How are you spending this lockdown period?
Trying to stay as positive as possible. Frankly, I’m quite enjoying the time with family – as well as the clean air in Delhi. Unfortunately, the reality of the circumstances that we find ourselves in is ever-present. As a result, my skillset now includes armchair infectious disease expert. The on-ground reality worldwide, though, isn’t very encouraging. So I hope everyone stays home and stays safe. Post lockdown, it’ll be a fight for survival across the board. But, for now, it’s a case of trying to make the most of this slower pace.
What is the one vehicle you wish you were quarantined with?
Any air-cooled Porsche.
What is the first thing you intend to do once this situation passes?
Enjoy all the everyday stuff and freedom that we take for granted.
What is the most important thing you’ve realised thanks to this lockdown That it’s possible to clean the Delhi air. And the importance of stepping off the hamster wheel – even if it’s just for a moment.
Where do you see the automotive industry going after the lockdown?
The automotive industry is going to face a challenge like never before. Not only are even the biggest global automakers stretched thin, but demand will take a while to pick up. In the interim, automakers will have to prioritise which models to develop and which ones to keep on the back burner for the moment. You could well see the focus shift to high volume / high margin products in the short term, versus future products like EVs – although all manufacturers will have to, at the same time, continue to comply with the ever-stringent emissions requirements kicking in across the globe.
Do you expect the government to help? If yes, how?
The government will have to provide some stimulus, even if it’s only in the form of a GST rate reduction – although they themselves are struggling with managing their own dwindling cash flows and growing deficits.
How has your company adapted to this situation?
It’s very possible that everyone will have to agree to pay cuts for a short time. But, all told, times like these make us all sharper, more efficient and more grateful for the good times. We have no choice but to adapt.
With the lockdown, has your workload reduced, gone up or remained the same?
It’s not quite as intense, but there’s plenty to do.
Even after the lockdown is over, would you prefer to work from home?
For the moment, I’d be very happy to go to office. But, yes, work from home does actually work.