By: Saikat Kumar, Founder and CEO of SKYCAP Investment Management Ltd.
AMEinfo sought answers from SKYCAP investment management regarding how they are currently dealing with the Coronavirus, and the impact it will have on their advisory business.
Below is an interview with Saikat Kumar, Founder and CEO.
How have the lockdown/pandemic and remote working climate affected your operations?
We are in the business of providing consulting, wealth and asset advisory services to our clients. As far as our current contracts, the advisory engagement letter signed with clients will get impacted and depending how long the coronavirus outbreak impact will remain, we will need to adjust new timelines with clients.
Regarding our Workforce, we pride ourselves for always being tech-savvy and we are adopting technology to ensure smooth transition of work from home. Since most of our services are client-centric, which requires face-to-face meeting with clients, the pandemic has definitely impacted our deliverables with the clients in the last few weeks. But as we are learning more and more about this pandemic, and as we are adopting new ways of online communications with clients and within the team, we are now meeting the deadlines.
How are you managing your employees during this period and how do you ensure productivity, security, outflow management?
The key to managing employees is to have personal connection with them and let them lead their own verticals. To manage employees remotely, we use video and phone calls to bridge the gap in communication. We are using chat and collaboration tool such as Skype, Zoom, and WhatsApp. We are using company mailbox for sharing the documents for security purposes. Every day, we conduct sessions with the team on how to convert these difficult times into opportunities and identify the sectors which will evolve post this pandemic.
What are your short-to-mid term plans?
First of all, it is very essential to stick with the guidelines proposed by the Government and to follow the rules and regulations. Secondly, it is important to keep our relationships with existing clients intact. We believe in creating a pipeline of business through digital outreach. We are managing our client relations through video-conferencing, maintaining a personal touch. Engaging the employees through proper communication chains while following efficient work from home policies are also key. We avoid any communication loopholes to ensure an integrated response both internally and externally. Finally, it is essential to have tools in place to combat internal threats (such as data leaks) and external ones (such as cyber hacks), as well as re-architect the infrastructure to make technology and processes more resilient.
What will the long term impact of the virus pandemic be on your company and your sectors?
There will be a lot of consolidation i.e. M&A activity to increase where companies with strong balance sheets will try to capture marketplaces. Also, there will be digital transformation in the education sector. Schools and parents will start taking online education seriously. Aviation and the tourism sectors will suffer the most as it will take time for people to come out of this pandemic. Hospitality, Apparel, and Consumer durables will show moderate demand, but in the long term, a high demand will be expected. Digital, Technology and Cyber security markets will grow exponentially as data security will become a key issue going forward.
As far as our company is concerned, we are sector agnostic and have clients and investors across different sectors. We have client-centric wealth and asset products and which are geared for the long term. We have running deals in fintech and insurance tech sectors and with digitalization it will just grow exponentially.
Post the pandemic, what are the takeaways from this crisis that will reshape your business/operating model going forward (future of work, working from home, co-working, video conferencing)?
The Business model and the way we work will definitely change globally. Work from home and video conferencing will play a huge part. Data safety will take the utmost priority. Cyber security and forensic assessment will play a key role. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a huge role as companies will try to engage their clients/customers online. We will see more and more digital banking / online schooling going forward.