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India Inc goes back to work with safety measures, strict 'no AC’ rule & plenty of social distancing

These business leaders share the protocols they have set in place as they reopened their workplaces.

Last Updated: May 25, 2020, 09.00 AM IST
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Agencies
India Inc is back in action.
India Inc is back in action.
As the government has allowed several relaxations in lockdown 4.0, many businesses are gradually resuming operation and trying to adjust to the new style of doing business, with reduced staff and strict protocol.

Manish Sharma, CEO, Panasonic India and South Asia, has been back in his Gurugram office for two weeks. The company has resumed work in a staggered manner.

“We have ensured that our workplace fol lows all requisite processes, including adoption of the Aarogya Setu app and screening measures,” said Sharma. “We have divided our corporate office into three zones, with select employees across different business functions. There are defined walkways, respective lifts and allocated facilities like washroom, pantry, printers, etc.”

Agencies
Manish Sharma, CEO, Panasonic India and South Asia, has been back in his Gurugram office for two weeks.
Manish Sharma, CEO, Panasonic India and South Asia, has been back in his Gurugram office for two weeks.

Sharma said on the first day back to work, the empty roads and the vacant office evoked a mix of responsibility and paranoia. “Now, with time and some colleagues coming in, my mental state is back to normal. I’m optimistic, moving towards satisfaction as business is picking up. It takes a couple of days to regain your mental momentum,” he said.

Working within limits
Agencies
Siddhesh Sharma, president, Baidyanath, got back to office early during the lockdown.
Siddhesh Sharma, president, Baidyanath, got back to office early during the lockdown.

In Mumbai, Siddhesh Sharma, president, Baidyanath, got back to office early during the lockdown, since Ayurvedic medicines are considered an essential service.

“It’s still not in full swing but I am positive it will gradually get back to normal,” said Sharma. “It takes time to get used to seeing everyone in masks at work. But the overall energy is positive, everyone is motivated to work harder, which feels great.”

The company is working in limited capacities and only essential people are asked to come in. “All precautions are necessary like face masks, social distancing, regular use of sanitisers and even gloves in some cases,” he shared.

No ACs, please
Agencies
Ganesh said that while things are mostly back to normal, they don’t allow switching on air conditioners.
Ganesh said that while things are mostly back to normal, they don’t allow switching on air conditioners.

In Bengaluru, Portea Medical ensures that screening, sanitising, hand hygiene and social distancing protocols are followed. Through the entire lockdown, they have had few very critical personnel attending office. “We continued these measures post May 4 when more people started coming in after the first set of relaxations was announced,” said Meena Ganesh, the company’s CEO.

Ganesh said that while things are mostly back to normal, they don’t allow switching on air conditioners. “We operate with fans and keep the windows open,” she said.

Cautious restart
Agencies
Being cautious, conservative and prudent wherever possible is important, says the financial services boss.


Being cautious, conservative and prudent wherever possible is important, says the financial services boss.


Edelweiss Group chairman Rashesh Shah mapped out and opened the branches in a phased manner, first in green zones and then in orange zones. “Only one or two customers are allowed at a time within the branch premises, along with limited staff, following social distancing norms. Physical signatures are being replaced by digital ones wherever possible. Wearing masks and using hand sanitiser are some of the precautions being followed,” Shah said.

Being cautious, conservative and prudent wherever possible is important, says the financial services boss. “We restart with caution recognising that we return to a world which is different from what it was a few months back. The key is to find the right balance, ensure safety and health first,” he said.

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