A Real Challenge Faced By The Industries Due To Coronavirus!

effect in interior design due to corona

A Real Challenge Faced By The Industries Due To Coronavirus!

Bhawana Bhatnagar

According to an article by Harvard Business Review, to mitigate the crisis and to prevent it from recurring in the future, risk management principles should at least be applied to tier 1 and tier 2 company supply chains. Beyond tier 2, the risks associated with single sourcing should, at the very least, be understood.

Bhawana is an entrepreneur with passion for interior designing and decoration. She has the quality of instilling beauty and vivaciousness in people’s life.

The Solution
At the very least, the companies should invest in a 24X7 monitoring system. With ever-evolving technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing, monitoring has become easily accessible as well as affordable. Running a globally dispersed supply chain in a world that is consistently in a state of flux and whose dynamics are changing every second, is like driving a million dollar car without an insurance.

While large firms can think about sourcing from multiple suppliers, it doesn’t make much business sense for small firms to do so

As the Coronavirus menace continues to take a toll on humanity and the number of affected people is rising exponentially, it is now becoming clear that Coronavirus is more than a health concern. Industries all over the world have started to suffer and global business has been brought to its knees. The pandemic has also carved out gaping holes in the edifice of supply chain. China is the major supplier of finished and unfinished goods around the world. Coincidentally, it’s also the epicentre of the pandemic, which has led to the shutdown of all manufacturing units in the country. This has majorly affected the supply chains around the world. Also, Italy, which is the major exporter of unique and exquisite goods has taken the brunt of it, making overseas procurement impossible.

Besides monitoring, there are some companies that are going a step further and engaging in the mapping process. Mapping means interacting with suppliers to learn about their global sites as well as subcontractors. This gives them a better understanding of their supply chain and helps them to know which parts are produced in or passed through those sites. By setting up this system, the companies are alerted in advance in case of a crisis and they have an ample time to restructure their supply chain in order to prevent any major losses. Even though setting up this system requires some capital investment, in the times of crisis, it pays off and serves as an insurance policy.

Those companies however, who did not already have such contingencies are coming up with indigenous solutions of their own to meet the demands of their customers to keep their business afloat. Many companies have resorted to producing the required products locally and are customizing those products as per the needs of the customer. Obviously, it is not an easy alternative but for many small business owners, this is the only option. That being said, there might be a silver lining here as well.

Having been forced into a corner to set up their own production houses, these small business firms have come across an opportunity to produce the goods locally. Difficult as the process might be in the initial phase, once the machinery is set up, it could greatly reduce the costs they incur in procuring the goods from overseas. They can then sell these locally produced goods at cheaper prices and still derive more profit than they did before – in essence, good for both the customer and the seller.

The Causes Of Crisis
As the supply drought hits, many organizations are regretting their decision for relying on a single supplier. The supply-chain managers are well aware of the risks associated with single sourcing, but they still do it to meet the demand or to secure large supplies in a short duration.

Often, due to the nature of the goods being imported, there are only a handful of suppliers available, and unfortunately, most of them are based out of China. Also, while large firms can think about sourcing from multiple suppliers, it doesn’t make much business sense for small firms to do so. These small business firms are also the ones that are suffering the most because in many cases, their only supplier has gone off the map without any warning.

Interior design gurgaon

New Way To Enter Into Interior Styling

Therefore, from consultation to tour management, and budget preparation to logistics, the team of procurement experts takes care of even the minutest aspect of overseas procurement in the interior and décor industry.

One of the biggest advantages of overseas procurement in interior & décor space is the exchange of creative ideas among the designers and stylists of different origins and background

Bhawana belongs to a niche group of entrepreneurs in the design industry. She has a passion for interior designing and decoration, and is blessed with the ability to instill beauty and vivaciousness in others’ lives.

Each year, interior designers, interior design brands, and buyers from all parts of the world visit Mumbai to participate in the Index Trade Fair. Similar events also take place in Dubai and other prominent cities across the globe to bridge the gap between international furnishing & décor brands and their potential buyers and this has opened a new vista for established as well as aspiring entrepreneurs to raise their businesses through procurement activities.

Merits of Globalization
Globalization emerged as the boon for the industry where customers are blessed with a plethora of choices and design consultants have better options to procure bespoke products at competitive prices. Spain, Italy, Indonesia, Turkey, and Morocco are the favourite overseas procurement destinations for Indian designers and interior stylists, but it is China which offers the best value for money to majority of procurement specialists.

High Feasibility
Depending upon the needs and preferences of every individual customer/corporate client, a procurement specialist in the interior & décor industry suggests the best market to purchase exotic interior solutions at a price substantially cheaper than the substitutes available on premium e-Commerce portals. Moreover, the procurement expert also advises the client to have hands-on experience of the products he/she is willing to own.

A Thorough Process
Procurement is not restricted to buying interior solutions from the service providers based out of the country, but it is a comprehensive process which offers exceptional user experience right from the stage of the process, i.e., need sharing to final delivery of the products and their installation as per the design scheme prepared by a dedicated team of procurement specialists.

Pervading Creativity
One of the biggest advantages of overseas procurement in interior & décor space is the exchange of creative ideas among the designers and stylists of different origins and background. They interact with each other, express their artistic views, and design innovative solutions after analyzing the demands of the end-user. Also, industry players are learning from each other’s experiences and innovations. Artists and craftsmen are getting recognition of their talent and they are getting due rewards for their creativity and hard work. So, procurement activities have opened new growth vistas for established as well as young entrepreneurs in the interior and décor industry. In collaboration with their foreign counterparts, they are able to accomplish their projects in the stipulated time and budget.

Better Logistics
Logistics plays an important role in overseas procurement projects and the rising number of joint-projects between Indian and foreign entities are giving them a competitive edge. Safe and secure delivery of the products from source to destination in the least possible time is allowing them to confer their customers with desired solutions at the desired price. Hereby, customers are rejoicing the quality products of international standards and their pleasant experience is encouraging the industry players to fruitfully exploit the emerging opportunities in the domestic as well as international markets.

Way Forward
The net worth of India’s interior design industry is more than Rs.20, 000 crore and it is growing annually at 8 percent (CAGR). People’s per capita income is improving significantly and those who belong to the affluent class are spending more on luxury and comfort. Amidst this transition, a new breed of interior designers/stylists is catering to the target market with unconventional practices. All in all, the changing industry scenario augurs that there is a great future for Indian overseas procurement specialists as the demand for imported solutions is increasing phenomenally among the high net-worth individuals (HNIs) and VIPs.

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Giving Back To Society

Till two months ago, Bhawna Bhatnagar was living a jet-setting life, curating ideas, procuring splendid deco pieces for work. 24 hours were not enough for her to squeeze in client meetings, home visits and socialising. “And then all of it came to a grinding halt suddenly, without any forewarning. Life moved at snail’s pace, nudging us to rethink our priorities,” says the Gurugram-based interior designer. As with a lot of us, Bhatnagar has re-equipped herself, focusing more on the real essence of existence. Even as she modestly refuses to be labelled a ‘Covid warrior’, she happily feeds over 100 people twice a day.

Her 10-to-5 routine is now about bringing food, dry ration, in some cases medicines, and a few smiles to the underprivileged living near her house in Gurugram. “As part of my initiative, I am taking care of 150 people in my neighboring areas in Gurugram by providing free meals to them morning and evening. Besides that, I try to contribute whatever I can in terms of rations or other necessities that can help these people survive these tough times,” she says. Her compassion also extends to four-legged friends who have sadly been subjected to a lot of maltreatment post the pandemic. “It is not just the humans who are suffering — it is a tough time for animals as well. Many street dogs that were dependent on the generosity of people for food suddenly have no one to take care of them. I am feeding nearly 50 dogs in my locality,” she shares.

Q & A

What prompted you to take this initiative?

John F Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country” and I abide by that. These are tough times but toughest for the poor strata of our society. Also, a large population in our country belongs to the lower income group. These people have to work every day to earn two square meal. They have no savings to support them through this crisis. Most of them don’t even have bank accounts. I believe all of us, who are in a condition to help, must lend out a helping hand to these people and fulfill our social responsibility. Collective effort is the need of the hour.

Has working for this cause changed you in any way?

The feeling that you are filled with by helping someone in need is very rewarding and fulfilling. But I am particularly touched by the little ones. Whenever I go to these areas to provide food, the kids literally start jumping with joy upon seeing my car because I get candies for them besides basic food items and essentials. Seeing them happy fills my heart with joy and warmth and revitalises my resolve to help as many people for as long as this crisis looms in our country.

You are also averse to the idea of clicking photographs while on the job.

As soon as the Covid-19 lockdown was imposed, I thought it was time to give back to the society. Being in the interior design business, I work closely with labourers and I understand their financial condition. Unfortunately, these labourers and daily-wage workers have nothing in terms of savings — which makes it impossible for them to survive such a prolonged lockdown without external help. I feel it is insensitive on our part to publicise their misery like this. Moreover, I see it as a noble cause, not something I would want to extract some admiration from on social media.

Lockdown remedies for home interiors

To feel creative, positive and fresh during lockdown, many people are experimenting not only with their culinary skills but also by creating an atmosphere at home which makes them positive and motivated to work and relax.

Bhavana Bhatnagar, an interior stylist and founder, Casa Exotic, says “There is a drastic change in everyone’s life; our personal space has become our workspace; our chill-out zone and our work out space have merged. How creatively are we using our personal space and converting it according to our need.”

Sanitising and maintaining hygiene is very important, it is the need of the hour. To remain free of germs, to live in a fresh environment, to maintain peace during work and to create a chill-time, one needs to follow certain guidelines. One should regularly clean the room and other surface areas which might be potentially contaminated.

“For people working from home, one has to create an atmosphere of focus, sincerity and uplifting environment. Work from home doesn’t mean work from your bed. If you do so, you will notice a decrease in your efficiency. There is a reason why offices don’t have beds. Find a good quiet spot in your house with good illumination, place a study table and a comfortable chair, set up your office there and maintain a sense of professionalism. It will also mentally take you into your workspace. Make sure you have all the necessary things at hand. Going to and fro for things can break your concentration and work will slow down. Treat the environment as you would treat an office – no TV breaks and no unnecessary movement,” advises Bhavana.

Botanical decor is trending these days. People are afraid of going to gardens. The lockdown has hampered people from being close to nature. Many people are depressed about not going for walks in parks.

Bhavana says “There are certain summer plants that one can keep inside the house which make the home summer ready and full of freshness. Increase greenery inside the house, improve indoor air quality by clearing toxins and pollutants. These are present in the chemical cleaning products, paints and other materials. Plants help in reducing stress levels and create a relaxing ambience. Aloe Vera, Snake Plants and English Ivy are some plants that can be easily taken care of and are perfect for keeping in the bedroom.”

As much as times are challenging, you can make the most of the lockdown by creating your own office space, by sanitising interior products which are susceptible to germs, by moving things around as per your needs, by cleaning those difficult corners, by keeping plants inside the house, refurbishing the house and staying positive.

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