For more than three decades, Borivali-headquartered SRK Creative has been the dominant player in the photo album market of Mumbai. In recent years, it has expanded beyond Mumbai and has also made a mark in commercial and book printing markets. However, with the photo and commercial print market in turmoil due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the company is preparing for the “new normal” or the post COVID-19 world.
“Our business has taken a big hit since the lockdown came into effect on 25 March. We have had time to assess the situation and have realised that the post-COVID-19 world will be very different and we will have to take some really tough decisions. Our focus will be on cutting cost, launching new products and entering new markets,” says SRK’s chief marketing officer Kalpesh Mehta.
According to Mehta, the focus will be on reducing both fixed and variable costs. The company plans to cut its employee count as well as reduce compensation. It also plans to optimize power costs.
“We have to take tough decisions like cutting headcount and reducing compensation. The print market was struggling even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit all of us. The lockdown and suspension of all economic activities have now created an unprecedented situation. It is a matter of survival,” Mehta adds.
In addition to cutting cost, SRK is planning to launch new products which will help in creating more revenue options. The company plans to launch several new products in the photo market, focusing on the non-wedding segment.
“We are looking to create new products in the non-wedding photo market which remain mostly untapped. We have thought a lot about all these things and will begin launching these products once the lockdown is lifted, which I expect to happen soon,” Mehta says.
SRK is also preparing its offices so that all safety measures and social distancing norms are strictly followed. According to Mehta, in the near future all deliveries will happen at the entry gate.
“We will take utmost care of the safety and cleanliness at our workplace. Also, we have decided that we will enhance our digital marketing efforts so that orders are place virtually. Also, all the deliveries will be done at the gates and entry for outsiders will be severely monitored,” he says.
No investment and expansion plans
As the next six to eight months will be spent on focusing on adapting to the new economic environment, SRK will not be going in for any big investments or branch network expansion. The company currently has four branches at Borivali and Dadar in Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad.
“No, we do not have any plans at the moment to expand our branch network in the near term. We will only look at sustaining the operations at our four branches,” Mehta adds.
Any plan to expand will only be considered once the market stabilizes and things are back to normal, Mehta says. The next focus area of expansion will be in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities, mainly in Maharashtra. “We see huge growth potential in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities. In fact tier 3 cities hold more promise that tier 2 cities. We will focus on cities such Ratnagiri, Amravati, Kolhapur, Solapur, and Baramati,” he concludes.