8th Floor, Express Trade Towers, Plot No. 15 & 16,Sector 16-A, Noida - 201301, India.
The Sugar industry, given its classification as an essential commodity, continued to get Government support during the lockdown period and, therefore, continued its operations unabated. Distilleries continued to operate at full capacity during the challenging lockdown period due to support from Oil Marketing Companies despite pruned fuel consumption. Our engineering facilities were also under lockdown as part of a nationwide plan since March 25, 2020. The Gears facility partially reopened after about 3 weeks and ramped up to normal strength by the 2nd week of May 2020. Likewise, the project sites of our Water Business were also operational by the middle of May 2020.
Led by our sustained thrust on continuous augmentation of our operational and cost efficiencies, we reacted with alacrity to revive our Engineering business when it resumed operations in mid-May 2020 after the nationwide lockdown. While our Sugar operations continued uninterrupted, demand remained under pressure for some time, and safety challenges necessitated a reorientation of our business approach even in this segment.
As India struggled to cope with shortage of various safety essentials for protection from COVID-19, we moved quickly to harness our distillery capacities to start production of hand sanitizers. Our hand sanitizers, branded as ‘GERMCARE’, is helping protect millions of Indians, as we continue to support the Government of India’s efforts to combat the pandemic.
Our responsiveness was also manifest in the speed with which we embraced a new level of digital and technological culture. Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 became our tools in our efforts to keep growth and performance on track in the difficult environment.
These timely initiatives translated into quick recovery across business segments post the lockdown period. Our Gears facility partially reopened after about 3 weeks of the lockdown, and by the second week of May 2020, we had successfully ramped up the operations to normal capacities. Our Water Business project sites had also become operational by mid-May.
Amid the deadly pandemic situation, we identified protection of our employees and the communities around which we operate as a key business priority. Within days of the outbreak, we had put in place a robust crisis response framework to ensure their safety. We strengthened our Emergency Response Systems to provide a safe environment to the people. We also enhanced the Safety Management Systems across our plants and workplaces to ensure safe and secure operations for our employees and the nearby communities.
All COVID safety protocols were strictly adhered to, across the value chain of our operations. At the same time, travel was limited and work-from-home was encouraged through digital support to our people. Awareness drives were extensively conducted to educate the people on measures to protect themselves and their families.
We also educate employees about how to protect themselves and their families by good hygiene, social distance, restricting travel, and avoiding large gatherings.