October 10, 2020

As the pandemic moves into its 7th month, it is natural to feel stretched and stressed. In times like these, the role of organisations and their people is to support each other. That includes supporting mental health.

From my interactions with various teams across AM International group companies, I can say everyone has experienced difficulties. However, I believe the ubiquity of the challenge will translate into openness of discussion only when we make certain changes in our approach:

- Acknowledge that emotional, psychological, and social well-being is essential. To me, that is the first step towards creating a healthy workplace.

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October 4, 2020

With COVID-19, Annual Shareholders’ Meetings have moved to a virtual mode and video conferencing has become the norm.

Recently, I chaired 4 such meetings virtually for our public listed companies in India.

It was a different experience, something I never imagined before. While it was safe and the most effective way to connect with our shareholders, it made me wonder if the practice will replace in-person meetings in the future!

Today, the digital mode is the best way to conduct business as usual while maintaining safety for everyone involved.

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August 20, 2020

One of the realisations from my business journey has been that organisations need to be agile to discover advantage in adversity. The ability to fine-tune one’s strategy to harness new demand while protecting current revenue streams is the key to creating long-term value. To cite an example, at AM International, we are looking at serving new demand from specific sectors as a part of our post-COVID strategy. The pharma and food sectors are new focus areas for our petrochemical business.

However, this has to be done with a holistic view. In my experience, a successful advantage-in-adversity strategy is underpinned by three factors:

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August 5, 2020

While we cannot predict crises or the way they unfold, we can identify critical measures that can help us cope effectively and lead our organisations and communities to positive outcomes.

Preparedness is one of those measures.

In our experience across AM International group companies, I cannot emphasise the importance of readiness and preparation enough.

For us, an effective mechanism to mitigate the risk to business during a crisis entails:

- Making proactive planning a year-round activity (much like safety preparedness)

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July 28, 2020

Businesses across every sector have experienced immense change in the last few months. Looking back, it is vital that we assess how we faced the challenges, evaluate the effects of our approaches and learn lessons for the future.

At AM International, as we look back, a few things come to mind:

● Much like a healthy immune system, business immunity takes time and effort to build. Be it a balanced, nutritious diet and regular exercise or fiscal discipline and prudent management of financial resources; immunity doesn’t come overnight.

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July 21, 2020

The #pandemic has served as a reminder of the agrarian spirit of the #IndianEconomy. In May, the country recorded a historic 3.7% increase in food grain production. Further, y-o-y retail fertiliser sales almost doubled during the month. The surge indicated farmers' preparedness for the Kharif sowing season.

Beyond the numbers, there are clear indicators that #agriculture will play a crucial role in India's economic resurgence in the #postCOVID world:

● Reforms such as the 'one India, one farm market' ordinances and the agri-infrastructure fund are a shot-in-the-arm for the sector. They level the playing field for farmers, broaden their reach and enhance their competitiveness.

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July 3, 2020

After a period of standstill, we’re at the threshold of a new, post-COVID era.

Resilience, built on prudent financial conduct, measured #risktaking and #agile decision-making is a crucial attribute in the #newnormal.

The pandemic is one of the many downturns that we, as a group, have witnessed in our six-decade history. Each event has only made us stronger. It has helped us navigate difficult phases and led to a buoyant post-crisis recovery.

While #COVID19 affected our operations, our team of 3000+ members spread across 3 continents remained steadfast. We rode the wave of uncertainty with minimum disruptions across...

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June 23, 2020

“The ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust is the key professional and personal competency of our time.”

This quote by Stephen R. Covey holds more relevance now than ever before. #COVID19 put leaders and organisations in a situation where they could apply a few learnings from the past. Everyone had questions, but no definite answers. We were all learning as we went along.

The one thing that I practise and has become indispensable to effective #leadership in these times is #trust. The following aspects acted like building blocks in reinforcing trust:

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June 2, 2020

COVID-19 has brought manufacturing to a halt in several countries. As circuit breakers & lockdowns are eased, the industry will have to brace for adapting to a #newnormal in the post-pandemic world.

In my opinion, the manufacturing sector will witness the following changes:

● Manufacturers will invest in #digitalisation & #automation to counter workforce limitations arising from lesser number of workers per shift owing to physical distancing norms. The integration of low-touch technologies alongside increased investments in sanitised factory premises will help in increasing production efficiency while maintaining operational continuity.

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May 27, 2020

COVID-19 has created a genuine case for change. Once the immediate effects of the pandemic are behind us, I am certain we will move to newer ways of thinking, working and doing good.
To my mind, the crisis has spurred change on 3 fronts:

>>Thinking healthy
Nothing can replace good #healths. Losses of every other nature can be compensated. This realisation is prompting a change in #mindsets, #lifestyles, and behaviours. Governments are investing in strengthening public health systems. Medical research is regaining prominence. Individually, we are making healthier choices.

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May 4, 2020

#COVID19 has altered our lives in many ways. The new reality for individuals, businesses and economies is unlike anything we are accustomed to.

History shows that crisis has led to increased cooperation and social conscience. Not surprisingly, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has brought people together in extraordinary ways.

Three values which are helping us emerge stronger from the crisis come to my mind:
• #Compassion
I see people coming together in vulnerable communities. Some are distributing food, others are donating to charities or contributing towards protective gear for frontline workers.

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April 30, 2020

One of the economic vulnerabilities emerging from the #COVID19 crisis is the breakdown of #supplychain logistics. Till now, businesses expanded their manufacturing and R&D footprints beyond borders. In the #postCOVID19 world, things will change. Countries will prioritise self-reliance. With limited cross-border trade, there will be a gradual change in globalisation. This will give a fillip to #localisation and domestic business. Home-grown industries will gain importance. The future will centre around 3Rs:

>>Reshoring: Manufacturers will bring their work back home. This augurs well for opportunities to expand the domestic supplier base. It will reduce threats arising from sudden geopolitical changes and find support

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April 24, 2020

Since the #COVID19 outbreak, few industries have witnessed a surge. For example, with the demand for #protectivegear, #facemasks, #sanitisers and anti-malaria medications touching a historic peak, many businesses are looking at this opportunistically. My advice is to venture into these segments with a well-thought-out strategy.

Capitalising on #surgedemand is good if the business is already part of your portfolio. If you are already into the manufacturing of these items or can manufacture them with small tweaks to your existing business, it is a great opportunity. But, if you are thinking of investing in these businesses for the short run, I would advise caution. The market will be short-lived and not sustain over the long term. Once the pandemic is brought under control, the

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April 19, 2020

#Foodsupplychains transcend multiple stakeholders across countries and continents. The #COVID19 crisis has caused an unprecedented interruption to this network.

The situation is fast changing the global outlook on food security. In the post COVID-19 world, countries will focus on strengthening their indigenous food production. This will become essential to ensure reliable and affordable food supply to citizens – even in times when we face challenges of a global scale. Self-reliance for agricultural produce will be a key focus for most nations.

In such times, mainstreaming traditional crops can provide an impetus to the domestic #agriculture

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April 10, 2020

As we come to terms with a new world order, I urge everyone to prioritise health and well-being. Since the outbreak of #COVID19, I've been observing the impact. Here are a few suggestions that each one of us can practise:

Follow precautions and #personalhygiene: Let us take care of our health, by following the guidelines suggested by World Health Organization. The ability to identify symptoms early and practise individual restraint with #selfquarantine measures is the key.

Prepare, don't panic: A widespread pandemic will take time to subside and as days pass by, it may affect many of us. Most of the infected people will

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