Neeraj Balani is Managing Director for International SOS, India since 2018. He is also responsible for Aspire Lifestyles, India. Neeraj has over 20 years of experience in Business Management and Sales Management and has worked in India and USA.
The safety of your workplace becomes a primary focus as lockdown measures relax. While no business can guarantee to prevent the spread of infection, vital precautionary steps will minimise risks, fulfil your Duty of Care responsibilities and promote workforce resilience.
Whatever the circumstances, whether an office, a factory, a retail outlet or even an oil rig, preparation and real-time insights are a must for an organisation to detect threats, mitigate risks, and provide swift treatment if needed. Organisations need to take into account local government guidelines and an assessment of what is necessary for a particular workforce, both from a logistical perspective and a personal one. Failure to manage a safe return could result in a backwards step in productivity, in the fight against COVID-19, and could even result in costly prosecutions.
Your organisation’s resilient workforce programme must include everything you need to safely manage your global teams while they work around the world. As a Business continuity head or a CHRO, your prime responsibility is to prepare your people for layered threat environments, helps them to feel supported and productive, and provides them with assistance whenever they have a question, concern or crisis. Anytime, anywhere.
In my discussion with CXOs of various multinational organisations who we support on building return to workplace guidelines and put in medical and security safety measures for employees. We recommend a 5-pillar approach to be executed with the help of their existing IT platforms and a solid reporting and governance platform. The first pillar is to ensure that organizations recognize the questions relevant to their businesses and build a customized strategy and plan for processes and protocols ensuring inputs from the changing external environment. Eg. what customizations are needed for head office v/s retail store v/s manufacturing unit v/s branch office? The second pillar is providing for on-ground medial facilities and support including mental wellness to your employees. This is a pandemic and the best person to guide you and your employees to comply in all situations is a medical expert. For example, access to a reliable doctor and hospital network is the biggest worry for your workforce, especially when they perform the role of a caregiver to their dependents such as children and parents. The third pillar is ensuring access to medical supplies such as PPE and test kits (as they become viable and available in India) for your workforce, especially when they live, commute or work in a densely populated environment. The fourth pillar is that of medically lead quality assurance. Once the lockdown is relaxed we forecast that processes laid down for social distancing, screening, health checks will tend to get diluted. Hence it is imperative that a medical expert audits them and reports the quality and effectiveness of the processes to the CEO as the trusted advisor on the organization resilience! The final pillar of-course is that of reporting and governance. Every organization needs to build in resilience KPI’s which need to be monitored and reported so that corrective action and measures are timely. It will be important for all organizations to leverage their IT platforms to set the KPI’s and monitor their progress in an efficient manner.
We believe that the above approach will ensure organizations build resilience by ensuring they safeguard their employee wellbeing, boost their cost efficiencies and help protect the communities where they thrive. Our dream to reboot the “Make in India” dream starts with a “Healthy India”. The Indian business community will play a leading role in the coming days to move towards a “Healthy India” and reduce the COVID-19 aftermath.
More About Neeraj Balani
Prior to working with International SOS, Neeraj was the Vice President for Sales, Solution Design and Implementation in Mahindra Logistics Limited (MAHLOG) where he was instrumental in driving the organization transformation across the above functions which delivered a consistent yearly revenue growth of over 35% since 2015. Neeraj also was the Vice President & Global Sales Officer (GSO) (India & Middle East) with Capgemini, where he was instrumental in setting up the sales function of the Local Business Unit in India. Neeraj has worked with HCL Technologies during 2006 – 2008, where he headed IT sales for HCLT’s India business. He was responsible for driving ERP business across Government and Corporate customers. He played a leadership role in combining HCLT’s offering in the India market, across Application and Infrastructure.
Neeraj is Chemical Engineer from University of Mumbai and has done his MBA in Finance & Operations, from University of Georgia, USA. He is based out of Mumbai and enjoys travelling and reading. He is passionate about sports and is also an amateur antique collector, with interest in collecting Hindi Film posters from the 1940 – 60 period and One Rupee silver coins of India from the 18th century.