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Business Interviews

We are positioning ourselves to blend into the digital world to provide exceptional experience to all our customers

Xegal-Siddhartha-Gupta
Truke-S2

In an exclusive interview with DeviceNext, Mr. Siddhartha Gupta from brand  Xegal shares his thoughts about the covid affected business scenario and how brands are adopting new ways to bounce back before this festive season with new channel strategies.

2020-21 was one of the toughest year for businesses, and still brands are trying to rebuild the lost ground, as a brand how have you restructured your operations?

It was not easy, trust me. We had some of the best industry practices which we have had to revamp over the past 18 months. We created a one of its kind network of our suppliers and distributors in April. We have been in touch with them through virtual meetings, and group chats, video calls. Making touch-points is important in our industry and maintaining the relationships is an art only the best can do. Earlier we used to meet frequently, travel  to meet up with people in the network, celebrate special days together and do a lot of on-ground activities. Now since all of it has come to a halt, we are directly sending out gifts on special occasions, once in a month gift to our dealers.

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On the employees front, we are one of the few employee friendly brands who have set the trends of a seamless work from home environment, very early after the onset of COVID. We are still in the process of rolling out more updates over the next 4-6 months, so exciting stuff on the way!

How are you assessing this situation and keeping yourself relevant?

With the current state we are in with respect to market conditions, it is very important to ensure that businesses mould themselves to the market trends. COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of e-commerce businesses in the Indian economy and we are observing a dramatic shift to online shopping. Projections predict an annual growth of 21% in the industry which is up for grabs for all e-Retail businesses. In line with this outlook, we are positioning ourselves to blend into the digital world to provide exceptional experience to all our customers.

According to you what kind of role govt should play in this situation, which can make a positive impact in the market?

Govt. should act now and take measures to support the markets which are struggling to sustain in this period. Some of the actions can be to increase vaccination, provide support for labours, introduce some Fiscal Measures and support for MSMEs like (e.g. reductions in taxation and deferred payroll charges), wage subsidies, unemployment benefits, the deferment of utility bills and rent payments, mortgage relief, lump-sum payments to households (i.e. so-called ‘helicopter money’), loans and loan guarantees to businesses, as well as equity investments by governments in distressed companies.

Government has a wide variety of options at their disposal and can infuse breath back to sectors under pressure.

Manufacturers faced a tough situation due to lockdown, supply chain, raw materials, logistics issues, what is the way out?

The situation has been tough since the past one year and has become worse for manufacturers recently with this lockdown. Manufacturers need to find ways to capitalize this situation where they can take steps to upskill their supply chain workforce or attract digital talent and manage them in cross-functional teams. They must participate in supply chain collaboration with external partners in a wider ecosystem to speed up innovation in the supply chain.

Additionally, the growth of the e-commerce industry has driven demand in the logistics space, leading to large investments in state-of-the-art logistics facilities in the country, allowing operators to enhance speed and efficiency in the shipments of consumer goods through the use of digital technology.

Your Assumption about opening up of the market? What are going to be its aftermath?

According a market report which was highlighting that lengthy lockdowns can potentially wipe out the 9-months recovery in the offline sales channel, which had just bounced back from a record low market share of 49% in the December quarter to 60% in the January-February. Business is already down in Mumbai and Pune by 60%.

Maharashtra accounts for a sizable 18-20% of total consumer electronics business and nearly 10% of the country’s Rs. 2 lakh crore smartphone market. So we can infer that opening up of the markets will drive up the smartphone sales which will in turn propel the growth of the accessories market at large. I don’t think online sales would get much impacted because of this as we can already say that those who are using it would continue to use it and those who switched to ecommerce from offline mode wouldn’t want to go back, given the convenience and ease of making the transactions.

Any initiatives Xegal took in this difficult time for community?

We, at Xegal, firmly believe that it is our social responsibility to support our community in its time of need. As such, since April 2020, we have been launching initiatives which are crafted to help those in need during these tough times. Based on our interactions in the market, we identified there was a rising gap in demand and supply of essential goods and services required to fight COVID-19. We created a network of buyers and suppliers, identified target areas that were facing scarcity of COVID essentials and equipped them with tools to protect and fight this pandemic.

The network helped easy connectivity between both parties where demands were raised and met in real time. Since April 2020, our network has grown drastically with over 2000+ small and large players connecting seamlessly and fulfilling requirements for Oxygen, masks, PPE kits, grocery items, sample collection kits, face shields, Sanitizers and other such essentials.

Additionally, to strengthen our CSR contributions, we recently made Oxygen concentrators available to our customers at the lowest price possible and provided them to individuals in dire need free of cost. Our organization and our business community has risen above P&Ls and has converged their strengths to fight this pandemic.

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