Over 30 states and union territories going into a complete lockdown simultaneously led to challenges such as labour shortages.
The disruptions caused to exports of agriculture commodities are now impacting the storage capacity of warehouses.
Working together, we emerged stronger
The pandemic caught all of us off-guard and disrupted our personal and professional lives. StarAgri’s response was agile and robust, with the entire organisation working as one unit. As a result, we have become stronger. Our teams have pivoted to a flexible mindset which enables them to make quick decisions and take actions to continue supporting all our stakeholders.
Business continuity in action
Farming and allied sectors were exempted from the lockdown, which allowed us to continue our operations. But understandably, people were anxious, so some of our activities did get hindered due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, StarAgri quickly developed plans for business continuity. We actioned them to maintain operational readiness to the maximum extent possible. Through close communication with local governments and health experts, we integrated their guidance into our operations. This enabled us to ensure the safety of our employees and meet our service commitments to farmers, traders, retailers and food processing companies.
Focus on employee well-being
As we switched to a WFH mode, we ensured that the management team was in constant touch with every employee. We kept the lines of communication open, shared best practices and maintained engagement to keep everyone emotionally healthy and motivated to do their best at work. We also regularly reiterated the importance of personal safety. Additionally, we undertook hygiene measures like sanitisation and disinfection of our work premises to protect the health of our employees and their loved ones.
Tech upgrades to serve stakeholders better
Remote work meant completing most of our tasks virtually. Information technology has always played a crucial role at StarAgri, and we further leveraged its power to automate our processes, connect with stakeholders and collaborate for our daily operations. We scaled our IT systems and provided our teams with the IT hardware and software they needed to ensure the continuity of operations. Our employees were quick to adapt to the changed processes and policies, remaining dedicated and continuing to deliver excellence.
Community contributions and lessons for the future
While we were grappling with the evolving circumstances and ensuring business continuity, we also participated in community relief programmes to lend a helping hand wherever possible. For example, we actively participated in Temasek Foundation’s work of distributing life-saving medical supplies across India.
Moving ahead, we plan to continue applying the lessons learnt from battling the pandemic, such as:
- Incorporating health and safety measures in our operational strategy and implementing them across our warehouses and offices
- Leveraging IT to integrate all farmers, processors, traders and suppliers, on a single platform and improve operations such as business development and collections
Our employees continue to remain committed to the tasks at hand, and StarAgri hopes to emerge as a more resilient and tight-knit organization on the other side of the pandemic.
Quote: “Protecting the health of our team members, ensuring business continuity and supporting stakeholders amid the pandemic was a trial by fire. Our strong and well-knit team is working together and remains committed to achieving our objectives.”