The current demand destruction seems to have had no adverse effect on one of India’s biggest paints makers, Asian Paints, as they decided to give employees a price hike in the face of an ongoing economic crisis amid COVID-19 lockdown. While other corporates have indulged in pay cuts or have been firing workers as is the standard industry response to survive the plummeting economy, Asian Paints raised the bar of boosting staffs’ morale amid the pandemic gloom. Also Read - Nepal Airport Under Renovation Amid Coronavirus Lockdown
In an interview with ET, Asian Paints MD and CEO Amit Syngle shared, “We have to set an example of true leadership and an organisation that takes care of all its stakeholders. I have been updating the board regularly on all such initiatives and have received their approval for these actions. I see this as a big opportunity to step in and interact with every single employee and assuage their concerns in an uncertain marketplace. We are not in the hire and fire business and as a mature brand have reassured employees that we all are all together in this.” Also Read - Bangladesh Govt Decides Not to Extend COVID-19 Shutdown
Apart from going ahead with its annual salary increments, the firm also transferred Rs 40 crore into the accounts of its contractors. Expanding its product range into sanitizers in lieu of the basic hygiene being encouraged as a part of the precautionary measures taken to combating COVID-19, the paintmaker now has a greater share of the customer wallet. Also Read - COVID-19 Cases Cross 1.6 Lakh-mark; Death Toll Above 4,600; Shah Speaks to CMs Over Lockdown Extension | Key Points
“The germination of the idea of sanitizers came from the Ministry of Chemicals, nudging us to make them….We came out with a range of hand and surface sanitizers under the brand name Viroprotek. This launch also resonated with our health & hygiene space foray where we already have Royale Health shield, an anti-bacterial and anti-asthma paint,” Syngle said.
Hospitalisation and insurance, full sanitisation facilities for partner stores and direct cash support are included in its scope of assistance to the sales channel. Doing its bit in contributing its profits to the weaker sections worst hit by the coronavirus, Asian Paints donated Rs 35 crores toward the Central and State Covid 19 Relief funds.