As we began the New Year, one thought the challenges of 2020 were behind us. Two made-in-India vaccines had started mass production, we had started the vaccination drives, COVID cases had dropped to all-time lows and life was sort of returning to the ‘new normal’. The Union Budget and the ambitious infrastructure announcements also added cheer to the economic scenario.
During April, especially over the last few weeks, COVID cases have seen an unusual resurgence across the country, with shortage of beds, ventilators, oxygen supply and such. We are heartbroken to see the devastation COVID has wrought all over India. It has taken a toll on many of us. A few of our near, dear, and loved ones have been affected and have failed to manage the pandemic.
We hear inspirational stories both at Company and at individual levels. We have put teams together to arrange for hospital beds, get essentials like ventilators, oxygen, convert spaces into COVID centres and we have been working in close coordination with the National and State Governments. Our HR and administration teams have gone out of their way to assist people in these extraordinary times.
Am deeply humbled and amazed at how many of YOU have responded to this situation. There are countless stories of people taking calls when near and dear ones in our own working environment and households have been affected. This is something that will remain etched in memory.
Most of you are also continuing to show your commitment, sincerity, and sense of purpose by doing what you can, either at the workplace, project sites, factories or from the places where you are, to provide the necessary services as required from an organisation’s point of view. This unfailing sense of purpose shown by all of you is really worth appreciating.
We have set up a COVID support group at each of the ICs and have a Task Force at the organisational level to support and help respond to the changes – please reach out to them in case of any assistance.
Am sure, as we go along, mankind will overcome this pandemic too. This is a round bend along the road and it will straighten itself out very soon.
Am sure all of you will also reflect and find the time and space within yourself to overcome these times.
Be brave, be safe. Take care.
My prayers are with all of you to get over this.
Let me begin by wishing you and your families the very best in these trying times. Stay safe, stay prudent and take every possible care of yourselves and your loved ones.
On behalf of the company, let me assure you that L&T is standing by its people in their hour of need. We have been publishing, almost on a daily basis, multiple health advisories to prevent the spread of COVID 19. Since the lockdown was announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, we have also been sending you communications on how you can be more productive as you Work From Home. These communications have been relayed to over 1,20,000 employees, 4,00,000 contract workers and their 12,00,000 family members.
We are also increasing vigilance at all our labour camps of project sites to ensure that hygiene, catering, waste management and preventive measures including social distancing is being rigorously maintained. Ambulances, doctors and medical facilities are accessible for workmen and employees at all our locations 24x7.
We have also constituted COVID 19 Response Teams (CRT) for our businesses. These teams comprise senior management team of the respective businesses. A Decision Response Team (DRT) has been tasked with monitoring all directives issued by the Central or State Governments or local bodies so that uniform policy decisions may be communicated to all of you.
Across the 21-day lock-down declared by the Government, I would urge you to maintain the rigour and discipline of staying at home. The ‘Lakshman Rekha’ which our Hon’ble Prime Minister has drawn across our thresholds is our lifeline to stay healthy.
It is up to us now to make these hours at home as productive as possible from an organizational and personal perspective. We should try to make every hour count. Don’t forget, in the connected world we live in today, your physical location is immaterial, and the PC is your virtual office. Many of you can continue doing much of what you have been doing in the office – in probably much more congenial surroundings!
You will also find it useful to visit our on-line portal – ATL Next – to enrich and augment your knowledge and skills. The portal provides you the opportunity to participate in the number of Webinars we have on offer. This will enable you to spend time productively and share your skills with others.
I am sure we all have with us a little list of things we would love to learn and do – if only ‘we had the time’. Well, the time is here now. Off the top of my head, try techniques to bust stress – Yoga or meditation, or simply reach for a good book.
As they say – tough times don’t last forever, tough people do. I am confident that we will get past this crisis, and re-emerge stronger for having overcome one of the gravest crisis of our lives.
Wish you all the best again.
We are facing a challenge that we have never seen before. We have never experienced the spread of a pandemic like COVID-19 that has already spread across the globe.
How we respond to this challenge is a test of our character and who we really are.
In every crisis, there is an opportunity.
Resilience, discipline and at the same time, imagination, innovative ability have to be played out. Most important is compassion for others, especially the elderly who seem to be more vulnerable, taking care of each other including our workforce, smaller vendors, sub-contractors and others who are dependent on our ecosystem.
Determination to do one’s duty against all odds is the stuff that L&T-ites are made of and I am sure in the testing times ahead, we will be capable of taking up these challenges and will have the opportunity to demonstrate our mettle.
We should be opening our minds to new learnings. The technology that has been implanted in many of our projects should come to the fore now. Using heat sensing cameras to detect people with illness, looking at gatherings, people spitting, and such should be traced and appropriately counselled.
Using the labour app (WISA) to inform on the nature of Corona Virus, its symptoms, testing facilities available locally as well as preventive measures can be propagated and that is being done in English, Hindi and other vernacular languages.
Many guidelines have been issued both to offices and separately to sites on multiple measures to be carried out to safeguard and protect oneself. The same should also be propagated to our sub-contractors and other concerned in our ecosystem so that we act like responsible citizens.
As L&T, we play an important role in the country’s manufacturing and infrastructure economy. We also have a serious role to play from an IT services point of view as we maintain certain crucial Infrastructure and facilities for our clients that are essential services. We therefore have a responsibility towards all our stakeholders that we do our utmost to ensure business as usual in these unusual times.Whether we work from offices, sites or home, it should be normal. Extensive use of mobiles, laptops are the forms of communication to be resorted to without disturbing the atmosphere around us and ensure that we continue with our work as is required with necessary inputs.
Our Hon’ble Prime Minister while addressing the nation on Thursday urged us to act with resolve and restraint. We should look at this crisis with calm eyes of logic and reason and do our best. How we deal with this collectively and collaboratively will be the way as we also look to take ourselves forward.
As Maharashtra is maximum affected, the government has taken certain steps including closing of offices and as duty-bound, we have taken certain decisions to abide and cooperate.
A pandemic crisis of such magnitude and form has never occurred before. It has disrupted thinking, action along with people’s movement, gatherings, supply chain, interaction, travel and such from a business point of view.
There is a deep learning in all this for us. We now have the time due to restrictive work environment to think of these things and involve in a thought process of finding ingenious and different ways of carrying out the work through other forms of communication including use of technology.
We employ a huge amount of contract labour who are totally dependent on us for their daily livelihood. It is important for us to protect them at this point of time from the vagaries of work and to ensure that daily needs are provided at both, the essential worksites and their place of stay.
Extra vigil should be put across the labor camps of the project sites to ensure that proper hygiene, food, removal of waste, cleanliness including social distancing is maintained and managed.
I am sure that all of us will keep ourselves informed about the Do’s & Don’ts and implement what we know. We should also spread our knowledge to others and see that we all live up to our social and moral responsibilities.
In conjunction with Dr. K J Kamat’s video message on Coronavirus protection, efforts like frequently washing your hands with soap based solutions, sanitizers and such should be practiced. Please avoid big gatherings, meetings and try same efforts through bridge calls or video-conferences.
I hope and pray that each one of you and your loved ones take care and safeguard your health. Hopefully, the world scientific community will come out with means to provide a vaccine quickly to take care of this pandemic.
I am confident that by end of all this, L&T will emerge safer, stronger and more successful.