Anti-PandemicEnterprise Culture

Business Reopening Speech | Choices to Make Amid the Pandemic


Reposted from: G7 Smart IoT

February 3, 2020, marks the first day for all G7 employees to work from home. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented them from gathering and working in the same office area as they used to. They had to remain separated in different places across the nation instead. Then at 8:43 on that morning, they received a DingTalk message from their CEO Zhai Xuehun. The message reads like this:

Today we resume our business in an all-round manner. But I have something to share with you all.

Be Extremely Cautious

Everyone shall be extremely cautious about the pandemic, and I am serious about this. Please strictly abide by all the regulations and suggestions for pandemic prevention issued by the government authority and the company, until the pandemic is over.

I have gone through the SARS epidemic in 2003, and am well aware of the profound impact that an epidemic can have on one's life. If someone thinks that a mortality of 2% is merely roughly the same as that of a flu and there is nothing to be afraid of, I would regard it as ignorance. After the SARS epidemic eased, I was living near the Xiaotangshan Hospital and often saw nurses who were once infected receive rehabilitation there. Many of them suffer permanent, irreversible damage in bones or organs due to drug use even after the recovery, and some are injured too badly to become unable to take care of themselves in the rest of their lives. So I would like to sound the alarm for G7ers: never underestimate this pandemic, and never let yourself, your friends or relatives, or colleagues get infected and lose the most valuable asset - health - because of your negligence and fluke mind.

For the sake of everyone's safety, telework will be the main way of working in the upcoming period of time to avoid face-to-face meetings, business trips, and gatherings. The company's administration, HR, and IT departments are establishing and improving their management methods and collaboration tools tailored to this telework mode to provide comprehensive support to all employees, so that we can work more efficiently even in this crisis.

G7ers Are in Action Against the Pandemic

The pandemic is hazardous, but no G7ers use it as an excuse of muddling through.

Our HR and administration colleagues set up the G7 pandemic emergency response group on January 23 to jointly monitor and record the health conditions of every employee on a daily basis. The health reporting tool on DingTalk was launched on January 31, which enables more timely, more accurate and more transparent data gathering. As of yesterday, no confirmed or suspected cases have been reported among G7ers, and 98% of our employees are in good health. However, 2% of our employees caught a cold, had a fever, coughed or suffered other symptoms during the Spring Festival holiday, but the possibility of their infection has been ruled out after medical observation. All of you can query the health monitoring data of all G7 employees on DingTalk any time.

Our colleagues in the G7 freight business unit have found great difficulty in getting relief supplies delivered since the first day of the Chinese New Year, and they began to source transportation service providers online. They were later joined by members from the industry solutions, marketing, and legal affairs departments to form a "G7 Hubei" work group of more than 30 employees. This group have been working day and night, contributing to the success of transporting hundreds of tons of relief supplies to Wuhan in time.

The safety insurance business unit and the production & research platform worked overnight to launch a pandemic prevention insurance product for truckers on January 31 to make who went to Hubei relieved. On February 1, the big data R&D team presented the version 1 prototype of big data dashboard for freight activities in the pandemic, which offers a true and macro picture of the logistics status in Hubei to government authorities, logistics companies and the public as well at any time.

One of our colleagues changed the WeChat signature to "Isolate viruses, not services". This critical pandemic-fighting moment is also a moment for our G7ers to break the limit and create value.

Long-Term Challenges Brought By the Pandemic

The pandemic will end sooner or later, maybe in one or two months, or half a year, but its impact on the national economy will not end promptly. If you've seen the interview with the owner of Chinese chain restaurant Xibei a few days ago, you would come to realize that many restaurants may not survive this crisis, even a well-funded and large-scale one like Xibei. I want to be frank with you that the huge challenge is not exclusive to the catering industry, but many other industries as well, such as trade, retail, automotive, and logistics. These industries will all experience months of hard days.

If we could time-travel to the end of 2020, what picture would we see in the logistics and tech sectors that we are familiar with? I can only image that: due to the grim macroeconomic situation and the impact of the pandemic, around 30% of companies fail to survive till that day, and 60% of companies are leading a harder life than they did in 2019. But we will also find another 10% of companies overcome the crisis, only to become stronger, more promising, and more respectable.

Companies who are still muddling through won't hang on until then, and those who are reactive with the habitual thinking may just struggle to make ends meet. On the contrary, those who stick to their own missions even in difficult times, always value their core customers, and go beyond limits as a whole will grow stronger.

Special Responsibilities in Grim Times

During the SARS period in 2003, Taobao enabled consumers to buy all kinds of goods without leaving their homes and merchants to sell their products to across the nation from home. While helping thousands of families defeat the epidemic, Alibaba also seized the historic opportunity to make what it is today.

In view of the grim pandemic situation today, the resource-scarce and always-changing freight market needs more transparent information on supply and demand. Given the easy spread of the virus, customers call for a contact-free online freight transaction process and intelligent logistics equipment that supports quick connections in minutes and seconds. This strong demand will speed up the transformation of the end-to-end network freight services which may quickly thrive into a promising major type of business.

Viruses are threatening everyone's safety in today's dangerous environment, and uncertainty has given rise to various risks. The logistics industry is never more dependent on new safety insurance solutions empowered by solid digitalization than ever.

This Is the Special Responsibility of G7 in Grim Times.

I believe that by the end of 2020, we will find that G7 is doing a better job than any other team in the world in terms of network freight services and compensation reduction through safety technologies, and that G7 is leading the industry one step forward toward the intelligentization of equipment. We will also see our customers' and partners' growing trust in and respect for G7 because of G7's success in realizing its unique value in a harsh environment.

Three Focuses

Focusing on the truly valuable goals is the only path to success in a time of difficulty. Therefore, we must focus on three things more than ever.

  1. Safe operations: We must ensure the health and safety of all employees, and make every effort to control operating costs and improve operating efficiency on that basis.
  2. Customer operations: We must stay dedicated to in-depth services to our customers, rather than merely expanding our customer base. With these in-depth services to our premium, long-term customers, we can create a greater value.
  3. Core products: We need to focus on core needs that matter most to gain deep-going insights in users and improve our core offerings and services to set industry benchmarks.

Time to Make Choices

Many important choices in our life are made in special times. Starting from today, every G7er needs to make a specific and firm choice: are you determined to cling to the phone all day long, experiencing the gamut of emotions and then feeling regret for each day you wasted, or do you want to focus on your goals, try your best to overcome all difficulties on your way ahead, and ultimately arrive where you have dreamed to be?

Please make this choice with every line of code, every iteration of products, each speech you make at a teleconference, and make this choice something you will be proud of in the future.

Zhai Xuehun

February 3, 2020

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