05 May, 2020

Appreciating Our Covid-19 Hero – Viju Davis

Appreciating our Covid-19 Hero - Viju Davis

Covid-19 has officially been designated a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Originating from Wuhan, the coronavirus has affected every person and place like a global tsunami. It’s proven to be not just a health crisis, but also a social, economic, and political crisis.

Today we have a special story to share about one of our employees, Viju Davis, who has exhibited remarkable dedication and resilience in the face of this crisis. Viju Davis is a Senior Manager and Heads the Peoples Processing operations at Kochi, India – across 2 locations.

Appreciating Our Covid-19 Hero – Viju Davis

On March 11th, almost two weeks before the announcement of lockdown in India, the executive management team identified the severity of the oncoming crisis. They realized that very soon almost 200+ employees would need to work from home for an extended period of time. The management took proactive steps to initiate the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in collaboration with IT and HR. It was here that Viju and Manoj, Director of Operations (and Viju’s Manager), went into action. It was a race against time to implement this plan since it involved the logistics of procuring additional hardware and software and complex coordination between various teams.

For the organization, the BCP had been in place and rehearsed several times, but this time, this was different. This was for REAL and no longer a rehearsal. Also, there was no way to actually find out how much time we had on our hands, so time was super critical.

Viju issued a Laptop / PC and a wireless modem to each of our employees so that they could continue to work productively from home. He also ensured that every PC had the right tools installed along with the anti-virus and security software to maintain compliance. While all this was being done, it was important to also manage data security and controls. Viju ensured that only authorized people were allowed to access the system and controls were put in place for data access.

Viju was successful in pulling off this herculean effort thanks to tremendous teamwork. However, the time had run out for Viju himself. He couldn’t return to his hometown of Bangalore before the nationwide lockdown was announced by the Indian Government – banning ALL transportation. Viju was effectively trapped in Kochi and would have to stay there until the travel ban was lifted.

Viju has endured a challenging month, living alone – away from his friends and family.

  • No Transportation. Viju did not have a car and public transportation was completely shut down. Viju had to walk miles each day to buy groceries.
  • Limited access to food. Viju doesn’t know cooking. There are limited options for food delivery in Kochi. One of the meals that he ordered left him with a bad case of food poisoning, temporarily impacting his health.
  • Weather. Frequent thunderstorms are common at this time of the year accompanied by sweltering heat and humidity.

In spite of these challenges, Viju has stayed resilient and positive. He maintained close communication with his team and helped boosted their morale from a work point of view. The fact that the employees were in the safety of their own homes helped as well. He worked tirelessly through long days and nights to ensure that the team met all the Service Level Agreement (SLA’s) and turn-times as promised to our clients. In fact, with his proactive and tireless communication with the team, he was able to motivate the team members to take on 50% higher volumes – by putting in more hours – which they were willing to do because of his motivational skills and also because they were at home and didn’t have to spend time in their commute.

We are proud to have a true leader like Viju on our team. Viju’s commitment and dedication is a beacon to all our employees.

The nationwide lockdown was set to expire this Sunday (May 3rd). However, on Friday, May 1st, the Indian Government issued a notice extending the nationwide lockdown for an additional two weeks, through May 18th. Unfortunately, Viju’s challenges and travails will continue for some time. Stay Strong Viju! We hope and pray that Viju will be reunited with his family very soon.

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