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#FightBackCorona: Every problem represents a unique opportunity: Gautam B Thakker

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. 

Gautam B Thakker, CEO, Everymedia Technologies, speaks about tackling domestic violence during times when people are confined to their homes, creating content to generate awareness, and optimising the use of Digital Marketing to respond to these difficult circumstances. 

What steps are you and your organisation taking to help out the society at large or those engaged in the war against COVID-19? Are you doing any awareness or educational campaign for any of your clients? If so please elaborate the same? 
Digital media serves as an important platform to display the brand’s values, while offering an immersive experience into the brand’s identity. Now is time for digital media to shine. Though the sentiment everywhere is low, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Some of our most astounding creative works have come out in the past week.

Since there has been a nationwide lockdown and people have been directed to “stay home” to prevent the virus spread, cases of domestic violence have surged. We recently launched an awareness campaign in association with Akshara Centre, along with the special cell for women and children and immense support from the Government of Maharashtra to protect victims of domestic violence as a part of overall anti-COVID-19 action plans.

We also released a video, #KARONASALAM, with an aim to thank every individual who is at the forefront, risking their lives and trying to make lives easier for everyone during this period of lockdown. The short video showcases employees of Everymedia coming together to thank the Government of Maharashtra, BMC, doctors, medical workers and citizens, who are bravely doing their bit to help fight this global crisis.

For the talents we manage at Everymedia, we’re working on creating content to generate awareness about the importance of staying home, thanking the government and frontline workers for their efforts.

We’re also working with Sanjay Dutt and Sawarkar Shelters to feed 1,000 underprivileged families in Mumbai.

We’ve also made contributions to support the daily wage workers during these unprecedented times. 

How are you keeping your employees motivated and are encouraging them to give their best, even as they are working from home?
We started with assuring job security to all the employees. We announced that there will be zero job cuts and the same has been communicated  to everyone working at Everymedia. I believe difficult times are not sent to destroy you! They are sent to strengthen you. We, at Everymedia, have always encouraged a culture of putting “We” before “Me”.

To support and build on our culture, we began conducting activities on #EMHuddle – a platform for people to come together and play activities digitally, virtual birthday celebrations where the team comes together on a video call.

Ironically, these are unprecedented times, most of us are working with clients in terms of annual planning.

Though it’s an operational strain, we have set some ‘Work From Home” (WFH) rules to make sure that we minimise these strains. For instance, not just at leadership, but at each business level we conduct business calls every day. Some set rules to WFH include defined work hours, daily To-Do lists, Check-In with Co-Workers frequently. We have encouraged VPs and Managers to keep speaking with the team members, especially ones staying away from the family or the ones who are new to the organisation. 

What prompted you to do this initiative and how has been the response so far? Are you doing this kind of initiative for the first time or have done something similar in the past?
We already had an existing work from home policy and an SOP around it. All we had to do was extend it to the entire organisation to ensure the safety of all our employees. We began with prioritising while making sure that our employees were adapting to this new way of working and are safe and indoors at the same time. We at Everymedia Technologies are acutely aware that due to the nationwide lockdown, social distancing and wave of closures and cancellations, SMEs and start-ups are facing unprecedented circumstances. Every problem we encounter, represents a unique opportunity for us to evolve and emerge stronger together. During the initial days of Everymedia, we had six employees working with us and now that we have more than 100 employees and with 10 years of experience in the industry, we thought of extending help to all the SMEs and start-ups seeking guidance on realigning business models, optimising the use of Digital Marketing to respond to these difficult circumstances. As response to the mounting effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have to come together to uplift and support each other. As a client centric agency, we always go a step ahead to ensure a brand’s creative needs are met. 

What are the kind of offerings you plan to give the start-ups and SMEs during this period? Are you doing this for clients nationally or are you looking at specific cities? Why are you not looking at helping the government in extending your expertise?
We are extending our services to enthusiasts, SMEs and start-ups. They can take this opportunity to understand and seek guidance on realigning business models, optimising the use of Digital Marketing, Online Reputation Management and welfare communication. Digital knows no boundaries, we have extended these offerings to clients nationally. The team is ready and well positioned to help the budding entrepreneurs respond to these difficult circumstances by optimising Digital Marketing and Public Relations. 

We have been reallocating time and resources to provide up to one hour of consultation, where necessary along with follow up consultations to help businesses keep up with the every evolving and constantly emerging industry.  We have been providing pro bono consultation to the 8 clients who had reached out to us so far.

We have been working closely with the Government of Maharashtra, Governor of Maharashtra and Mumbai Uncensored to help them with their initiatives to fight this global crisis. 

Is there any particular period you are looking at in extending your expertise? Will this exercise continue once the lockdown is shifted? 
As of now, there is no particular period. We are definitely going to continue this until the economy and businesses have fully recovered. The doors are going to be kept open for as long as needed.

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