A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) outlines a range of scenarios that could negatively impact the business and the steps that will be needed to minimize the damage and expedite recovery. Below are two sample cases for BCP's created by organizations in the wake of COVID-19.
Covid 19: XYZ Business Contingency Plan (BCP) - case 1
As a responsible organization, XYZ takes the complete onus of the well being of our employees and residents.
Given the instances of community spread of COVID-19 that have now begun to appear all over the world, we believe it is our responsibility to take further prudent steps that help to inhibit, rather than accelerate, the spread of the virus.
Our laid out Business Contingency Plan, prepares us for our response to Business-critical needs, in event of this exigency
A cross-functional BCP task force has been formed to prepare for business continuity preparation. The BCP plan covers infrastructure, communication plans, and training needs for each business function to continue operations in the event of a lockdown or office closure.
Three levels of Escalation Alerts, as a response to the varying magnitude of the situation-
- Business As Usual - Code Teal
- Designated Work from Home - Code Orange
- Mandatory Work from Home - Code Red
BCP Task Force
- XYZ Founder and Managing Director
- XYZ Founder and Managing Director
- XYZ General Counsel
- XYZ Senior VP - Operations
- XYZ. Senior VP - Operations
- XYZ VP - Customer Experience
- XYZ VP - Revenue Management
- XYZ VP - Finance
- XYZ AVP - Human Resource
- XYZ VP - Talent Management
Requirements from Function Heads
All Function Heads are required to share a Function wise BCP detailed document with Founders. The template for the same is can be found in Annexure 1 below.
Evaluating the situation and share information
We are assessing the situation on a day-to-day basis. The BCP task force is monitoring the threat levels at our various locations. If the location where you are working becomes a high threat location, management will notify all employees in the location to declare an escalation alert, as defined above.
Work From Home
We have developed a document detailing the work etiquette expected from our employees when working from home.
Remote Working-Playbook for Managers (see Annexure 2)
Remote Working-Playbook for Employees (see Annexure 3)
- At this time, we are strongly encouraging teams to cancel or postpone events they are hosting or attending between March 4 and April 15 - International and Domestic
- We highly recommend employees not to travel unless it's business-critical only - applicable to both International and domestic.
- Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune - For all business travel, please seek approval from your manager and the skip level Manager.
- Other Regions - For all business travel, please seek approval from respective Reporting Manager
Specific Scenarios involving 1-1 Interaction
- Interviews with Candidates:
Code Orange- Only final interviews of select positions can be made discretionary for in-person interaction. Please align it with people who are available in the office
Code Red- No face to face interaction, all interviews will be conducted via Zoom/ Google Hangout.
- New Employee On-boarding
Code Orange- Organise the new joiner to come to the office, when either the respective HRBP of the function is available in the office, or a designated substitute is available. Along with the day of joining, also organize for a plan, should the new joinee have to work from home, in days or weeks to come
Code Red- If you have a new employee starting in one of the work locations that are under Mandatory Work from Home, get the employee prepared for WFH, in conjunction with the HRBP. If that is not feasible, then defer the joining, until Code Red turns to Code Orange at least.
- Vendor Meetings
Code Orange- As far as possible, conduct meetings over Google Hangout or Zoom, and avoid in-person meetings. Most definitely avoid meetings involving more than 3 people at one time.
Code Red- No in-person meetings permitted, only online interactions through designated platforms. Double-check before sharing any documents with vendors.
Guidelines Published for Various Stakeholders
- Guidelines for Internal Team
Follow all well laid out precautionary guidelines and protocols, as have been well distributed Covid19 Advisory for Employees (see Annexure 4)
All emergency contacts for the entire team have been updated in XYZ. Teams have been strongly advised to avoid public places and large gatherings, wear masks and execute all necessary precautions.
- Residence Preparedness and Communication
If you are in a customer-facing role and are asked by our customers about our preparedness for Coronavirus, please share the detailed action guidelines that have been disseminated, along with preventive measures taken
Preparedness in case of a Vendor being tested positive
Since the vendor facility would be quarantined, we would suspend all services from the particular vendor temporarily and resort to a substitute vendor with immediate effect. A list of substitute vendors has been identified for all outsourced services, across all cities.
Social media guidelines
For any direct, solicited or unsolicited posts on social media or any other form of media, involving XYZ, all restraints have to be exercised on making any comments, either in favour of or against the discussion.
All such escalations should be routed to XYZ, VP - Corporate Communications at XYZ.
How will I be notified of future updates?
We will send out notifications via email and Whatsapp groups. Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures to over-communicate. We ask that you stay in touch with your colleagues and managers to stay updated on the latest corporate updates for your work location.
Key points of contact
- XYZ Manager +91-XYZ
- XYZ AVP +91-XYZ
- XYZ VP +91-XYZ
What are the essential precautionary measures?
Like so many of the easily transmissible diseases and viruses we prepare for every day in our communities, everyone can prepare with a few simple reminders:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Cover your mouth when you sneeze.
- Maintain “social distances” of a few feet near people who show symptoms.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home and get medical attention if you are sick.
We know that there are many questions regarding how this virus is impacting various dimensions of our business operations. Contingency planning is actively underway on several fronts to anticipate the evolution of the virus’ spread. We will be making decisions on these matters, and we are committed to communicating regularly with the employees as these decisions are made.
Annexure 1: Template for continuity for each business function
|1||Availability of equipment to enable WFH for each employee|
|1.1||Laptops & Chargers||Yes|
|1.3||Access to necessary Documents||Yes|
|1.4||Access to Tally||Yes|
|1.5||Access to Shared Drive||Yes|
|2||Tasks that will be Business as Usual||Details|
|2.1||Month End Closing & Reporting||Via hangouts/zoom calls|
|2.4||Vendor Payments (Hard copy of invoices might not be received while doing payment)||Ongoing|
|3||Tasks that will be affected, but cannot be stopped||Details|
|3.1||Induction of new resources in Team||Via hangouts/zoom calls|
|3.2||DD Drafts||Exceptional approval from banks for online forms|
|3.3||Hiring / Interviews||Via hangouts/zoom calls|
|3.4||Automation||Via hangouts/zoom calls|
|3.5||New business lines - Controls & Reporting||Via hangouts/zoom calls|
|4||Tasks which will be suspended||Details|
|4.1||Travel Across Regions.||Will be on hold|
|5||Frequency of Check in with team||Medium|
|5.1||Twice in a Day (Morning & Evening)|
|6||Immediate Actions to Enhance effectiveness in WFH Format||Timeline|
|6.1||Daily team update||EoD|
|7||Estimated Costs for actions (If any)|
|7.1||Internet Connection in some of the low cost employees||Rs 20K|
Annexure 2: A Guide for Managers to successfully manage remote teams
Why this document?
As a precaution against Coronavirus infection, we have cautioned employees to Work from Home. This document serves as a guide to help you manage a remote team efficiently and effectively.
- Is Work From Home (WFH) mandatory?
Given the magnitude of risk involved, with the Leadership team being the custodian of the Business and Organisation at large, HO becomes a highly critical ecosystem, to have been declared a Mandatory WFH.
Cities where we have offices in co working spaces are also identified as high risk, specifically XYZ and XYZ, hence they would also move their contingency codes, in tandem to HO.
Other cities such as XXX are high alert zones. Unless required to be in an office, employees from these cities are advised to Work from Home over the next week, post Reporting Manager approval.
In the above listed areas, we encourage all employees to Work from Home unless there are unavoidable meetings or work scheduled in the office. This is to ensure they minimize risk to co-workers. Please ensure that you extend your support to the team.
In areas apart from these, employees can avail WFH in a case to case basis.
The core objective of varied formats of working is to ensure Business as usual, as far out as possible
- Is my role discretionary in allowing Work from Home?
You as a manager have the first right to information should your employee choose to WFH. The decision to WFH and the accountabilities/dependencies must be discussed and mutually agreed between you and the reportee.
- Is my team equipped for WFH?
Here is a checklist for you to assess your teams' readiness to work remotely All team members have laptops & chargers
They have access to necessary tools / systems, IVR (if necessary)
Their remote working space is wi-fi enabled (with enough bandwidth for video calls) Your team members have access to relevant documents
- Will work from home reduce productivity for my team?
No! Remote working, if managed well, can be as productive. It essentially is the ’ways of working’ that matter
You can also start your workday early so that you have the time to do ‘slow thinking’ about complex problems
- How do I manage work and team while working remotely?
Employees have been shared Remote working guidelines already. Kindly hold them accountable for adhering to the WFH mandates
Demand commitment from your team. Ensure you set clear expectations from your reportee(s) working remotely. Plan well. Ensure individuals are clear about their goals
Define ownership, timelines and document completion of work. Encourage your team to take scheduled breaks
Set a working ritual for the team. Below are some of the recommended rituals
Daily Stand-up with the team (to set expectations, updates on previous day’s achievements Use simple update format like:
- What was planned?
- What got completed?
- What got delayed?
- What was carried forward?
Weekly 1:1 with the team members (not just a work review!) Weekly Team Reviews and updates
What got completed?
Ensure maximum documentation for work/meetings so that it is easier to set the context without relying on verbal communication.
All employees who are not working should apply for leaves on HR One
6. How do I manage meetings while working remotely?
Send and encourage pre-reads for every meeting. Align the members on the agenda Encourage employees to join on video calls. It results in improved attention
Ensure meetings are inclusive (Listen to everyone. Don’t let silent voices go unheard)
Pause at times. Engage to understand if everyone is on the call or if anyone has dropped-off/is facing a technical issue
MoMs should be captured for every meeting. Assign responsibilities in advanc
- How do I keep the engagement levels high for the team? Schedule a call every morning to gather updates from the team Ensure team rituals are diligently followed
Call out working hour expectations explicitly. However, be accommodative of genuine reasons Get the team together on Hangouts to celebrate birthdays/ team wins etc
Have virtual coffee meetings/ informal discussions with the team and team members Ensure that you provide timely feedback. Do 1:1 chats to provide regular feedback Send out celebratory/appreciative emails
Do not express frustration in group chats, meetings. Provide personal feedback
- What if my team has to come to the office?
Ensure you or your team is in office only for unavoidable work that cannot be managed remotely. In case, your team members choose to work from the office, it is perfectly fine. The office premises are completely safe. We have taken all necessary precautions to enable work from office premises. All the essential facilities will be up and running every day.
You will receive active communication from the Internal communications team. Please read them for the latest updates and plan accordingly
- Should I insist on an online presence on Hangouts for all team members?
No. As long as deliverables are met and meetings are adhered to, it is not needed to monitor presence continuously. Trust, unless proven otherwise
- What if an employee has his / her last working date next week?
Inform the HRBP. The exit formalities will be completed online. If the employee chooses to submit the laptop later, he/ she can always return our assets later. This will have an effect on the full & final settlement date. In such cases, the email ID, virtual accesses will be deactivated on their last working day
- What NOT to DO while managing your team remotely?
Do not expect availability on demand, rather expect accountability. Natural breaks can’t be avoided, same is true for power cuts
Do not expect 24X7 availability. Set clear expectations on working hours
Don’t keep planning at the last minute. Always ensure that the agenda for the day is set and committed. Build Buffers
Do not assume. It is better to over communicate, clarify than assume
Do not sit back and wait for responses. It is okay to follow-up, remind, seek updates. Ensure that you do not micro-manage
Do not delay feedback. Prompt feedback should be provided on-time
- How do I deal with fear/ panic among team members, if any?
If a team member panics, help evaluate if the fear is real. Suggest visiting a doctor immediately. In most cases, it will be fear/anxiety or another infection (e.g. common flu) masquerading as coronavirus infection. Make sure that hoax does not spread.
If the symptoms are suggestive of COVID19, immediately inform your Reporting Manager and XYZ in HR.
Annexure 3: Remote Working PlayBook for Employees
Why this document
As a precautionary step against coronavirus infection, we have sent out a communication notifying employees that they can choose to Work from Home, in consultation with their respective Reporting Manager and HRBPs. This document is to help you gain more clarity around availing remote working (Work from Home) and also provide some recommended best practices if you choose to work remotely. Please use this playbook to make your remote working experience productive and hasslefree.
- Who can avail of remote working?
- Given the magnitude of risk involved, with the Leadership team being the custodian of the Business and Organisation at large, HO becomes a highly critical ecosystem, to have been declared a Mandatory WFH.
- Cities where we have offices in co working spaces are also identified as high risk, specifically XYZ and XYZ, hence they would also move their contingency codes, in tandem to HO.
- Other cities such as XYZ are high alert zones. Unless required to be in an office, employees from these cities are advised to Work from Home over the next week, post Reporting Manager approval.
- If you witness instances or face symptoms of Coronavirus (or friends/ family/ visitors display any of the symptoms), please visit a doctor immediately and take a Work from Home (after informing your Reporting Manager). You should join back only after a 14-day self-quarantine
Read through the document to get more clarity on overcoming potential challenges that you might face and to adopt best practices while taking Work from Home.
- How can I avail remote working?
- Please ensure that you inform your Reporting Manager and your HRBP to avail Work from Home
- What are the minimum essentials that I require to be able to Work from Home?
- You should have your office laptop and laptop charger
- You should ensure that your laptop’s camera and microphone are working
- You should ensure that you have access to essential tools/systems. All such requests can be raised remotely by writing to IT support
- You should have a strong internet connection with sufficient bandwidth (to conduct video calls) at your home.
- How do I resolve IT related queries?
You can reach out to the IT team using any of the below options
- Email Support: User can send out the mail to IT support
- Phone Support: User can reach IT helpline [XYZ- 0123456789]
- Now that I have the essentials, what are some of the best practices that I should follow to make remote working productive and successful?
- Dedicated Space: Find a designated space at home (with minimal distraction) and use it as your ‘workspace’. The best option is to use a dedicated room for added privacy during conference calls
- Plan your day: Start by dedicating 15 minutes to plan your day. List down meetings and critical phone calls that you need to make.
- Have clear goals: Get a clear understanding of your goals and deliverables for the day(s) that you are Working from Home. Have a ‘to-do list’ in place for every day. Ensure that you reflect and close these items at the end of the day. Keep your manager/team aligned on the work handled by you for these days, so as to maintain accountability. Update any changes to the work in the same mail thread.
- Schedule Appointments: It is a healthy habit to schedule calendar time for meetings and phone calls. This ensures the availability of people and also gives others enough time to prepare for the meetings so that discussions are more productive.
- Respond to meeting invites: Ensure that you respond to meeting invites the previous day/on a timely manner (Accept or Decline. When you decline meetings, suggest alternate slots)
- Calendar Management: Keep your calendar absolutely up to date, including time slots when you are not available, for any reason.
- Be available:
- Be available online during working hours and be responsive to team members
- Send an email to the manager and team to inform them of your working hours if they are different from that of the team
- Do not plan non-work related activities during office hours
- Plan your breaks in such a way that you are available for meetings with the larger team
- Ensure you are available on channels of communications and do respond to your emails within 24-48 hours
- If you intend to take a day off in between working remotely, inform your manager in advance and apply for leaves on HRMS
- Be reachable: Please add your contact number to email signatures for ease of access on calls. Phone numbers can also be found on HRMS employee search. If you have recently changed your phone number, do update on HRMS
- Write Documents:
- Ensure you give maximum possible context over e-mails and in the form of shared docs so that little is lost in verbal communication.
- Close all virtual meetings with MoMs.
- Share pre-reads for critical and large group meetings so that everyone is aware of the context of the meeting. The more detailed the document, the more productive the meeting.
- Collaboration is easier when you use Google Docs.
- Ensure that you use all the communication channels to the maximum.
- Use e-mails for all asynchronous communication
- Use Google Hangouts for real-time communication, chats
- Use phone-calls and Whatsapp to reach out to team members, stakeholders for conversations, updates
- Use Zoom for meetings with external stakeholder, who are not on G-Suite
- Be Inclusive: During virtual meetings / calls, try to be a good samaritan, be inclusive, help steer productive meetings
- Be punctual. Respect other’s time.
- Introduce everyone. Give everyone a chance to contribute.
- Set the context. It is easy for us to assume that others in a call, chat, hangout have the same context as you have. Never assume! Take a minute to set the context, clarify to understand if the context is clear before proceeding with the agenda.
- Try to keep your video on for all meetings so that engagement levels in the meetings are high.
- Follow meeting etiquettes, mute if you are not speaking. Listen intently.
- Kindly ensure you dress appropriately while taking the video calls.
- Assign and assume roles during meetings. Meetings are inclusive when you have someone moderate a meeting (ensuring every participant is heard) and someone to make notes and send out an MoM.
- Do not interrupt when someone is talking.
- Actively ask for everyone’s opinion.
- Be assertive - if you have disagreements, different perspectives - voice them out! Others in the call can miss out on non-verbal cues (shake of hands, head nod, eyebrow raise etc). In essence, express sentiments/ideas verbally.
- Engage with the team. Ask open-ended questions to elicit responses, brainstorm.
- Keep a watch on time.
- Conclude every meeting. Have clear actionables called out. Summarise and shoot a crisp MoM, capturing discussion notes, actionables
- Record Google Meet sessions if required. Please seek the permission of all the participants before recording (Help guide on how to record).
- Watch this video to learn about etiquette / best practices to follow while joining meetings virtually.
- Be Present - It is easy to get lost / wander during virtual meetings. Stay attentive! Check in with your team regularly throughout the day and be responsive to their questions and comments
- How do I ensure teams are responsive?
- While the general practice expects employees to respond to emails within 24-48 hours, it becomes an absolute necessity while working from home.
- If this is not done, please escalate to the respective manager. Use nudges and escalations as meaningful tools to drive results.
- I regularly interact with external individuals – clients, vendors, job candidates. What steps should I take?
- Shift your meetings to virtual mediums wherever possible. External partners can be invited to Hangout Sessions/ Zoom calls
- Please be careful when you share docs with partners.
- Since it’s work from home, could I be dressed as I prefer?
- What will keep you most attuned to your work rhythm is if you wake up at the same time as you do when you go to the office, get dressed the same way and find yourself a dedicated place to work. This will also keep you ready on the fly for any video calls, just as you are for any impromptu meetings when in office.
- Please note the below points if you come to the office
- The office will be fully operational with Admin, IT, Cafeteria, and other allied support present as usual
- Please be extra conscious of your hygiene while at the office. Use sanitizers from time to time, especially after entering and exiting office premises, cafeterias/ lifts/meetings/common areas, etc.
- We have a large office, give yourself and others as much personal space, a Namaste vs a handshake, 2-arms distance instead of one, sitting separated as opposed to being next to one another, are all safe practices (and not rude).
- Be at comfort with people working from home
- Keeping it safe is everyone’s job. Report immediately if you have any symptoms,
see others with related symptoms of viral infections in office premises.
Be accountable. Hold each other accountable! Escalate, if necessary. Express yourself freely. Engage in friendly banters, celebrate birthdays, have virtual coffee catch ups! Stay healthy, be productive
Annexure 4: COVID-19 Advisory for Employees
Dear Team Members,
Your health and safety are our top priority and needless to mention that we are closely monitoring the updates on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
The purpose of this advisory is to share with you how we are responding to this situation and what you can do in order to minimize the risk so we can continue to conduct our business effectively.
What are we doing?
Our on-site cleanliness measures
These actions include, but are not limited to, the following efforts:
- Increased daytime cleaning scope to sanitize all high-frequency touchpoints more often
- Ensuring sufficient stock levels of soap and soap dispensers remain filled
- Hand sanitizers: we have placed hand sanitizer dispensers at every desk, washrooms, pantry and entry areas.
Team Related - Wellness
- Any team member experiencing body temperature above normal (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) or have symptoms such as cough, cold, sore throat, headache, body ache or any other respiratory issues, are advised to leave the workplace and head to the nearest hospital immediately
- Any team member feeling unwell/sick must immediately inform their Reporting Manger and the Core Response Team, that has been instituted
- XYZ- +910000000
- XYZ at +91000000
- XYZ at +91000000
- Unwell employees are requested to stay at home until they are completely recovered. This is for the safety of others in the office. We request you to use this flexibility responsibly.
- Zero tolerance sick policy: Anyone who is sick, or starting to feel sick, should take a sick day or work from home.
- Team members working out of co-working spaces must be extra careful and report any potential risks to their reporting managers and XYZ (AVP - HR) immediately
Team Related - Travel
- Limiting office travel: all non-essential business travel is to be avoided to reduce the possibility of contact with more people.
- Curtail travel and conferences and move to video calls: decrease travel and substitute the same with video / voice calls as much as possible.
- Mandatory disclosure: if you or any member from your residence travels to a place with a high incidence of virus, you are required to inform the office in case enhanced precautions are deemed necessary.
List of affected countries
How can you help?
- Practice ‘enhanced hygiene’
- Wash your hands often: ideally with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use sanitizers: use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, if soap and water are not available.
- Clean / sanitize each time: Please sanitize or wash your hands each time you enter the office. If you are receiving guests in the office, please request them to do the same. It is also crucial to sanitize your hands after using public transportation, before and after eating etc.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wipe down your phone: there is some evidence suggesting the virus may stick around for at least a few hours, if not more, on surfaces. You may also want to wipe your phone down on a regular basis.
- Avoid touching commonly used surfaces: Use your knuckles to touch light switches, elevator buttons, etc. Open doors with your closed fist or hip - do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and commercial doors.
- Use disinfectant wipes to wipe surfaces that you need to use, including cab car doors, seats in public transport, shopping carts etc.
- Practice prudent ‘social distancing’
- Avoid shaking hands where possible, but don’t forget to smile :)
- Avoid sharing cutlery and meals/drinks from the same set of plates/glasses etc
- Postpone/avoid large gatherings: minimizing close proximity interactions is a key defense against rapid spread of COVID-19. Maintain a distance of at least six feet from somebody who is visibly unwell.
- Discourage visitors to the office: substitute the same with video/voice calls as much as possible.
- Increased Vigilance
- In case you suspect cases of infection in the office, in our building, in the near vicinity or in the building shuttle services, please inform HR promptly, so that suitable safety measures may be initiated, as required.
- Please report any instances of inadequate housekeeping within the office premises, so that the matter can be discussed with the concerned team.
Remember, the single biggest defence against the spread of COVID-19 is keeping your hands clean and sanitized at all times and consciously avoiding touching your face. We want you to be safe and will do everything we can to ensure our second home is as safe as possible.
We appreciate your understanding and cooperation during this time and we will keep you informed of any new developments.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the coronavirus, please reach out to the HR team for assistance.
Covid 19: XYZ Business Continuity Plan (BCP) - 2
(XYZ Pvt. Ltd.)
It’s a virus, after all. No context is needed on it, we are all aware of its contagious and toxic nature. But as the virus threatens to go viral, we should not let the fear in us go viral. This note is made to address all our stakeholders that you are in the hands of experienced, trusted and vigilant management, who are taking steps as below to make sure that its people and business are safe and healthy. The principle that we follow is that three CRL items are important for us at this hour – Collections and Cost (C), Risk (R) and Liquidity (L) to preserve both personal and professional health.
We will be happy to take feedback and please make sure that they are e-mailed straight to the CEO, XYZ, who will respond, act and cascade its implementation down to the last employee at XYZ.
B. People - Health and Safety
The Business Continuity Plan for XYZ starts with our people, each of whom stays committed to the company as we are to them. We have focused on making sure that our people are safe, informed and equipped to ensure a limited long-term impact on the organization.
- Work from home: In Phase-1, all office staff traveling by public transport were put on Work from home. Further, in line with individual state governments’ directives and the SMT guidelines, subsequently, WFH has been announced for other staff across all locations and travel has been completely curtailed.
- Office set-up: Office premises have been well sanitized (and being re-sanitized in openings) and equipped with hand sanitizers, masks, etc. to ensure that a safe work environment is available for anyone using office premises for any urgent work.
- Proactive Communication: Active daily mailers (starting ABC March) from the CEO’s desk to employees and clients and from HR on precautions, safety measures, symptoms, in these testing times. This daily mailer will include
- Where India's heading in the pandemic (health news)
- What key people in India are saying (PM, ICMR, DCGI, MoHFW)
- Positive news from India (preferred) or global, max 5 lines (like China flattening, the vaccine being tested in Israel)
- Health check-up: Mandatory health check-up and reporting for any employees showing symptoms or history of foreign travel in the last 1 month or being in connection with people who have traveled or showing symptoms. The database has been fully prepared of all employees at XYZ who have potentially shown systems or come in direct/ indirect contact with people arousing suspicion.
- Support: All staff has been equipped with laptops supported by all applications on the cloud with VPN support enabling work from anywhere, with daily WFH check-in and check-outs enabled through tech.
C. Employee motivation
In times of crisis, the key is to stay motivated and united with collective ownership and avoid panic, especially in a set-up like ours as it has a lot of young people, who may not have seen turbulence of the kind that potentially faces us.
- No layoffs: No layoffs will be made because of the pandemic or expected business to go down because of it. We have made sure that contracted staff are also being paid in full.
- Buzzing: As we all practice social distancing, at XYZ, we shall continue to actively socialize distantly –
- Our Sunday blogs and monthly newsletters with star performers and updates will come out as a routine
- Team calls, Group chats, Whatsapp and Slack updates shall keep buzzing irrespective
- We will continue to publish our daily OPL scores in March and daily tracking across metrics (utilization, margins, deployment, collections) with the same rigor
- New Offers: All offers made across departments to be honored. None of the Management Trainee (MT) and internship offers to be revoked.
- MT joining: Though all joining to be deferred to 1st of July due to extreme caution for travels, however, as a sign of commitment, MTs would be paid ABC% of the CTC for the period of April-June. In this time, the MTs shall be given offline training and small assignments to work from home, with monthly updates that shall not be evaluative in nature due to the travel/ work restrictions.
- Interns: No intern offers shall be revoked and as a commitment from the institution, interns shall be paid ABC% of the CTC for the internship period along with short assignments to work from home at the time of this pandemic.
- Extra-curricular activities: More than ABC staff have been allocated activities to do with business (like system audits, cleaning up lead databases, creating training manuals, remote employee engagement and creating risk and monitoring scorecards) and health tracking during the pandemic.
D. Asset buildouts and quality
With the pandemic spreading across the world, there is an immediate need to reduce/ stop exposures across certain sectors, as well as keep a tight watch on the current exposures.
- Buildout this fiscal: Fiscal 2019-20 has been outstanding for us on all dimensions with a ~ABCx growth in book (now onto INR ABC), equity raise of INR ABC and debt raise of ABC, GNPAs ~ABC%, Leverage of ~ABCx, a pre-tax RoA of ~ABC%.
- Buildout in March 2020: March 2020 has been our best month across dimensions by a distance with disbursals tracking to ~INR ABC (ABC% more than our previous best month) and book build out tracking to ~INR ABC (ABC% more than our previous best month). Then, the virus hit.
- Stopped fresh unsecured disbursals till further notice: In line with the industry, we have stopped disbursals on new cases across all unsecured product lines including XYZ loans. Other quasi or fully secured products have also been stopped for now. Additionally, on the standalone fulfillment business, all new payment on delivery and LC orders have also been stopped. Even if docs have been signed or orders are there, we will still not be disbursing for the same. However, rotations for existing clients shall continue. This shall continue till the situation stabilizes.
- Tightening on underwriting when the situation stabilizes: Post this phase, once the industry revives, we shall adopt a cautious book building through the secured lending portfolio, while capping unsecured exposures in purchase financing and business loans. Post the drop in demand in FY20 in key sectors like auto, COVID-19 is resulting in both demand and supply constraints/ shocks in many sectors especially those dependent on imports which shall continue even after the pandemic is over. Manufacturing with significant export and outdoor retail businesses that focus on discretionary spending will see stress going forward, all of which have been incorporated in the Risk and Monitoring Plan.
- Product 1 – upper cap ticket size reduced to ABC and no exposures beyond 150 km of a hub office. Focus to be reduced in sectors like polymer, pharma (import or export dependencies), industrial chemicals and garment manufacturing with export dependencies.
- Product 2 – prior approval for lending above ABC from the central risk committee for effective capital deployment.
- Product 3 – Though we don’t fund many of these sectors, an implementing a blanket ‘NO’ to sectors including outdoor retail, hotels, hospitality, restaurants, an establishment in malls, travel, and ticketing, media and entertainment, financial consultants, PR agencies, manpower agencies, export-related enterprises (pharma, garments), enterprises with import dependencies (solar EPC for components).
- West and South zonal risk committees formed in addition to the Central Risk Committee.
- Portfolio monitoring on a sector and sub-sector level with daily reports (prior reports were weekly) and weekly discussions centrally, for proactive action. Especially any exposures to the above sectors will be specially reviewed under the Risk monitoring plan.
- Proactive communication has been sent (and refreshers to go every alternate day from the CEO’s office) to all ecosystem members (customers, suppliers, lenders and logistics partners) about measures being taken at the firm and reassuring them of our continues service. All SPOCs (Single Point of Contact) from amongst internal teams have subsequently called each ecosystem mailer and followed up on the communication. Exercise to be done daily.
Collections will stay the key focus area driven from the CEO’s office and driven by the CEO along with the SMT.
- We pride ourselves as great collectors and we intend to stand out in the industry during these tough times. PAR and not book deployment shall be the key metric tracked for a regional performance.
- Fault line assessment to figure out which clients, regions and sales staff are more at risk has been carried out (basis repayment, fulfillment usage, and interest payment data). All fault lines have been augmented with senior cross-functional team members.
- In the world of SMEs (particularly manufacturing and contracting), the bulk of the year-end work is done in the last quarter of the fiscal (i.e., JFM months) for which they will get paid in the next quarter (i.e., AMJ months). We should ensure that in the distribution of these proceeds, we stand as the first port of recall a debottleneck any payment procedural hurdles if needed.
- Data analysis and segmentation of customers across risk categories and mode of repayment (cheque, RTGS through internet banking and RTGS through a bank) and building collections plan for each category, e.g. incentivizing pre-payments for customers paying online; allocation of cheque collection responsibilities in advance.
- ABC% of sales and underwriting bandwidth and ABC% of operations bandwidth to focus on collections (customer calling and staying in touch) to identify early risks and proactive actions to double up with the field collections team. The core team responsible for collections has expanded from ABC to ABC.
- Clear mapping of ABC+ team leads and senior managers (with location, vehicle owned and neighborhood risk scare) who can manage to go for collections if required.
- Calling logs are to be moved to DPD (-30) for advance payments, currently, only the system manages the same and calling gets activated at DPD7.
As March-end, post the planned book deployment, the Company shall have ABC cash and cash equivalents.
- We will have enough liquidity to pay our debt obligations for ABC months without relying on collections from the field or raising new Debt. Our debt repayments are an average ABC per month.
- The Company has a healthy ALM as the asset maturity for ~ABC% of its asset base is ABC wherein the liabilities are spread over XYZ. Though we don’t intend to stop lines with existing customers, the nature of the product allows for cash receipts and significant run-down of the asset to generate cash, if needed.
- Our focus remains on closing all drawdowns for existing debt sanctions as the highest priority. Most of the sanctions on hold are negotiated sanctions put on hold for disbursement. These deferrals amounting to more than ABC will add back to the pipeline as soon as the situation stabilizes. An additional strong pipeline of ~INR ABC existed for the next ABC months which will be worked on and be updated to key stakeholders in April 2020.
- All our existing and potential lenders have been contacted by the corporate finance team 1-on-1 and each has promised unflinching support if needed.
- Our free cash sits in instruments that are insulated from market fluctuations.
- As the global scenario is unprecedented, it will be premature to put out any projections. We will manage liquidity to incoming cash to be raised through debt and profits of the company. As a thumb rule, the monthly deployment for the next 3-6 months will be the lower of ABC or the additional debt (net of repayments) raised in the previous months to fund growth. Hence following scenarios emerge for asset deployment for the next 3-6 months (tempered down basis the existing macro and health environment)
- Scenario 1: Additional growth of ABC per month funded by ABC quarterly debt raise (maintaining cash for ABC months of debt repayment without any collections). ABC% probability
- Scenario 2: Additional growth of ABC per month for Q1 and ABC per month for Q2 funded by ABC Q1 debt raise and ABC Q2 debt raise (maintaining ABC months of debt repayment anytime without any collections). ABC% probability.
- Scenario 3: Minimal debt raise in Q1; no growth for the next ABC months.
- The active inbound interest for equity investment for INR ABC primary round in the Company will be pursued only after the situation is under control. We expect to reinitiate these conversations only after April.
As revenue growth opportunities slow down in this environment, maintaining a check on employee costs and G&A in addition to the control on credit costs will be key to a healthy P&L.
- Fresh hiring: In line with the industry, no new hiring to be done until the situation is stabilized. Any replacement hiring to be done basis committee approval only after the pandemic stabilizes. A centralized committee of 7 members from the SMT has been formed for the purpose.
- Appraisals: In line with the industry we shall be deferring the appraisals to June end which may further get revised subject to market conditions.
- All office rents and maintenance costs shall be re-negotiated for the period of the outbreak as most of them shall remain closed or underutilized.
- The focus shall stay on reduction on other G&A items, which shall be monitored tightly by VP Commercial.
H. Data Access, security and back-up
- All our staff has access through laptops.
- Access: We are completely on cloud (across AWS and Google Cloud) in the India region with all the safety procedures in place. This is applicable to all XYZ applications - XYZ. This also helps us in ensuring that employees at XYZ don't need to log in to the office network for any work.
They can work from any location without any hassle.
- Data backup:
- We take daily backup of all databases. This backup is taken 2 times a day (4:30 am and 10:30 pm). In addition, backup is also taken before the deployment of every release.
- Daily rotation and backup of Log Files - both access and server logs are taken. All this data is stored securely on the cloud data buckets.
- In addition, machine images (AMI) are also created on the Cloud.
- BCP Testing: We perform Tech BCP testing on a monthly basis. Steps involved in testing are:
- Creating new servers from the backup images
- Restoring all data from the latest backups
- Starting applications on new servers
- Testing application using automated tests to verify the functionality.
These tests take less than 30 minutes for each application (XYZ)
- All testing infra terminated after completion of tests
- Cloud backups tested on a weekly basis
I. Stakeholder updates:
- We shall monitor the situation daily and keep our staff updated on the health of the organization and business.
- Regular updates shall be sent to all equity and debt partners as emailers. Proactive conversations with all equity and debt partners (and calls when requested).
- A revised budget to be prepared and shared in April 3rd week considering the Covid-19 impact
J. Conclusion and mood at the Company
We, at XYZ, believe that we have built a business model that is profitable, unique and highly defensible (because the assets can be run down if required) and hence liquidity generation (externally and internally) would come if required. Our business model is complemented by a strong operating model that has inbuilt systems, processes, and controls powered through both technology and manual vigilance. And lastly, our business and operating models are complimented by an organizational model in which each employee at XYZ adopts a “Company-First” ideology in all his actions and would be ready to strain down his last sinew for the firm.
At all levels in the firm, the ideology of “Collections first, Training and System Creation now and deployment last” has been implemented as a value. As the leadership team, we are committed to provide support and keep up the motivation while ensuring business continuity as a lender. We all stand united to deliver and survive gloriously with stories to tell. As the system creates new measures for efficiency as above, the firm will emerge stronger after the storm. For all storms go away. And like we did after the storms of Demonetization, GST, auto slow down, general economic slowdown and several NBFC defaults, we will emerge unscathed and stronger. And this is a virus after all.
Be safe, be healthy!
Legal Disclaimer: All information forming part of this document has been collated from independently verifiable/reputable sources, including the official website of the World Health Organization (www.who.int); however, Matrix assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein and for updating of information, and is not responsible for any errors or omissions in reporting or explanation. The information in this presentation is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and we encourage all stakeholders to confirm the same with other credible sources and review all information regarding any medical condition with the appropriate healthcare providers