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Challenges faced while navigating through COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, our team at Gham Power has been recalibrating strategies and reimagining different approaches for what’s next. Adjusting to the radically changing landscape created by the volatile COVID-19 pandemic has been quite a ride for us and not the most fun one at that. The ripple effects of COVID-19 have impacted several facets of our business and we have been continuously learning to build resilience and reorienting our focuses to make the right shift.

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Image: Social distancing while carrying out regular tasks

Restriction on Mobility

With the rise in the number of COVID-19 infections across Nepal, the government has enforced odd and even rules for both public and private vehicles, restricting vehicular movement in order to curb the possible spread. The restrictions on mobility have made it difficult for us to reach the office on a regular basis. We have been sharing rides with our work colleagues while maintaining social distancing and complying with the provided health and safety guidelines. As the office vehicle can only be used on alternate days, we have been hiring other vehicles as per need basis.

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Image: Solar installation at Hotel Yak and Yeti amidst the pandemic

The limitations on traveling have immensely affected the installation of several projects, creating issues in site visits, project supervision, project timelines, and overall budget. In order to minimize the effects, we have been regularly communicating and coordinating with our clients so that we can deliver the best and meet their expectations.

Supply Chain Disruption

The closure of commercial international flights has been an impediment to the import of necessary equipment and materials. We are experiencing delayed delivery of important components that we had purchased from abroad. In order to address the disruptions in the supply chain, we have been using alternate routes or transit for faster transportation. At the same time, we also have been consistently tracking the goods by following the supplier and our agents so that we have a realistic delivery timeline. Moreover, we are also considering chartered flights for urgent goods. 

Health and Safety Risk

The surge of COVID-19 cases in Nepal has increased concerns about a looming health and safety crisis. It is inevitable that we plan health and safety responses before reopening the office to mitigate health risks. Keeping that in mind, all the employees at Gham Power have been briefed about following the COVID-19 guidelines provided by the company. We have mandated the use of masks at all times inside the office and have been encouraging our employees to maintain social distancing, wash their hands and use sanitizers frequently throughout the day, bring lunch from home, avoid sharing of equipment, minimize interdepartmental visits and physical meetings, and so on.

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Image: Automatic hand sanitizer developed by our R&D team

An automatic hand sanitizer has been recently developed by our R&D team to ensure safer use. The installation staff at the project sites are provided with safety gloves, masks, and hand sanitizers. The body temperature of anyone who visits the installation site is checked. All the installation tools are sanitized regularly and sharing of any installation tools is strictly prohibited.

Furthermore, we have moved to virtual communication tools in order to lessen as much physical contact as possible. We are minimizing in-person meetings with our customers, vendors, and contractors. While shifting to a virtual workplace has introduced us to some overwhelming and uncharted challenges, we have been learning each day and exploring various approaches that promote shared workforce resilience.

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Images: All the employees at Gham Power were briefed about the COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Embracing a New Reality

As we navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, we are experiencing unprecedented disruptions and roadblocks in many aspects of our business. However, with the lessons learned from this experience and joint efforts from all our team members, we are optimistic in bouncing right back and being prepared to embrace the new normal.