INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
Gemklip: Innovation in Times of Covid
We talked to Shanavas MS Teqzo, Design director and co-founder of Gemklip.com about creative materials design and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Shanavas MS Teqzo: We are doing pretty fine. Our lives have gotten back to normal, of course with better hygiene practices, thanks to Covid.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Gemklip.
Shanavas MS Teqzo: We have been in the creative industry for almost 20 years providing industrial design services to clients locally and abroad. But in 2014, we created a startup from within our studio with the help of some of our key associates. The startup, Gemklip.com, is an online e-commerce company that aims to create innovative alternatives to everyday products. Our product philosophy revolves around “Simple, Different, Inspiring”. Our aim is to create these product assets that could intellectually connect with people around the world and help them lead inspiring lifestyle.
How does Gemklip innovate?
Shanavas MS Teqzo: Since our team is originally from the “design and innovation” background, we have mastered the art of design thinking. We use these and other tools to consistently stay creative in our business.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Shanavas MS Teqzo: It had an adverse effect in the beginning as the entire population was awestruck as restrictions were unveiled day by day. There were no sales, no production, and things came to a standstill. Surprisingly, we received a lot of inquiries from the industry for new product development and lucky for us, we have diverted all our stalls to service such clients. Apparently, new product development was one of the business activities that were possible during the lock-down. So we were extremely busy and our finances started to get better and better. Many other businesses weren’t lucky as we were. As the lockdown eased, our online business pickup as “online” in general was the only option people had to shop.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Shanavas MS Teqzo: Luckily, we did not have to make difficult choices. In fact, we had hired resources in contrast to businesses that had to layoff human resources during that time. However, project management methods change from time-based remuneration to target based remuneration.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Shanavas MS Teqzo: Evolution in the customer relationship management happened universally and we had to align with what was happening. People start believing that things can happen using video calls. We used tools like ZOOM, MS-Teams, and Google Meet. Thanks to the fact that these services came almost free of charge and made customer management a level playing field. Covid-19, in a way, helped businesses to completley go online and save millions that otherwise would have been spent.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Shanavas MS Teqzo: Indian government offered easy loans to businesses. No grants were offered. Lucky, again for us, we did not have to borrow or seek financial help during Covid.
Your final thoughts?
Shanavas MS Teqzo: Amid a devastating health situation and the economic slowdown we were extremely lucky to not only have survived but also thrived in our business. It is certainly a silver lining!
Consulting Business: http://consulting.teqzo.com
Online Business: https://gemklip.com
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