The Four Binding Values that Guide Jotun
The four values of loyalty, care, respect and boldness are the solid building blocks of Jotun’s spirit that help them function effectively during the times of this pandemic. But more than ever, it is leadership and diligent crisis-management that makes this global paint company pave its way through the current situation.
Jotun is one of the world’s largest paint companies with more than 30 years of presence in Qatar. In the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak that has affected businesses and individuals alike, Jotun Qatar has been stronger and more prepared than ever in tackling the unprecedented challenges. The company has maintained business continuity through diligent planning while ensuring the safety and well being of all employees as well as its customers.
“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Be it as an organization or an individual, everyone in their capacity should cooperate and support each other during this time.”
Shashi Kumar, General Manager of Jotun Qatar gives us a hands-on view of the situation on the ground as he leads the team at Jotun Qatar through efficient crisis management in these difficult times. “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Be it as an organisation or an individual, everyone in their capacity should cooperate and support each other during this time,” says Shashi Kumar.
Crisis management in Jotun took effect much earlier than when the pandemic hit the country. “During the early stages of the virus spread in the far east that impacted Jotun’s operation in China and Malaysia, we took preemptive steps in understanding the possible roadblocks on the way,” explains Shashi Kumar, “When the outbreak reached Qatar, there was already a Crisis Management Team monitoring the local developments closely and planning two steps ahead.”
These proactive steps paid off for Jotun Qatar for they managed to think ahead and act accordingly.
“The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has impacted not only individuals but also businesses worldwide and Jotun Qatar is no different,” he says, “The challenges in front of us were twofold, one is maintaining business continuity: especially the operations and deliveries from our warehouse. And secondly the safety of employees as well as customers including our network of project clients, shops, and painters.”
“As part of the government’s active initiatives to stem the spread of the virus, certain areas were cordoned off as quarantine areas. To maintain business continuity, should an expansion of the quarantine area cover Jotun’s main distribution center, additional warehouse spaces were hired out of Doha city. Enough backup stock and service capability were maintained to continue supplies to its customers,” says Shashi Kumar.
Every action of the paint company needed to abide by the Jotun values, and this demanded that the team manage the crisis with a sensitive approach towards internal and external stakeholders who were working on the frontline under alarming conditions. “This included the warehouse staff, delivery staff, customers, shop salesmen, and painters. In the warehouse, a process was set in place that included frequent hand washing and sanitising, daily temperature recording of staff, compulsory use of masks and gloves, and maintaining safe distance during meetings and work. Jotun implemented Work from Home for its office staff from Mid-March,” recounts Shashi Kumar of the various steps taken by the company in diligently handling each step of the pandemic.
For shop salesmen and painters, frequent information on safety measures was shared in multiple languages for their understanding. In addition, each of the retail outlets was provided with masks and gloves for daily use and standard measures of social distancing were implemented for in-shop customers while shopping following the queue system. Jotun sales team remain in continuous touch with customers and retained the capacity to run seminars and training using video conferencing tools. Jotun’s team of coating advisors continue to visit sites and provide best in class technical support and service.
“Jotun team remains in constant touch with the shop salesmen and painters through virtual means. As a small gesture to help the shop salesmen and painters who are struggling to cope up with the changing times, Jotun has provided ration kits to about 1000 painters and sales staff through its dealer network in the State. The ration kit contained basic cereals and supplies to help them while they are unable to go to shops or take up active projects due to the safety restrictions,” says Shashi Kumar.
Jotun’s proactive risk assessment in terms of how the market is developing in response to the pandemic has made decision making more informed and swifter in reaction.
“With the lessons learned, Jotun Qatar took a differentiated approach and continued to be solution-centric. Jotun remains committed to supporting all local and international initiatives to combat the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and communities. In these challenging times, the organisation is guided by the four pillars of care, loyalty, respect, and boldness that help them function industriously keeping in mind the interest of all their stakeholders,” stresses Shashi Kumar.
Information from Jotun: Jotun Group was founded in 1926 in Norway and is one of the world’s leading paint manufacturers. The Group has 63 companies and 40 production facilities across the world. Jotun is represented in over 100 countries worldwide for the sale of Decorative Paints and Performance Coatings including Marine, Protective, and Powder Coatings.