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#FightBackCorona: Business leaders have to be more empathetic now: Sumit Sehgal

These are extraordinary times and we all are in uncharted territory. There is a lot of fear and negativity in all spheres due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. While the Corona Warriors are doing a tremendous job fighting from the frontlines, we at Adgully are embarking on an endeavour to highlight the positive developments during these challenging times.

Adgully is featuring a series of brief interactions with industry leaders in India and find out how they are keeping their spirits up as well as keeping their employees motivated, also how they are joining in the fight against the adverse impact of the global pandemic.

Sumit Sehgal, CMO, Sheela Foam Ltd, speaks about how the lockdown and people staying at home has provided Brand Sleepwell the opportunity to increase its relevance, while at the same time also urging people to Stay Home, Sleep Well and put a stop to the spread of the Coronavirus.

What steps are you and your organisation taking to help out the society at large or those engaged in the war against COVID-19?
The current COVID-19 scenario is a huge cause for concern for the country. With the lockdown, people are spending all their time at home and are increasingly spending more time in their bedrooms. The mattress is being used a lot more nowadays, with people doing office work on their beds, watching more television and spending the extra time on hand with family.

We realise that during these difficult times, people may miss out on a very important requirement of their routine – Sleep. To re-emphasise on the benefits of sleep, we have launched an awareness campaign to encourage citizens to complete 8 hours of sound sleep to boost their body’s defences. The #StaySafeWithSleepwell campaign compares the benefits of common healthy habits that we are currently practising in our homes and lays emphasis on the fact that 8 hours of sleep is equally important to remain healthy.

Furthermore, we have also emphasised on the importance of social distancing by recreating our logo. Ever since the lockdown, the brand has been leveraging creative visual storytelling on various platforms to urge citizens to Stay Home, Sleep Well and put a stop to the spread of the Coronavirus.

We are also taking positive action and playing a constructive role in the community. Sleepwell is humbled by the opportunity to support those who are helping others. We have supplied 5,000 pieces of foam sheets and mattresses to various states for quarantine centres and hospitals as well as foam sheets for Face Shield Mask, to be used by doctors and paramedical staff.

How are you keeping your employees motivated and are encouraging them to give their best, even as they are working from home?
As a brand, we have always believed in building long term relationships with our employees, partners and customers. We recognise human capital as our biggest asset. In times of crisis, a family comes closer to combat the crisis and all employees have become more closely bonded at this hour.

During these times, our utmost priority is to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all employees and provide them emotional support as well as with technology tools to enable them to work efficiently from home. Leaders are in regular touch with the employees to keep their morale up as these are very tough times.

Additionally, we have enabled video and audio conferencing applications, set up 24x7 manned IT help desk for any trouble shooting and enabled remote access to our ERP systems. Various training sessions have helped us in imparting inputs to the team members on a real time basis. We are also hosting webinars for the various functional teams.

This pandemic has thus helped us in strengthening the Sheela Foam family bonding and values and made our crisis management stronger. We are prepared to face the changes that may impact the socio-economic scenario.

What is most needed in challenging times such as these:
(a)  From the general public: The most important requirement from the general public is compliance to the lockdown rules laid down by the Government. Each citizen of the country needs to act responsibly for the good of themselves and others. Now is the time for each of us to put our country first.

(b) From the authorities: The Government authorities are doing a terrific job. Our utmost gratitude to all doctors and medical staff, the police force as well as all the authorities who are maintaining essential services for the comfort of citizens.

(c)  From business leaders: Business leaders have to be more empathetic now, especially in their people policies and social responsibilities. We all have seen corporates and various authorities uniting with each other to contribute effectively, helping those who are in need. Post the crisis, business leaders need to orchestrate the way forward to keep the wheels of the economy running for a stronger and New India.


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