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Welspun looks at re-purposing biz to align with changed ecosystem; e-commerce emerges priority areas

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With the coronavirus pandemic hitting businesses globally, home textiles major Welspun India Ltd is looking at how can it re-purpose its businesses to align with the changed ecosystem, with e-commerce emerging as one of its priority areas to reach end consumers, according to a top company official.
According to a PTI report: The company, which has been a supplier of towels to the prestigious Wimbledon tennis tournament, said that despite the cancellation of this year’s event, its orders have been honoured and overall, with big retailer across the globe coming back, it expects two of its plants to run at least 70-80 percent of full in the ongoing year.
“This is the time to look at how we can re-look at our businesses, the purpose of business, what we are looking at, and if we can really continue to do what we are doing. And we have our heads up. That’s something that we are doing,” Dipali Goenka, CEO and Joint Managing Director, Welspun India Ltd told PTI.
She was responding to a query on how the company is reacting to the challenges thrown up by the global health crisis. Goenka said the company reacted swiftly to the changing situation.
“We got to work as coronavirus-struck with a sense of purpose of looking at how we can re-purpose our businesses…how can we re-purpose our factories and be prepared to work with the protocols of COVID-19? We did that. How do we re-purpose our product, that was done. How do we look at e-commerce as a different channel?” she further told PTI.
Elaborating on how the company is looking to ramp up activities on the online channel, Goenka told PTI, “We are working on a whole line of reaching out how do we go about it… We want to look at innovative ways to go to our customers. Can we work on e-catalogue, targeting customers and work with our distributors as partners and reaching out to the customers directly through them?”
She further said that has become a real opportunity for the company. “This is something in inception right now but the whole idea is, the bottomline is, we all will have to re-purpose ourselves. Think innovatively and look at doing businesses in a different manner.”
Commenting on the potential of the online space, she said the company’s existing portals in India and the UK have witnessed exponential growth in traffic during the pandemic.
When asked if the company is looking to partner with existing online marketplaces, Goenka told PTI, “We work with Amazon, we work with Flipkart in India, we are working with Myntras of the world. We are working on marketplaces, but we also have our websites.”
On the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of events like Wimbledon tennis championships this year, Goenka said, “Wimbledon has been cancelled but the kind of commitment that Wimbledon has, they are taking all our stock and they are meeting all our targets. What they have committed to, they have taken that.”
She further said that as the global impact wears on the whole world, the whole economy was disrupted. “For us, the big retailers who we are working with globally, they are coming back to working. We have been supplying them. Our plants have been chugging along since May.
Exuding confidence that Welspun India will recover better, she said, “We can see visibility coming soon though it is not what we had planned for. The COVID-19 impact is there everywhere but our plants, if I look at the annual picture, we look at least 70-80 percent of both our plants full.” She also said the company has insulated its workers and employees from the impact of the pandemic.
“We have taken care of our people. All salaries are paid on time. We continue to do so for our people. The only thing I would say is that this is also the time for Welspun India to look at how we can work efficiently. That’s something which we definitely are working on. Looking at automation, digitisation, looking at upskilling our people that’s where our energies are focussed on.”

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