Chennai – Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) announced the resumption of plant operations from May 7 in a phased approach that prioritizes the safety of all stakeholders. The company was able to restart less than 24 hours after receiving permission from the local authorities thanks to intensive preparation that began even before the government lockdown came into effect over a month ago.
“DICV’s number one priority is the health and safety of our stakeholders, from our employees and customers to our dealers and suppliers,” said Mr. Satyakam Arya, Managing Director & CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles.
“Being part of the Daimler global network allowed us to see the implications of COVID-19 well before the lockdown was announced here in India. We immediately initiated a Crisis Management Team to steer us safely through this difficult situation,” explained Satyakam Arya.
The Crisis Management Team (CMT) consists of representatives from across the organisation and holds virtual meetings with DICV’s top executives on a daily basis.
“Information and agility is the key to crisis management. With a cross- functional team we were able to source facts quickly from inside and outside the organisation, then together decide on a course of action which could be implemented or revised at a moment’s notice,” said Sanjay Kumar, General Manager of Facility Management and nominated head of the Crisis Management Team.
The CMT has initiated hundreds of health, safety and sanitization measures over the last few months, ranging from mass cleaning of DICV’s 400 acre Oragadam plant to renovations of facilities designed to ensure social distancing norms are followed. The CMT has also taken charge of tracking the health and safety of the company’s 4000+ employees, plus overseeing the company’s extensive CSR contributions.
Aside from the physical aspect, DICV has additionally conducted an intensive education and communication campaign. All major stakeholder groups have been provided with tailored health and safety manuals, instructional videos and web-based trainings. The information campaign is designed to make sure everyone involved with the company understands the precautions necessary during the pandemic.
“Every single person in the entire automotive supply chain must work together to avoid infection. That is why it is called a ‘chain’; because every link is vital,” commented Satyakam Arya.
The company is ramping up gradually with a minimum workforce of essential employees to start, then a planned move to full capacity as and when the lockdown ends. Dealerships across the country have already begun to reopen as local restrictions ease, ensuring BharatBenz customers have access to the free service and warranty extensions the company began offering at the start of the crisis.