Terming the coronavirus pandemic as a "crisis of a magnitude that we have never faced before", Mahindra group chairman Anand Mahindra on Thursday asked employees of the conglomerate to use the lockdown period to relook at their personal and professional way of life to prepare for the future and to serve the "post corona world".
In a letter to the over two lakh employees of the group, Mahindra reiterated what he had suggested during the last global recession on how to use the "down time to Reboot, Reinvent and Reignite" through introspection of the way things are currently done and then doing them better.
He asked them to use the time available to come up with new ideas and innovations; and taking advantage of the crisis "to dream bigger dreams about the future and raising ambitions once the crisis has passed".
Stating that these are not normal times on the work front, he said, "We are facing a crisis of a magnitude that we have never faced before. We are all worried, about our families, about our business, about our economy and about our country. Despite that, we are all doing whatever we can to carry on and are learning to live with uncertainty without letting it weigh us down."
Mahindra said the present "circumstances have given us a break which we can put to good use" and the exercise of "Reboot, Reinvent and Reignite" must also be done today "both in our work and in our personal lives".
"...Staying at home has brought home to me how neglectful we have been in overburdening our environment," he said adding, he has "never seen Mumbai look as beautiful as it has during these Lockdown Days" with the skies bluer, air cleaner and no garbage on the streets.
"Do we need a health crisis to teach us that? Can we not keep it that way, even after the crisis has passed? Can we use transport more efficiently? Can we travel less and leave less of a carbon footprint? Can we increase the use of long-distance ways of meeting and communication to work more efficiently and enhance our work life balance? Essentially, can we reboot our personal and professional way of life?" Mahindra questioned.
Stating that the same goes for reinvention and innovation, he said, "I think we are already reinventing the way we socially interact. Italians are singing to each other from their homes. Delhi residents are playing housie from their balconies. These seem to be trivial examples, but they all demonstrate how we human beings work around seemingly impossible barriers to reinvent how we connect with each other."
He further asked the employees, "Can we reinvent our business processes so that we halve the time we normally took to reach a decision, build a product or deliver a service? Can we dramatically lower the cost of products and services by doing radical re-designs?"
Stressing that it is also a time to "reignite our dreams", he told the employees that with time in hand, they can do things they always wanted to do but never had time -- such as learning a language, brush up on a musical instrument or sharing stories with children.
He further said it was also time "to think of the future of our business, of new ways to serve the post corona world".
"What will be the new needs of people in such a world? What new experiences, products and services will they crave? Will they want a more comprehensive form of home healthcare? Will they want even more personalised and ‘socially-distanced' experiences? Will they want a shared mobility experience that is also ‘virus-proof'?" he asked.
Mahindra also reminded the employees to think of others in this time of crisis, specially for the underprivileged.
"It's also a time to think of others -- those who don't have a comfortable home to isolate themselves, those who don't have a regular income flow, those whose lives will be shattered because they depend on daily wages. It is heart-breaking to think of the devastation that that they will face," he said.
Reiterating that the group is setting up a fund for voluntary donations to support such people, he said, "But over and above that, each of us has an individual responsibility to mitigate the misery of those around us. We can continue paying wages to domestic helpers who are unable to turn up for work. We can supply food, soap, sanitisers to BOP families. We can share some of our good fortune with those who have none."
Thanking the employees on how they have responded during the outbreak, he said, "I am proud of the way our organisation, in the true Mahindra spirit, has risen to the challenge and moved seamlessly into new ways of working. Work from home is going to be the new normal for some time to come, and you are all doing your bit. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart."
He said the lockdown has one unexpected benefit of having time to spend with loved ones and asked the employees "to take advantage of this to strengthen the family bonds even further because our families are the bedrock upon which our ultimate happiness is founded. Please make their wellbeing, and yours, the first priority".