Please spend time reading this note. This will help you to navigate these tough times created due to Covid-19. This is important for all of us, our families, our clients, our investors and our suppliers. Note that, everything is uncertain till there is any clarity on Covid spread in next few weeks. Hence, whatever is written below may change as the situation changes. Nobody in the world has any definitive answers today, nor do we. Hence, to face this tough time together, it is also important that we exercise collective decision making involving each member of the Xoxoday family. However, prevention is better than cure, and hence let’s collectively take all preventive measures to fight this new threat to humanity. Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures. Many of the measures outlined in this note are temporary and are purely with the intention to successfully combat the challenges that Covid-19 has created.
Health: Health should be your top priority. Take care of your and your family’s health and wellbeing. Good time to start indulging in healthy practices with regards to food, hygiene, fitness, yoga, running etc to keep high immune levels. Avoid any unnecessary travel and continue work from home unless you need to be at the office. Reduce visit to hospitals for regular check ups, postpone medical interventions if not urgent. However if you find yourself experiencing any cold, cough related symptoms which are relevant to the current situation then visit a good doctor immediately. These suggestions are in line with the views expressed by our PM on 20th Mar, however, please exercise self discretion while making final decisions.
Family: Spend time with your family and be with them. Attempt to keep yourself adequately updated on the world situation however do not panic or allow your family to do so. Read books, play indoor games, dine together, just like old times. Don’t be a carrier of corona virus during any social meetings or travel to home.
Good Habits: Good habits like healthy living, basic disciplines of life like savings, going back to the basics, cutting down any unnecessary personal spends will be helpful to all of us and our families.With limited indoor options, you can take up developing new hobbies and habits like reading, spend time on upskilling, introspect and utilize this time keeping yourself meaningfully occupied.
What are the economic and market situations: COVID-19 has led to forced slowdown to almost snail movement in the global markets. There are opinions from experts that this slump may take time from 1 month to 2 years to bounce back to normalcy. The world may experience another recession impacting jobs, salary levels, consumption and unnecessary spending. However, this impact is across the globe equally for everyone, almost everywhere. Hence, the cost/benefit arbitrage issues won’t arise and the world would move to a new normalcy. The world might go back 1 to 20 years in terms of its spends, cash, valuations, lifestyle, investments, savings, consumer habits etc. However, people who have good discipline in life around lifestyle, savings and spending will not find any issue during this time.
Our Strengths: The best part about us is that we have gone through adversities in the past and have come back very strongly. Being largely bootstrapped, we have handled tough times in the last 7 years. We have a great team who is always willing to go beyond the call of duty. We have a large client base. Our revenues have seen no impact so far. We have good relations with our customers, suppliers, investors and the society. Let’s leverage each of our strengths.
Opportunities in Adversities: They say that, Tough times don’t define you, they refine you. The new economic conditions will also put forth various hidden opportunities. Let’s leverage them sooner than later. Let’s use this time to push our limits, do whatever is possible to increase revenue and reduce costs. Let’s hold on or delay initiatives which may be too experimental or moonshots.Every small contribution from everyone will help the organizations. Somethings that you can do –
- Focus on important things and priorities.
- Prepare for opportunities when the good times are back.
- Do SWOT analysis, introspect, upskill and improve.
- Think beyond the current rules. Question assumptions, use Jugaads and think how we get more ROI in everything we do.
- Be super-fast and agile. Let’s put relentless efforts to make things happen.
Work from home and remotely: Your commitment, ownership and accountability while WFH has been awesome. Let’s keep it up. Some of the best practices for effective remote working are below.
- Under WFH and remote working in Covid rules, we are only doing social distancing. Make sure that social distancing does not lead to social disconnect.
- Ensure you take work seriously from home so that business is not impacted.
- Have frequent communication with your teams through chats, emails, video and calls.
- Planning and reporting daily is important. Keep goals, roles, deliverables clear so that there is no ambiguity, misunderstanding, and anxiety.
- Use basic tools like hangout, trello, zoom, jira, slack, crm, Google docs, Empuls etc to collaborate effectively.
- Over- communicate to reduce any doubts, issues, queries. Note that lack of communication leads to misinterpretations & rumours, which leads to disasters. Avoid such disasters.
- Celebrate small wins, do regular huddles.
How can each one of us contribute for Xoxoday in these times:
- Firstly, I must assure you that before reaching out to each one of you, the management team has looked at these measures for themselves. We have put the applicable control measures for ourselves already.
- It takes time and trust to build teams. We would keep this team intact with pragmatic but humane steps.
- There is no need to panic. Trust us, trust the company and trust each other. This way, we'll not only handle this situation but also prove ourselves as a competent business in tough times.
- Be a hustler. Innovate and push each other. Many of you have been entrepreneurs. Many of you have shown great spirits in the past 7 years. Be strong, because things will get better.
- Customer is our true north. Everything we do should focus on a single objective of customer delight.
- Expand your roles if you can. Reach out to us if you can share more responsibilities and multi-tasking.
What should the sales team do?
- Ensure collections on time. Be careful on any defaults.
- Follow all sales opportunities well.
- Upskill yourself as much as possible.
- Be positive and stay motivated. Identify new revenue streams.
- Serve your current clients while hunting new ones. Your clients will have more time to talk and engage with you now. Engage them proactively through video calls, content etc.
What should marketing teams do?
- Find frugal ways, growth marketing, and no money marketing.
- Avoid any spending on online or offline media as it may not work right now.
- Keep videos, blogs, websites, webinars, emailers etc ready so that we are fully ready when the economy is back to normal.
- Use barter deals, partnerships which ll be very prominent in these times.
What should tech & product teams do?
- Try faster releases to keep things moving.
- Fine tune go-to-market and iterations.
- Measure your work against how it helps in revenues.
- Take this time to learn more about business and customers.
- Build Vs partner. Try to reduce go to market time in the best ways.
What should finance, HR, ops teams do?
- Put controls in costs & discretionary spends.
- Keep information transparent to everyone in the company.
- Solve any query/issues for teams on time to ensure productivity and health.
- Do better pricing negotiations with your vendors.
What should supplier teams do?
- Try better credit lines and pricing from your vendors.
- Avoid any additional stocks.
- Drive revenues from different ways/levers you know.
- Suppliers will have more time to give you more weight and flexibility. Engage them proactively through video calls, content etc.
What should delivery & customer success teams do?
- Help solve your customer issues on time.
- Don’t panic for any delays due to your health. If there are genuine health related delays, it's best to tell transparently. All clients will understand that due to Corona, there might be some impact in replying to customers.
- Be available for customer queries as per our CS timelines.
We have been in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world since some time now. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, it's like a VUCA 2 world which is even more uncertain. Uncertainty might be the new normal and change might be the new constant for a few quarters.
Darwin’s age old theory on ‘Survival of the fittest’ would be very relevant whether its about our health, our talent, our business models or the society as a whole. Hard times will always reveal true colleagues and true business fundamentals. Finally, a diamond is nothing but a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.
We thank you for all your support that keeps us going, sail through tough times and grow one step at a time. Your presence provides a sense of confidence & resilience that we are not alone. I am sure you and your loved ones would be doing fine and taking all due care for safety of self and those around.
Thanks & Regards