintaining business continuity, and developing transformational initiatives with no revenue was one of the biggest objective.
- How do we retain the proprietary solution knowledge within the organization to enable digital transformation for the new normal?
- Parting ways with seasoned talents and retaining the core team to drive business efficiency was a major task.
What measures did you take to meet these challenges?
- We re-calibrated all our partners’ expectations by reviewing and rectifying every commercial equation to align with the new normal.
- To reduce business expenses, we reached out to all our suppliers to differ services during business downtime caused by lock-down. They were given resourceful options to improve cash conservation and realign with renewed business needs.
- With zero inflow of tourists, we redirected our focus on local populace and started delivering immersive imaging experiences rather than souvenir solutions. We created imaging programs independent of border reopening to target the locals and re-implemented these programs into our core business model.
Leveraging the buzz phrase ‘Stay at home’, we created At-home portrait solutions
To truly complete the imaging life-cycle of an individual, we launched an exclusive imaging program targeting maternity, new born and beyond.
- While most companies were detached from their day-to-day operations, we were entirely ingrained into our core business functions. With all attractions closed during the lockdown, everyone in the management team contributed towards Project Darwin – our Zero Based Budgeting exercise.
- Rather than downsizing, we opted for rightsizing. Retaining key skills and knowledge to rebadge and scale when required, was a goal we targeted and achieved.
What was your key message to your team during the lock-down and how did you keep your team morale high?
- It’s not the setback that counts, but the comeback that matters. Especially when it is propelled by the spirit of a great team like ours. Be it 2008 or 2014, economic challenges have never deterred DEI, as it always bounces back from the abyss, such is the amount of resilience entrenched in DEI’s DNA.
It is with this positive conviction we shall resurrect ourselves and grow even bigger in stature. We just need to be there for each other, for separated we fall… but together we stand tall.
The pandemic revealed our vulnerabilities, but it also surfaced extraordinary human resourcefulness and potential. Do give a couple of examples/illustrations.
- To capitalize on the resources we had, who were idle due to slowdown of regular business, we launched an internal initiative to find hidden talents, specialized in portraits and professional photography. We received a phenomenal response to the callout and found good resources within the company, who were otherwise engaged in day-to-day point and shoot imaging. These resources were assimilated to leverage new revenue streams like at-home portraits and resort portraits.
- We launched a new health care vertical – AceGuard to service the PPE requirements in the market. Staff trained in handling cameras were now operating high-end machines that produced masks. By just remote assistance, the entire heavy machinery was setup by our IT professionals.
List five words to describe your team.
Resourceful, responsible, reliable, remarkable, result-oriented
What message would you like to share with your team today?
- The new sun is on the horizon. Even though it’s oft-repeated, change is truly the name of the game. Every industry will go through a disruption, and it’s in our interest to be the one who not only embraces the change but drives it forward. Be radical in our approach and outthink the entire category we operate in.
We need to embody the technological breakthroughs, and emerge out of this pandemic as the leader in imaging services and solutions. This will help us to be relevant even decades from now.