COVID-19 Has Hit The Whole World Like A Tornado: Varun Pahwa, President, DRI – Pahwa Group

I Mon Apr 13 2020

According to you, what would be the changes that can take place post this pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the whole world like a tornado. It is going to be a long battle, the world is changing, and all of us have to get out of our comfort zones. We have to learn to work under stressed conditions and be innovative and aggressive, using this time to plan and be ready to execute from Day 1. As each day unfolds, we have to be ready to deal with almost continuously changing scenarios.

We are sure the government is also working on various parameters to have a more in-depth policy. We are just hoping that things ease out soon and we can resume our operations. We have a lot to catch up on; the whole country has lost this time and we may possibly lose more time as the country tries its best to combat this virus. We have to be pragmatic with our plans and be prepared to hit the ground running.

DRI products and how can they help in the fight against COVID-19?

DRI provides advanced environmental control solutions. DRI has always been at the forefront of desiccant based technologies for energy recovery, IAQ, fresh air treatment, evaporative cooling, humidification, RH control and clean air to provide innovative air solutions. One of our product portfolios caters to the hospitals and we often do special air handling units that are required in hospitals. We are getting many requests to produce special air handling units for various temporary hospitals that are coming up in different parts of the world; however, due to the lockdown, we are unable to support our customers. Even ready goods can’t be shipped.

We also produce Desiccant rotors which are the heart of dehumidification systems. Dehumidification equipment is a necessity for producing medicine. These are all part of the supply chain of essential products.

As a leader in the organization, what role are you playing for keeping employees positive and hopeful?

It is important to foster a culture of openness and trust within an organization. We have always worked to ensure that our employees feel they are able to reach out for help as and when needed. It is also equally important to promote open dialogue within the organization and encourage a culture of trust and support. In this time of lockdown, we are ensuring everyone is paid on time so that our employees do not have to worry about this. The need of the hour is to keep the morale high of our workforce. The Leadership team as well as the HODs are leading from the front and are in touch with employees ensuring each employee is gainfully occupied with work. A lot of training is being organized. Fortunately, all our employees are positive in their attitude and striving to be fully productive in these times.

Environment-friendly solutions are integral for sustainability, how are you contributing to this?

DRI provides innovative air solutions for Indoor Air Quality and environmental control services. Centralized systems introduce fresh air and throw out stale exhaust air, therefore the chances of bacteria and other germs spreading or multiplying are greatly reduced. DRI’s green products help to optimize the energy performance of the air conditioning systems. This result is a reduction of installed tonnage, reduction in utility bills for the product’s entire lifecycle, enhanced IAQ and productivity and reduced health risks.

What are the effects of the worldwide pandemic on exports and imports?

COVID-19 is an unprecedented global crisis. The virus has shaken the global economy, disrupting almost every industry and sector. In India, one of the hardest-hit segments is the manufacturing sector, and the MSMEs are likely to be worst-hit during this period. This is a situation that not only India is facing, but the whole world.

The Indian supply chain has also suffered due to the logjam during the lockdown as suppliers to the manufacturers of the essential goods are under lockdown and the linkage between them to essential goods is not understood. Therefore it is a chain reaction. Both the domestic and export sector is stymied. There are finished goods which cannot be supplied due to want of transportation as well the buyer’s inability to take delivery. With the supply chains being affected, production, whenever, it starts is bound to be impacted severely.

We should draw encouragement from the restarting of Wuhan economy and work towards restoring a semblance of normalcy as soon as possible while taking the correct precautions.

Do you think loving what you do is crucial? How much do you love doing your role?

Passion is an integral part of a job. If you enjoy what you do, you will be motivated to do it better. Especially in uncertain times like this, it is important to keep spirits up. It is important to be passionate about one’s job. It fuels one’s energy and hones the focus. However, only passion does not drive success, there are many elements necessary to be successful. I have been very closely associated with business from a young age being the founder’s son. I have learned the ropes being hands-on in every aspect. I enjoy what I do with many other things, learning every day. In our business, we have been pioneers by introducing many technologies. As an organization innovation is in our DNA. In these times the mind and all efforts are focused to come out of this quagmire effectively. We look at everything as what next.
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