The Mahindra Group Corporate Office (GCO) virtual townhall took place this Tuesday, with senior leaders sharing their thoughts on the implications of the current scenario. Here are some excerpts from various leaders discussing the current situation, actions being taken to combat the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic as well as shedding light on how we plan to embrace the ‘new normal’.
Dr Anish Shah, Deputy MD and Group CFO
The new normal is going to be different from what we have been used to. The current situation is difficult and there are various theories about how quickly things will recover. The lockdown has taken a serious hit on various businesses, but Mahindra & Mahindra is strongly positioned and will be able to withstand the worst-case scenario. We will be in a position to support our subsidiaries, as well as our supplier and dealers.
Ruzbeh Irani, President- Group HR and Communications and Member of the Group Executive Board
The safety of our employees has been our top priority and will continue to be so, along with business continuity. We moved, quickly and effectively, to the new Work From Home protocol, setting up a Group-level Rapid Action Force (RAF) to manage the lockdown challenges. We are connected with all our employees through various technology-driven platforms. The process of returning to work is an extremely well-calibrated protocol that we have prepared and request you to adhere to. When we go back to work, we have made sure we will observe all the prescribed social distancing norms. Offices will have to be redesigned for this purpose and about half of our employees will have to continue working from home.
Dhaval Buch, Interim President- Technology and CEO Bristlecone
We started WFH from March 18, and 20,000 employees are now working from home with 3.6 lakh virtual meetings having already been conducted. As many as 80 live events have been organized which witnessed participation ranging between 200-500 people. Several board meetings have also happened virtually.
Vijay Kalra, Head of Manufacturing, Mahindra Institute of Quality, Central Safety Council
We are taking a lot of preventative maintenance and safety measures at our manufacturing plants, while gradually transiting to active mode. There are four initiatives I would like to share with you. Our kitchens have become more active with 17 of them working to provide food for migrant labourers since the lockdown began. For those with no place to cook, we are giving them cooked food while for others who can cook, we are providing dry rations. About 9,000+ people are being fed every day and 2.9 lakh food packets have been distributed to date.
From Ford, we learned to manufacture face shields, and after working non-stop for 4 days along with a supplier we were making them at our Kandivali plant. Today, 8 locations are making them and 11,000+ face shields are being manufactured daily. We have supplied them to several locations across the country from Jammu & Kashmir to Kerala. About 300,000 face shields have already been delivered.
A small start-up called Saral Designs approached us saying they have the capability to make face masks but they needed support to upgrade their machines. Within 4 hours we reached out to them and suggested we help with manufacturing the masks. In the middle of the night their machines were shifted to our units and on the 5th day of the lockdown we started making masks. And today we have made 30,000 hi-grade, 3-ply masks, which have already been distributed. About 600 Aerosol boxes have also been provided to 30 hospitals, through knowledge sharing with our US teams.