India is now in the fourth week of a lockdown that is considered amongst the world's most stringent. As we feel our way through these uncertain and troubled times, we hope that you, your family, and your colleagues continue to be well. We wanted to update you on our own operations at this time.
Since 23rd March, we have all been working from home. Our manufacturing plants were shut for three weeks. We have now been permitted limited manufacturing operations at our main plant in Pune and in our unit in Hyderabad. Manufacturing at our unit in the UK has continued without interruption, though all non-production staff continue to work from home. We hope that we may soon also restore some limited manufacturing from our other units in Pune. Our field engineers in India have been unable to personally visit you, but we know they have been connecting daily with your teams remotely, and are always available to help. Field engineers in some countries have been able to continue visiting customers. We are in the process of equipping our field engineers with personal protective equipment, and training them in safe working practices, so that they can begin visits to you as soon as permitted.
As we work from home, we have learnt new skills and new ways of connecting with our customers. Our Webinars, which we hold daily, have proven to be so popular that we provide permanent access to them on SteamNet and are repeating several to accommodate the spill-over. We now run two a day. We have also arranged frequent customer interactions with key accounts, bringing together engineers from across the country. All this, we recognise, is no substitute for the personal one-on-one interaction that has been the hallmark of our decades-long relationship with most of our customers. As we have connected with our field engineers in India and overseas, they have enthused us with their passion and commitment. But we can, equally, hear their frustration in being unable to visit you!
Our manufacturing schedules for April have been put together in close coordination with immediate customer needs, and we believe we can meet the great bulk of all requirements. Almost all raw material is in place. We request that you please intimate us of any potential delay in your schedules, such that we use our currently limited manufacturing capacity to meet pressing needs. We are also working on revised manufacturing schedules for May and June to bring them into full alignment with your needs. We have a full stock of our most popular standard products in our seven depots around the country - Hyderabad and Ahmedabad are about to begin. We are working on getting permission for all of them to operate.
As we navigate these trying times together, please be assured that we are constantly available to address your needs. For example, some plants have needed to operate at a third or less of capacity - we have been able to help in ensuring efficient operation at low load. Most plants are operating with almost no support staff; we are happy to help with measures to improve equipment uptime.
We wish for the safety of you and your organisation, and would as always be delighted to hear from you.
Farhad & Naushad Forbes