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How has the reality of social distancing affected you and your business operations?

Dipen Patel, founder, Hestlé (AHV Commercial Ventures) : “We have taken the impact and effects of coronavirus on a day to day basis since it landed on our shores.  We are only currently operating through our stand alone Boutique Stores one in Bagmari,Kolkata & IRC Village Bhubneshwar, stores are on the ground floor of our premises, and interior design studio and gallery on the second floor.  As social distancing has gradually been introduced into our society, we have followed the guidance in the most appropriate way possible. We began with ensuring a deep clean was carried out every morning and evening. We followed this with changing our opening hours of the showroom to by appointment only and making sure each client or customer entering were provided with antibacterial gel (as well as a glass of fizz to lighten the mood!). Our local community has been very supportive of us and have used our online shop to make purchases (which we can still currently fulfil). We also took the measures to take a pause on live projects and we are now working from home, until the guidance from the government advises we can re-open the our other branch outlets.”

Soumendra , Business Developer & Youtuber: “Most of our business operations were based on long distance communication, as it is required in the international nature of our business. Therefore, the new rules are applicable mostly for business operations that require personal presence i.e. production. The production itself took a very strict precautions in order to ensure the wellbeing and safety of the employees.”

Pawan Sharma, Senior Architect, Rittu Dugal & Associates: “Sadly social distancing has all but stopped the business. We work as a close knit team both amongst ourselves and with our clients. We can no longer design or specif

y properly as we cannot access our vast library of fabrics and papers and we cannot present concepts. Design is not just about pulling some nice pieces together, it is about getting to know our clients and working with them closely on their project and being there to encourage them to make decisions they feel really happy with. As a team we pride ourselves in our client relationships and we are trying to carry this on from home, but it’s not easy!”

Aashish Chopra, co-founder & director, RGEE Infinity Projects : "We do not just engage with design works; our business involves makeover constructions as well. Whilst our design works will move as usual, albeit some challenges but the things affected most are our on-site works. Naturally, where there is no site progress, there is no progress payments. There is little we can do about it. So the challenge is to manage the collateral from other perspectives such as managing your internal funds, diversify your portfolio and plan for the coming months by securing jobs virtually at this moment.”

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