Mr. Ar Rm Arun, Chairman, Valingro Group
addressed Valingro Group Employees in the background of the COVID-19
pandemic and the associated Lockdown. The Conference was organized by
VCSC (Valingro Cultural & Sports Committee). All Business Heads,
Functional Heads, Key Employees & VCSC members of the Valingro Group
participated in the Conference held on Apr 17, 2020.
During his introduction, Mr. Arun appreciated the VCSC Members & the
Participants who performed the Group Chanting that was organized by VCSC
earlier this month. This was conducted for global safety and global
While including viewpoints that Valingro Members earlier
shared, Mr. Arun's address was as follows :
Recounting these globally challenging times : The extent of
destruction has been enormous, thousands of lives have been lost and we
are not sure when it will really end. At first the epicenter was China,
then it moved to Italy, now it has affected the US significantly and not
sure at all what’s next. Certainly caused tremendous amount of
uncertainly world over. We must appreciate the good & tiring work done
by the healthcare workers & law enforcement Officers in the front-line
during these trying times.
While looking at the past 5 months of Corona, the tiny virus : the sky
is the same, the sun is the same, the moon is the same, the sea, the
wind, the mountains, the forests, all animals are in the same state as
before ; however, man’s position has changed so dramatically - man was
dancing so much yesterday, being selfish, thinking only about himself,
not having concern for others - but today the same man is scared &
afraid. With tomorrow for man being uncertain, nature is unaffected and
if at all, only in a better state due to drastic reduction of man’s
tormenting - with no cars on the road, no ships in the sea, no flights
in the air. Nature has made us realize that we’re in this world only
temporarily and have to take care of nature. We have to nurture nature
and safeguard it for future generations.
This is also a good time to realize that being selfish will only impact
us further - we have to start having more concern for each other, as
well as a society. Life is not about money, success is not about money -
life & success are however all about appreciating what we have,
safeguarding it, growing it in the best possible way and passing it onto
the well-trained hands of the next generation.
While we may think that we’ve had to be locked up in our houses for 3
weeks, perhaps 40 days, maybe more, we must remember Nelson Mandela -
the late-President of South Africa. For no fault of his, he was
imprisoned in isolation for 27 years without Family, luxuries,
conveniences, phone & Internet - he just had belief, hope & vision. On
his release, he came out stronger, won the election and ruled the
country, creating history that’s spoken even today. We can certainly
look up to this and perhaps more.
We have all been restrained at home and must feel locked up. However,
there are still so many positive takeaways. We may be forced to stay at
home, but people are figuring out various ways of keeping busy ;
completing unfinished works, learning something new, spending time with
Family, keeping in touch with friends, etc. In a way this has been an
opportunity to utilize available time effectively.
The World Economy : No Country has been spared by this tiny
virus. Companies are in lockdown with reduced or no business & are
reducing expenses wherever they can, in order to survive. Governments
have announced support to enable employment and ensure continuity. While
there has been destruction globally, there’s also been people coming
together and Government support flowing thru. Its also good to see signs
of the curve flattening out, and Governments starting to discuss
reopening in full from early May onwards.
India’s scenario : Incidents have been gradually increasing here also.
The despairing impact on migrant workers is saddening. I am glad that
our Governments are taking action to support them.
This lockdown has created a negative impact for all Companies in India.
Every Company will also be facing extremely tight times for the near
future - but Companies that are able to make the required decisions will
certainly do well. Important to reduce costs wherever possible, grab
opportunities that will certainly present itself and be disciplined in
Tamil Nadu scenario : Numbers have been increasing in the recent
few weeks in Chennai and other parts of the State, but its not high
compared to the rest of the World. Glad to know that the State
Government has taken proactive measures, running awareness campaigns,
increasing testing and readying hospitals across the State.
While we are seeing positivity of the pandemic retreating, please
however continue to be safe by following the required precautions -
Social distancing of 6-feet, cover nose-mouth when sneezing-coughing,
don’t touch your face without washing hands, wash hands as often as you
can, sanitize any items coming into your house or office.
What does it mean for our Companies : While we are troubled by
the number of casualties globally as well as within India, I’m glad that
people in our companies have been safe; we continue to hope & pray for
all. Each of you certainly would have had to go thru a tight situation
just like everybody else ; we empathize with you and appreciate your
efforts in sustaining during this period, just as we appreciate your
contributions to our companies over the decades.
We should be spending only on necessities ; have to be either
eliminating luxuries or drastically reducing it. This is not something
affecting just us, but it is also impacting & relevant to each person in
the entire world.
In-spite of having faced few tough years across our Companies earlier,
we have since then been on an upward mark - its unfortunate that we now
have to get into this current situation.
We are thankful that some of our Companies had secured projects keeping
most of their Teams quite busy, being well executed by working-from-home
and not necessitated going to Office. Few of our other entities have had
zero earnings during this time as either that BU or entire Company has
to necessarily be in their Offices to execute orders. Irrespective of
what we have to face, our experience with many past challenges & us
overcoming each of them, will guide us to sustain our business ; we will
be continuing to put in the required efforts as well. Challenges have
made us more responsible. Another important factor about us as you
already know, is that we will never give up our goals or quit.
All of you know the importance we give to Thirukural within our
companies - I would like to quote Kural #489 which talks about rare
opportunities and that we should raise our working levels to capture
such opportunities. Situations like what we face currently will
certainly give rise to such rare opportunities ; at that point, we
should not say its not possible, or we don’t have this or don’t have
that - we should raise our working and make it possible.
Companies like ours will encounter good opportunities in the time to
come. This is considering that larger companies having high costs will
now want to reduce costs, hence smaller & stable companies like ours
that can well deliver, can capture these opportunities ; we can also
hire more talent in the time to come.
Our Business Heads & Management
Teams have been advised to proactively plan our business, make smart
expenses and move aggressively after lockdown. I’ve also advised them to
look into creating new Business Units to identify essentials businesses
that can uphold our overall business during trying times as well.
Going forward : You are
encouraged to have a good discipline at home - this period of chaos is a
perfect time to practice discipline in anything we do whether work
habits / eating / exercise / sleeping. It is important to stay safe for
the sake of our Family as well as our work ; we have to deal with this
downtime by being safe, however locked-up it may feel like. It will be a
difficult few months, but we have to stand up to the challenge and
overcome it by working together and being ready to grab the opportunity.
Just like the story of Laughing-Buddha, while we carry our bag of
burdens, we should be able to handle life wearing a good smile on our
faces, not letting our burdens out-weigh us as they may not be seen as
burdens in the long run, and we should go about executing our duties in
the most effective way possible.
In closing : I look forward to talking to you again, when the
situation improves. Please be supportive of all healthcare workers, law
enforcement officers & sanitation workers who are in the front-line. It
is important for each of us to stay safe and somehow sustain this
difficult situation. There will surely be brighter times ahead of us.
I would once again like to thank VCSC and encourage them to continue
their good efforts. Please stay safe - yourself as well as every one of
your Family Members. Thank you again for participating in today’s
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