To discover how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting the global water industry, Smart Water Magazine has contacted several water sector businesses, in order to find out what initiatives they have put in place and their opinion on the management of the current situation.
We speak with Amit Horman, Miya's CEO, to know how his company is managing the situation.
Question: What measures is Miya putting in place to protect its employees against the coronavirus?
Answer: As the coronavirus situation continues to evolve, we know it is top of mind for our employees. So we believe it’s important to share the steps we are taking to keep our people safe and our facilities clean.
We have supplied all employees with hand sanitizers and urge the use of all means published by the government to prevent infection. In addition we have allowed employees to work from home when possible and needed and have implemented the technological facilities to allow that. As for travel we have decided to ban all travel which is not essential and urgent.
Those who weren’t able to work from home due to the nature of their job – mostly operations and customer service teams - were provided with additional protective equipment, such as facial masks, and made aware of the importance of promoting social distancing, under any circumstances.
On top of that, and as a way to protect both employees and customers, we’ve launched an awareness campaign in our own media (website, social media, direct mail) to encourage customers to use the phone, and our digital channels to contact us, instead of heading to the branches. We have also implemented access control to reduce the branches footfall to a minimum, and securing the so required social distancing.
We’ve also loosened some internal processes, such as payment terms, so that we could secure critical areas of the business, as well as helping our employees adapting to the current circumstances.
To summarize, we are monitoring this situation daily, and, as we do with any unusual event, we will watch what’s happening locally and adjust business operations and policies as needed.
Water consumption is rigid by nature and we think the sector will actually become even more attractive to investors
Q: What impact do you think the COVID-19 crisis will have on the water industry, and more specifically on your entity?
A: We don’t foresee a significant long term impact on the industry. We believe water utilities are amongst the most resilient sectors to an epidemic and for any financial crisis that can evolve as a consequence of that. Water consumption is rigid by nature and we think the sector will actually become even more attractive to investors.
Q: How do you think the situation is being handled by world governments and what measures do you think should be taken to overcome this crisis?
A: We strongly believe the governments and international organizations are taking the correct measures to protect the population from this situation. We see this as a wake up call for all industries to engage in precautionary measures to deal with similar cases and hope that once this crisis is over we will grow as a society and strengthen our mutual responsibility between business, employees consumers and governments.