Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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Covid-19 led global lockdown has disrupted business in all sectors. We are a business that services other enterprises, thus, we have our priorities as a business. But more importantly, we have to handle the business priorities and concerns of our clients. In the current scenario, we are being very careful with our client communications, making sure to prioritize their sentiments every step of the way.

In India we operate in three verticals – Telecom Service, Public Sector and the Commercial Enterprise segment. While all the sectors have their own nuances, the common priority across all the sectors is maintaining business continuity and taking care of everything related to it. We understand that our customers expect us to ensure that their priorities are taken care of, even if it includes managing a supply chain by obtaining exceptional approvals and clearances from the essential services standpoint.

Their second expectation is that the existing infrastructure remains operational 24 by 7. They expect the supply chain to run uninterrupted and want us to deliver as per the earlier contractual obligations. And thirdly, of course, they want us to ensure that whatever supply commitments we are fulfilling, it is done with proper fumigation and quarantining of the shipment and they are concerned if there are financial strains in certain areas.

At Juniper, we have the requirement of a revenue piece. That means the orders which were in the system need to be executed on time, shipped out and built. Limitations in the supply chain is hindering the process and we have to be very careful in how we handle it. From the storage perspective, we have to ensure that our warehouses are occupied sparingly. We also need to see that our spare deposits are adequately stocked and shipments coming from abroad are taken care of.

Achieving all this while following the lockdown norms fully, is challenging. Apart from some essential labs with very minimal staff, all our offices are closed. Thus, most of our go-to-market and sales and support organization is at standstill. In such a scenario it is difficult for us to take care of the customer interests.

Although our hands are tied, we have taken a few steps to deal with the situation as best as possible. We have adopted a very systematic and transparent communication approach. We are updating our customers constantly on our delivery status, spare deposit stock, etc. For our network management contracts, we are keeping customers informed about network health and for the ongoing projects we are continuously evaluating and updating about the project delays and impacts.

Fortunately, we had a number of large projects underway before the lockdown started. So, we are reviewing our plans and prioritizing certain things like offhand design, etc. that our employees can work on during the lockdown. We are keeping all our employees informed about the developments via daily calls. We have also set up an emergency committee that will review the situation based on issuance of new government guidelines and ensure swift action.

About the author

Sajan Paul is the Managing Director & Country Manager, India & SAARC at Juniper Networks

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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