Industry & Lockdown

‘A dedicated work-from-home cell will be established for women’

‘A dedicated work-from-home cell will be established for women’

Monica Malhotra Kandhari, Managing Director, MBD Group.

Manav Mander

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 23

Outbreak of the pandemic has entirely changed the view of Monica Malhotra Kandhari, managing director, MBD Group. She was earlier skeptical about the ‘work from home’ culture, but after the pandemic, she has come to the conclusion that people can be productive while working from homes as well. Once the lockdown is lifted, she says she will dedicate a section of employees who can work from home, especially women.

How has lockdown impacted you?

We are into the book industry and the lockdown has impacted us to a large extent. The physical teaching-and-learning process has come to a standstill. Schools are closed and we are unaware when the new sessions will begin.

Have you ventured into online education?

In the present scenario, online education is helping both students and teachers to keep studies going. We already have as many as 8,000 animated videos and 1,500 e-books for students of Class I to XII. Since our e-books are free, it has helped a lot of students and teachers to keep up with studies and utilise their time. We are working to the maximum capacity to provide online education.

How will you restart operations?

Once the lockdown is lifted and we start receiving our supplies, we will open the supply chain by clearing the pending stock. Production will be picked up immediately as studies for the new session will also begin after lockdown.

How are you tackling issues related to labour and wages?

When the lockdown was announced, our main concern was that our employees should not suffer and should not have to sleep empty stomach. We released their salaries before date and are keeping the salary cycle going so that workers do not feel the heat.

What is the first thing you want to do post lockdown?

I want to go back to the office. Just like me, many others are also eager join back once the lockdown is lifted.

Lessons learnt from lockdown?

We will focus on the existing projects rather than working on new ventures. We will work towards more productivity and keep the cash flow going. The most important lesson that I learnt from the lockdown is that one can work from home and still be productive. After the lockdown is over, we will call the staff accordingly to maintain social distancing and avoid crowding. Employees working in the editorial, creative and IT departments will continue to work from home. In addition to this, we will also dedicate a section who can work from home in case of emergencies in the future. There are many people, especially women, who are sometimes unable to report to work due to various reasons. For them, we will be starting a work from home section.

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