‘We are seeing a temporary interruption in demand’

BW HOTELIER talks to Dharmendra Pratap Singh, Senior Vice President & Head Infra Solutions of Voltas Limited, about the new strategies of the brand to cope up with the pandemic.

BW HOTELIER talks to Dharmendra Pratap Singh, Senior Vice President & Head Infra Solutions of Voltas Limited, about the new strategies of the brand to cope up with the pandemic. He also shares about the company's prompt response to lockdown by engaging employees in planning and self-training programmes. Excerpts:

The pandemic wave has hit the economy severely, how has Voltas redefined its business model keeping the new norms in mind?

The pandemic has certainly impacted our regular sectors of business, especially the hospitality segment. Simultaneously, there has been a need for better infrastructure in healthcare services. We have seen some of the facilities getting converted to cater to the new demand and we are actively working within the healthcare sector. Creation of COVID-19 isolation wards is one of the ways we are upgrading India’s healthcare infrastructure.

How is the company coping up with the crisis? What are the key challenges that you face as the leader of your business?

Work from home for our engineers/staff was swiftly engaged and the teams have been working from home on designing work, following up for commercial entitlement and other project activities. The downtime was also gainfully utilised to complete reviews and planning sessions to make best use of the time which is typically not available in normal circumstances. Also, the team has signed up for a number of web-based training programmes in the lockdown period. This focus on learning and development has ensured that the team morale is kept up at all times.  

As we slowly exit the lockdown and people return back to their place of work, one of the most important aspects is the availability of a safe environment which is contamination free. Voltas has come up with solutions like UVGI systems which are duct mounted to ensure that the offices are virus-free. 

You are a very prominent supplier partner, how are you geared to support the industry?

Voltas has been a pioneer in its area of business. In response to the emerging requirements, the company has launched a series of products for contamination control on surfaces and air. Customers can choose from a wide variety and range of products to suit their requirements to ensure safe business.

Briefly tell us about the products that Voltas is offering to the hospitality sector? What is the strength of its brand value?

The brand promptly collaborated with its engineering partners to increase its portfolio of UVC based products to address the survival of the COVID-19 virus on surfaces. The new bouquet of products include:

RUKS CoiloTron: It ensures near-total elimination of Mold, Fungi, and Microbes on Cooling Coil and Drain Pan.

Handheld: It is a portable disinfection unit, designed for rapid sanitation of any surface.

UV Cart System: It is designed to deliver high germicidal intensity, adequate to sanitize the area and inactivate the micro-organisms in a short time.

RUKS GermiTron: The RUKS GermiTron Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UGVI) System can kill 90% of bacteria and virus, per pass. This indoor air quality and bactericidal management system has a scientifically proven design with computerized selection to assure delivery of specified or target kill rate.

During the crisis, how did you keep up the morale of your employees?

As mentioned, our employees were continuously engaged in various projects catering to the COVID-19 relief work like creation of isolation wards etc. Considering their exposure to these resources, ensuring their safety was of utmost importance for us, apart from improving their morale in such challenging conditions. All employees were given the required assistance to facilitate smooth functioning. This included making IT infrastructure available at home or remote place of work, transportation facilities for travelling, regular health check-up including COVID tests for people working in hospital projects etc.

What is your message for the industry as a supplier partner? Share some positive pointers for better times ahead.

In many ways, the pandemic situation has only shown us alternative ways of doing business which are more effective, be it leveraging digital or otherwise. Built spaces are increasingly becoming flexible and agile for multiple types of demand, thus increasing the efficiencies. In our assessment, we are seeing a temporary interruption in demand and with strong fundamentals we expect a rebound to happen as the current pandemic situation eases out. Most of our project sites have resumed and we see the labour strength returning.


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