A bold leap helped my team survive the pandemic
A bold leap helped my team survive the pandemic

Our company Sagar Asia specialises in aluminum ladders, aluminum extrusions, wind tower internals and aluminum aircraft docking and helicopter maintenance. My father set up the enterprise in 1977. Thanks to his able leadership, today we are one of the leading manufacturers of aluminum extrusions both in India and abroad.

As global economies plunged, it was time to change the course

With a healthy annual turnover of over Rs 100 crore, everything was going well for us. But the unfortunate outbreak of the COVID-19 turned the course of events for our business. Like several other industries, we also took a severe hit. Since our product mix caters to very specific demand for height access, most of our regular customers are from the retail sector and original equipment manufacturers in wind and aviation sectors, there was a sudden plunge in demand as retail was closed and airlines were not allowed to operate for a long time.

The pandemic is by far the sharpest turning point that our business has ever faced. Apart from operating costs, I was more worried about the well-being of our employees. Giving up was not an option. So, I decided to take some bold steps.

I was quick to realise that there was huge demand for sanitization products in hospitals and offices. I thought that our expertise in aluminum products could help us build products that would be needed during the pandemic. Our research and development team is very strong and quickly sprung into action.

With more contemporary solutions, we tapped into new markets

Within a few days, we decided to begin manufacturing aluminum disinfection tunnels and contactless disinfection stands. These can be easily set up outside factories and offices, and employees can walk through these sanitization tunnels to enter the workplace while sanitising their attire.

We also quickly developed another aluminum product — contactless COVID-19 testing booths. We have provided these booths to the state governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to help them ramp up their testing capacity. This product is ensuring the safety of medical workers who are working at hospitals and collection centers in various parts of the states.

Our long standing association with Walmart has helped us expand our business pan-India. For instance, through Walmart we were able to receive orders from places which would have otherwise been difficult for us to reach. Their HoReCa channel has also helped to reach the right customers in a short period.

Now that we see the economy reopening gradually, we have also added products like contactless hand sanitizer stands and touch-free aluminum door openers to our catalogue. Our R&D team is working tirelessly to build products that are the need of the hour.

Entrepreneurs never stop. They take one challenge head on, tackle it and get ready to face the next. That is Sagar Asia’s story.