3 motivating mid-pandemic SME pivot stories

3 motivating mid-pandemic SME pivot stories

Business Development

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

185 week ago — 5 min read

The Covid-19 pandemic has driven business owners, especially SMEs, to become agile and flexible. One of the most successful business strategies for 2020 is being referred to as the ‘pandemic pivot’.


What is the ‘pandemic pivot’?

In a business context, a ‘pivot’ is a shift to a new strategy. Earlier this year, the pandemic triggered lockdowns and an instantaneous drop in sales for most businesses. While many floundered, some SMEs dealt with the crisis by pivoting to new business models that would provide greater long-term resilience or introducing products that would ensure short-term survival.


We bring to you the first-hand experience of three GlobalLinker members that successfully pivoted their businesses during the pandemic.


Tango Eye’s quick innovation

Surender Gounder is the founder of Tango Eye, a software company that uses  Artificial Intelligence (AI) to generate actionable insights from surveillance videos. With the outbreak of Covid-19, Gounder and his team developed Tango Eye Secure—a software that can be plugged into existing surveillance systems to help implement social distancing. Gounder shares, “Tango Eye Secure is an AI product to help retailers implement safety standards during the time of Covid-19 and bring about a safe environment for shopping post lockdown. This will greatly help retailers improve consumer confidence”.


He adds, “The next big thing is safety and security. We are helping retailers, malls and business operators create and enforce safe environments for retailing post lockdown. We are working with many clients to utilise their surveillance network to implement Tango Eye Secure to enforce social distancing, masks etc. for a safe environment in a post-pandemic world”.


By innovating fast and smart, Gounder has been able to bring in more business and has piqued investor interest too. Recently, eyewear startup Lenskart invested in Tango Eye. This funding will help the business expand its operations and product development activities.


Kriti Kala’s smart improvisation

Himani Gupta, is the founder of two NGOs that work to empower women and children in the slums of Hyderabad. She also runs a retail brand called Kriti Kala, that sells beautiful garments, home linen products and bags made by these underprivileged women.


The Covid-19 outbreak led to a requirement for cloth masks and Gupta was quick to respond to this need. She shares, “An immediate impact of lockdown and the new health and safety requirements was a surge in demand for masks. Since Kriti Kala has small production units which are inside the slums at walking distance from the women working there, we were able to run the units at low capacity. Many women stitched masks at their homes. Our masks are attractive, comfortable, reusable and reasonably priced”.


Since lockdown, Kriti Kala has supplied over 30,000 masks. Some have been purchased by corporates for their employees, others have been bought by NGOs for donations to the police department and many have been bought by customers for their personal needs. In fact, these masks have been the hottest selling items on the Kriti Kala online store.


Amritam Global’s birth during lockdown

Siblings Devli Sehgal, Shivani Kapoor and Laksh Bhatia started their online business, Amritam Global, of pure desi cow ghee and buttermilk during the lockdown. Thanks to the pandemic, their family’s 25-year-old stud farm and travel business were severely impacted as racecourses were shut and traveling came to an abrupt halt. Sehgal shares, “Amidst the lockdown, we started looking for more viable business opportunities that could help us sustain our existing farm. We decided to change course and get into dairy. We opted for the traditional Indian dairy model and decided to breed only native Gir cows”.


Once their online store was live, orders from India and abroad starting coming in.  She shares, “Our store has grown organically through word of mouth. We were getting orders first in Delhi, Gurgaon and then it grew pan India. We also got our first international order from the US, which we hadn’t anticipated”.


Spurred by the positive response to Amritam Global, the founding team is already focused on growth. Revealing their growth strategy, Sehgal adds, “Now that we are getting approached by international markets, we are looking at healthy growth. We are adding more products and upgrading our packaging”.

The pandemic pushed these entrepreneurs to innovate, create new products and re-imagine their business offerings. Share with us how you have pivoted your business in 2020.


Also read: Strategy: Now is not the time, but now is always the time 


Image source: shutterstock.com


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