In late January, Tushan Shanmugarajah, CEO and co-founder of Findmyfare.com, started looking at drops in revenue to markets in South-east Asia. Pondering this was “something like SARS”, that it’d be contained, it switched marketing and advertising strategies to Europe and the Center East.

In
February, it ran a marketing campaign with Mastercard selling India which was, at that
time, still open up for company.

“Then just about every
location received hit and now we are actually at zero revenues, actually damaging revenue,”
mentioned Tushan, talking to WiT from Colombo. “Our settlement to IATA was damaging
in February.”

Shareholders
then started contacting, inquiring how the corporation meant to endure. “They desired
a prepare,” mentioned Tushan, who returned from London to Sri Lanka in 2012 to begin
the nearby OTA.

On March
17, it closed its place of work and made everybody do the job from household. Fortunately, it experienced
been utilizing on-line platforms from a year back and the staff made the transition
smoothly. “In Sri Lanka, folks are still very used to doing work in workplaces and
some firms are struggling with remote do the job because they may perhaps not have established up
the important infrastructure or properly trained workers.”

Then it experienced
to obtain a way to reduce workers fees. It employs about eighty folks, 45 of whom are
journey consultants. Most of them experienced been hired very last year and properly trained in the
anticipation of healthy company in 2020.

“Since the
Covid-19 outbreak, all the journey firms globally are slicing positions. I was
also pressured to seem at the possibility of downsizing the staff to stretch the
survival time period in the present-day current market ailment. I felt seriously depressing to
fireplace folks at this substantially needed time, right here in Sri Lanka there is no unemployment
welfare,” mentioned Tushan.

“It seemed such a disgrace also to allow perfectly-properly trained workers go.”

Tushan doing work from household

Tushan went on LinkedIn to see if he could obtain different initiatives to conserve some positions. He designed this post, inquiring, “Are you on the lookout for more sources for the duration of this time to assist your company desire? We have 30+ perfectly-expert #purchaser_assistance_expert offered to do the job from household. Demand from customers for journey expert services has dropped because of to the #coronavirus #outbreak and believe that it will keep on being low for the up coming handful of months. I would like to investigate different options to place my staff in the substantially-needed sectors until the journey company return to normality.”

Inside a pair of hrs, he received a connect with from an on-line pharmacy, healthnet.lk, and by close of working day, he was on a connect with to finalise information to redeploy his staff to the pharmacy. “Their desire was so higher they couldn’t cope with desire and they needed 10 folks ideal away.”

Nowadays, 30 of his purchaser assistance staff has been redeployed to the on-line pharmacy as perfectly as a nearby pharmacy (Heathguard) with 21 branches, where by their purchaser requests are being handled by Findmyfare’s connect with centre. It is also doing work with a nearby health care provider assistance, ODOC.everyday living, to aid buyers with their on-line appointment scheduling.

“Travel consultants are seriously fantastic at purchaser
assistance. They know how to take care of complaints, how to empathise with buyers.
This is what is needed at this time when folks are sensation fearful in this
health care crisis,” mentioned Tushan.

“This is not about income, but about preserving positions
and also redeploying techniques to parts which require it to aid our nation via
this crisis.”

It’s allocated non-purchaser-struggling with teams on longterm initiatives. For instance, its finance staff is doing work on finance and do the job method automation, and leaders are undergoing leadership training courses. “It’s a fantastic time to do some understanding.”

The Findmyfare staff on Zoom – the company’s transition to remote do the job was easy specified it experienced established up the important infrastructure and training very last year

Aware that it may perhaps be a long highway ahead to
eventual recovery – an viewers poll performed at WiT Virtual this early morning at
the buyers session reckoned firms are going to require at least 12 months
of runway to endure – Tushan mentioned, “We are continually brainstorming on Zoom.
We do not want to make swift, erroneous conclusions when it will involve people’s life.
If it is additional than 6 months, then we have to obtain resourceful means to maintain folks
utilized.”

Note: If you have received a story to share about how your journey corporation has done anything various and resourceful to conserve positions, or pivot to interact with buyers at this point, please mail in your encounters. E-mail me

Featured graphic is of the journey consultants at Findmyfare.com