work from home

How these 23 entrepreneurs are adapting to COVID19 and embracing change

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Covid19 has been tough for everybody. Be it the local grocer, the neighborhood plumber or the startup whose services you had just discovered, everyone has been impacted by this crisis. Never have we dealt with a situation as unique like this in our lifetime. But as the old adage goes “The show must go on”.

Entrepreneurs all around the world are adapting to these changes and coming up with ideas to keep the work going. We at Bangalore Insider got in touch with a lot of them to understand the changes they are employing for their companies. This is the time when we can learn from one another and what better way to learn than by asking the people who are actually doing it.

Here are the excerpts:

Azaan Sait
Founder – The Hub Bengaluru

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

Aligning our schedules has definitely been one thing we can improve on. It’s important to have that sense of a team when we are all working on projects at the same time! It’s easy to assign and complete work in units of tasks but much more meaningful when we collaborate and solve problems together!

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

It’s been a journey learning new ways to connect and collaborate online and unlearning old ways of doing things!

Sanjay Jagdid
Open Innovations Lab

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

In this difficult time what is most required is discipline and patience.so there are certain change in daily routine to inculcate meditation, light exercise, yoga or some positive entertainment time to improvise efficiency don’t deal this with regular office routine otherwise it would become quiose.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

I believe entrepreneurs are most adaptive person, because we are having a always ready mindset thanks to all uncertain challenges in roller coaster life of startup journey. So yes there numerous changes in daily routine due to lockdown but the Target is one to get the traction or things to be done. Patience and discipline is major take away from this challenging time. I do agree we should inculcate this kind of activity plans to get ready with these kind of uncertain challenges.


Looking to make your business plan?
Download the initial pitch decks of companies like AirBnb, YouTube, Buzzfeed.


Varun Krishnan –
FoneArena India

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

I used to travel very often before and it used to have an impact on my productivity and personal life too. Trying to eat more healthy, get the right amount of sleep or not over work if possible.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

It has been working fine. Being an internet company we have tried WFH even during normal times and i think it will become the norm going forward. Companies must nurture qualities like self-discipline, remote team building and save on commute and other resources.

Prashanth P Prabhu –
Thinking Code

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

The biggest change has to be with how things are consumed (or rather how much). I find that even as expenses have come down over the last month, quality of life has not. I used to believe that you need to spend to be happy but this pandemic has shown that’s not necessarily true. I am now more aware of my spend not necessarily with respect to the economics of it but just because I do not really have a need for it. The human cost of the pandemic has been enormous. Nearly 165000 deaths and counting. The least we can do is to be more mindful and aware of how each of us is connected on this planet we call earth.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

As a startup, we have always been used to working from home. We have about 20% of the workforce permanently working remotely. The difference this time has been the scale of it. 20% is not the same as 100%. There were challenges and as expected hardships but I feel that the team has fallen into a remote work rhythm now. It’s too early to tell but if we can sustain this model without a drop in throughput we could be open to making some of these choices more permanent. There are obvious advantages as well. Lesser time lost in travel especially in a city like Bangalore, cleaner and greener – fewer vehicles on the roads. 

Kamal Karanth –
Xpheno, a specialist staffing company

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

I am missing meeting my colleagues, Family, Friends and Relatives. Being a sales guy I always liked to go out and meet people. I am a movie-buff and loved going to theatres. But I guess Netflix and prime have filled the entertainment void. However the relationship factor with people is a big missing link for me. I miss the excitement of talking to people in person and having a laugh. I am not sure I am dealing with it well enough. I end up working longer hours, there are more fights at home than usual as we see each other more often. I used to Blog everyday and shoot Vlogs every week on workplace dynamics. Somehow I have lost that touch or maybe motivation to write and shoot. Maybe there aren’t enough experiences to relate to people which used to make me write. Honestly, I am struggling to be productive.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

Many of my team members claim to be productive and the dash boards support their claim. However, there has been hardly any work for the recruitment Industry and its difficult to comment if we will be optimally productive if we had normal work load. However, I think there are many non-contact roles in our industry which can be benefitted by remote work. If we master equal productivity during normal times then we can see more women getting back to work which means we will really have a diverse workforce. I think technology industry which guzzles much of real estate and causes traffic mayhem should incorporate this even during normal times


Looking to make your business plan?
Download the initial pitch decks of companies like AirBnb, YouTube, Buzzfeed.


Vikash Kumar Banerjee –
BikersHighway.in

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

Apart from work from home, I’m encouraging everyone including myself to opt for online crash courses and add something to skills. Doing some mentoring sessions with other startups, understanding each other better through knowledge sharing. Covid has given a huge lift to online learning and my kids are enjoying it.The ritual of washing hands, sanitizing things before use, that started as a compulsion is becoming a habit. We’ve become more hygiene concious. Digital life has become a detox. Watching shows, movies online for hours have become popular at my home these days. Speaking to old friends and family members is adding up value to better understanding of life.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

Our business is based out of each day sales, so we are not talking about the business at this moment but we are certainly talking about how we could do better with adding up more expertise during this lock down is more important. Helping each other to avoid mental breakdown is crucial at this point of time. We would incorporate a culture to avoid mental break down though engaging in skills development.

Div Rakesh –
Zerogons Softwares India Pvt Ltd

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

Major change is the work schedule. It has changed because you keep running into errands at home. I have tried to fix slots where I focus only on work and let other aspects of Work from Home not disturb me. Other than these slots, am flexible with my schedule.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

I have always been a strong believer of Work from home, specially for smaller organizations. As per my philosphy, teams can meet twice a week and synchronize so that they can work remotely for rest of the week. With large organization, it becomes difficult because the nature of issues are much more for them.

Sai Krishna –
Scapic

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

Not one, but three Crises While the world at large feels the weight in the midst of the Covid crisis, in the retail & commerce space, we deal with the overlap of not one but three crises. The three crises are (1) a health crisis (Covid-19) that has generated a (2) financial crisis, each of which has generated massive societal disruption which will generate a (3) mental health crisis for us all operating our businesses. In addition, these are both localized (in a community), at a state level, a national level, and a global level. I write this from a country where nearly 2 billion people are under a nation-wide lock-down and curfew. our partners are across the world spanning some of the worst hit regions such as Madrid, New York and London. This is not just going to “be over.” That’s magical thinking. There will be many different phases of this, but if you prepare for a long-term experience, you’ll be in a much healthier place.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

Businesses thrive on clarity: This shut down was sudden by all yardsticks. In-person meetings couldn’t happen. “Done deal” things were no longer done deals. Term sheets for startups were being rescinded and almost everybody made sure to revisit what force majeure meant. The north star is sales, and just sales: When everything is skittish, rely on sales to do the stabilizing. We’re seeing some companies and customers set up entire response teams to help further drive sales. The best ones are using this opportunity to seize the moment to build relationships with strategic accounts and win new customer segments. Most effectively though, we’re seeing customers make it easy to digitally discover “See-Try-Buy” products online and to enable their distributors to offer the same experience to drive sales too. Things are tight: This is not an easy time for most businesses, especially if you have a retail storefront. For some, it might make sense to lower marketing costs. For others, it means getting more out of the resources you have like equipping sales with better technology and to sell remotely. We know every bit counts right now and over the next week, and we got down to trying to build something out to help every business that can do with an extra pair of hands. In summary, even post the lockdown a few things will remain: – Focusing on biz model early on in the startups lifecycle (profits > revenues > vanity)

Aman Jain –
Zav Foundation

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

Well I now get more time for everyday workout (yoga and steps), explore cooking and baking, help mom/ wife with cleaning up the house, learn new skills like data analytics through MOOCs.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

Infact WFH is more work, which is good in a way – we end up being more productive. being in HR we have to set an example and we see that working.

Omjee Mishra –
Etongate Marketing Pvt Ltd

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

We are into software industry and we just need laptop and Internet and we can deal with the client digitally so I think work from home is the best option And we are Hustle free with Wasting of time in traffic 2-4 Hours.But one thing I wanna say that You can utilize this lock down period very well as techie…..like we can upgrade our knowledge digitally in the time where we spend in traffic and miscellaneous things.so I can say there won’t be any impact in our working lifestyle.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

Actually some day we can say we will have one thing for our team after getting finished with lock down we can offer to all the employee Work from home at least day in a week from that there will be some saving of Miscellaneous expanse and they will also work tension free

Karrthik Shettyy –
InfoCognitio

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

It’s a reset button for us. While the pandemic has brought its set of challenges, for us, it’s been a good readjustment of sorts. Fitness, eating home-cooked food, making time for hobbies and interests, taking online courses, and more importantly, spending quality time around family members has been a big plus.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

We were always big on work-from-home, and this is not new. In fact, InfoCognitio has always encouraged people to work from wherever they find comfortable. This will be an ongoing practice for us, regardless of the situation.

Vedkiran K R –
Whitecaps International School of Pastry

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

It was a hectic years being in business, this had given a brake mentality and physically. How ever I feel that this actually led to something good. New ideas have made its ways for the business and have to implement it as the economy starts.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

I am kind of a person who don’t believe in work from home. Yes there is lot of things companies can adopt and show there strengths towards the world crisis. Getting in to online platforms is one the thing.

Gaurav Agarwal –
SMVA Consultants

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

We ,as Indians,where majority of our population comes from a humble background are more resilient compared to any other nation or demographics.Most of us have always been on Essentials ONLY Lifestyle,hence,for many of us , the Lifestyle doesn’t change way too much,even of it does,we are very quick to adapt the same.Same is the case with SMVA Family.We have adapted to the latest changes and trying to be more productive considering the latest changes / crisis.Hope we all come out as a WINNER.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

It is a new experiment. Initial days were quite tough,However,we are ALL getting accustomed to the Remote working Model.Seems this is the NEW NORMAL for 2020 and onwards.Businesses with Asset Light model can certainly incorporate the same during normal times too.The Tata Group of companies, TCS is already leading by example.They have already released a Press Article , that they are sifting the Work culture to WFH Mode , and will tend to practise the maximum Remote Working pattern in the upcoming years

Amit Arora –
Finnable Credit Pvt Ltd

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

Major supply chain disruptions, Sharmila my wife connected farmers directly with the community where we live.. a complete win win. Kids studying from home, fitness online and so on.. it’s a new normal..

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

I think it will vary by industry but with 25 to 50% of capacity at work and remaining WFH, companies will be able to achieve 100% productivity. So commercial real estate will be under pressure..

Nishant H –
Immortal Dreamz Solutions Pvt Ltd

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

It’s tough, but, we have to accept it and adapt. Home cannot be converted to an office, there are challenges, but, one has to balance it pretty well.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

Well! Our Verticals mostly work on digital platforms, so, we were doing well remotely as well, no major shift of gears, but yes, adapting most of the hours withiin one ecosystem has took some time, at present we are 90% good. Adapting wfh depends on the kind of domain and working environment, there are sectors that cannot and then there are few that can go 100%wfh.

Seema Harsha –
Indiassetz

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

  • a well planned schedule for yoga & meditation >lots of home cooked food >lots of reading
  • more family time
  • ideating a lot of work to execute once work opens up
  • team bonding activities and a lot of long conversations with my core team

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

WFH is good during these times which keeps all of us connected and used to keep the work running and preparing things when the office opens up. however this cannot replace the regular office workings. Hence no we cannot be doing WFH post the covid -19 situation.

Ritika Kothari –
Casa Quirky & House of Ritika

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

I am liking this space as I get more time with my pet ,I realised that I am a decent cook and creativity increases when you are engaged in daily activities.I have been able to schedule the day in such a way that it’s very productive and keeps me Creatively engaged. I stick to my routine and enjoy my weekends. I have seen myself become more productive . Running two creative start-ups can be exhausting- but since the travel time is zero and the meetings are digital- it’s made a huge difference.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

Following a routine is the most important thing. We are kind of liking this setup ,even though coordination has increased – we still manage to finish a lot of work . We have two brands and the same team works on both the creative start-ups. We used to work from a co working space and now I feel working from home has increased productivity of my teammates. We are all super responsible,yet can work at our own pace and time frame . I am definitely considering this to cut the crazy travel in Mumbai traffic. Work from home and meeting once a week can be incorporated even during normal times

Ramkrishna Shirhatti –
Ren Invent Solar Power

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

  • As cooks were not allowed to enter the society premises, had to enter kitchen which is not at all I am used to and even washing utensils. Initial days was struggling but later on youtube videos helped me to come up with some simple dishes. Learned washing utensils as part of on-going process as time passed.
  • Due to absence of maids and caretaker had to do baby sitting at times. I used to spend most of my time in office in general, around 10-12 hours and this made me highly inexperienced in handling my sweet girl who is 1 year old now. Slowly learned the art of baby sitting by experience and spending time, online nursery rhymes helped me a lot in keeping them engaged.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

Since we are a service oriented export based organization, WFH has been working quite smoothly for us. We faced issues initially with team co-ordination for the ongoing projects and even new business development tasks. But slowly we used video app and others to make sure all were in same page. We did regular team calls in morning and evenings too to make sure we achieve daily activity schedule. Being in a service industry, we always made sure that communication with client is always up to the mark. Yes I had always believe that WFH need to be encouraged specially in big cities where at times traffic at peak hours is a major hurdle, parking issues, people spending their hours of time commuting etc. For service oriented organization, backend operations can be managed with WFH options, many IT companies are doing it since long. As we all know COVID is not going to leave us so soon, crowd need to be avoided by all means and WFH is one of the steps which companies can look at. Systems can be given with remote access to information and regular communication with team can make the job easy.

Shaheen Madraswala –
Leamigo Pvt Ltd.

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

DEALING WITH THE SCROUNGE the COVID-19 virus has ravaged the globe ; humanity and its economies suffer. The virus has sent a collective shiver down the world’s back as the tiny micro organism threatens and topple some of the mightiest giants the world over.Businesses are struggling and staggering . Reports of failing businesses and closures of companies flood the world .There are reports of losses mounting to billions of dollars and employee lay offs in thousands, since the virus first appeared in China.All investments are looking at a looming downside in the next two quarters .There are reports of declining venture capital and the startup industry is looking at a very dismal future ,amid news of startup companies now beginning to sell their stakes at discounts!!Startups that don’t have investors to back them and were relying on internal cash flow are facing serious problems.. The travel industry is the worst hit as the world has gone into its shell. The complete lockdown in many countries and a ban on traveling has had a crippling effect.As the news of many airlines downsizing their staff and many completely shutting shop creates ripples across the globe there are reports of businesses using their resources to create opportunities for themselves. Through this negativity and hopelessness there are reasons to remain optimistic. Taking lessons from history, there are many success stories that have emerged from recessions.Many travel businesses across Europe have already changed their game plans and are offering virtual sightseeing tours to clients across the globe… This time when the world is in limbo, is an opportunity that has never been affordable or available before. Startup’s have started using this slack period to internalize productivity.It is a window to look inwards and iron out the crinkles that led to losses. I, Shaheen Madraswala -Founder/Director of Leamigo alongwith my passionate team mates Nazeeb Ahmad Khalid Ali And Sumit Saluja are striving to survive and surface from this plague stronger and smarter. Battling on , we have remained focused on using every opportunity… favourable or unfavourable. Regular huddles created through the plethora of apps providing connectivity and communication we are committed to enhancing and improving ourselves. Regular zoom calls, meetings and updates via normal calls and emails are being scheduled .

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?

Apart from this,Our content team at Leamigo is busy curating the content that was already available on our portal at the same time integrating our new business ideas. They are creating more activities and locations to choose from as in the present scenario we have decided to create travel options in indigenous locales .This in changed focus on domestic travel has given our operations team to create new strategies. They are contacting and contracting new vendors and suppliers to support our changing needs.Creating liaisons and partnerships within the brotherhood of the domestic travel industry lets us remain optimistic, as positivity is the forte of the travel world . The tech team is the busiest as we were already in the transition to build a B2B agent dashboard.This dashboard is the harbinger of good news to all the technology strapped agents and provides a single platform from which thousands can operate and flourish.Our portal helps local agents to get connected to millions of clients worldwide through a single interface. It is an amazing opportunity for us at Leamigo as now we can book activities in the remotest destinations in a synchronised manner; helping us achieve our business mantra of hassle free travel. We are also helping our suppliers and agents to bring latest technology on their current system. Staying afloat is the need of the hour as the present situation remains shrouded amid speculation of a possible vaccine to end the pandemic.Humanity has always persevered through adversity. It’s said that the darkest hour is just before dawn. The world in the lockdown is Changing and Healing and so are we at Leamigo.

Selvin Arockia & Ujval Shankar –
TeamWorks Academy

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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

To be honest, initially, during the early phase of Covid-19 and the first few weeks of the lockdown, we at TeamWorks were almost shattered. Since team building is a people oriented activity with high contact among individuals, we thought it is the end of the world. And with the extent of this pandemic across the globe, it would surely take many months for people and organizations to start team building activities again. However, at TeamWorks, we believe that being resilient and tough are the two qualities that every entrepreneur must have. So, instead of letting the initial fear and anxiety take over, we started afresh by exploring team building and team bonding activities online, through digital platforms. And when you have the determination, even the Divine supports you. And, lo and behold….within a few days of exploring and designing online team building games and experiential learning activities, we got a call from a client (a real estate networking organisation) and we did a hugely successful team building event for over 100 members of their network, each one of them participating from home. This event was such a huge success that even we were surprised. The president of the organisation gave us a stupendous testimonial and thanked us profusely. This was a turning point for us, and when we got feedback from most participants that this event made them very happy. They were gripped by fear and anxiety about recession he real estate sector, but after this event, it was as if they saw a light at the end of the tunnel. This initial online team building event was the turning point for us. After that, we became unstoppable and now many client requests are pouring in for more of such online team bonding events. We feel it is the need of the hour, and motivated and upbeat teams will be the biggest success factor for organisational success in these challenging times. From TeamWorks, we would like to give the following advice to other small and medium entrepreneurs. “Do not be disheartened if your business is at a standstill. Be innovative – find alternatives that will meet customers needs in this changed environment. There is always scope for business in the most dire circumstances. Remember, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” We are now ready to launch a whole suite of online team building games and activities and we think this is the way of the future. This may be the new normal in team building and experiential learning.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?


As mentioned earlier, we have launched a portfolio of team building offerings called “Teaming from Home”. And this is keeping us so busy. While work at home has also increased and we are helping out with chores at home, however, our work makes us feel that although we are working from home, yet we are so connected to our clients, our participants, our families and to the whole world in general. Companies can surely incorporate even during normal times and as one of our clients mentioned “We are not socially distant, we are only physically distant. In fact, we are socially more connected and through such work from home team building activities, we can build strong connects across the organization and across stakeholders, irrespective of geographical location and culture”

Mansi Gupta,
Founder and CEO, Tjori
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Everything is in lock down. What are the major lifestyle changes that you have encountered apart from work from home? How are you dealing with it?

The biggest change I have seen for myself is the idea to live a more structured life and though this may sound strange to so many people, the factors of uncertainties have reduced, like I now don’t waste time travelling and I can devote that extra time to work and my baby. The food time and general health have improved because now our day is more organised. The general days would also be pretty much the same but something or other would become more trivial than having lunch and we would skip it. The idea for a work from home might have seemed inefficient in the beginning but now it has actually brought great lifestyle changes. The lockdown has made business slow but new changes that we have made to help us survive this is the best way we are dealing with it.

How has work from home been working for you and your team? Do you think this can be something that companies can incorporate even during normal times?


Work from home was a concept we had in our company policies even before the lockdown. The teams and individual work that can be coordinated between people has been smooth with tools like slack and zoom, a daily update, a video conference when needed and tons of messages that help to keep work moving smoothly. Work from home is a concept that works for most of the teams except the operations team and that has been the biggest hurdle through these times. An e-commerce company like ours needs our operations to be strong to help deliver products to our customers and keep them happy so that the business can function with a 100% efficiency.

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