Here is the report from MVB Chairman Alistair Speirs’ discussion with President Director Didier Peres.
Every day brings a new light of hope,” said Didier , when asked how PIPA are coping with the crisis, “ we thought that COVID19 would somehow slow down our hectic path, but indeed it does not seem to be the case. Like many, I’m still in a state of shock as to just how quickly the situation has escalated over the last week.
But is your business badly affected by the coronavirus?
Whilst that feeling of shock is yet to die down, I am thankful to be working in the water sector, considered by many as vital - but unfortunately might not be the case in Indonesia where water is often thought of as ‘free’ and unlimited. We really feel we are needed now.
How is PT PIPA adjusting to the situation?
Our entire business is now mid-way through its second week of working remotely. Field investigations and direct meetings with site engineers have been replaced by Google Meet hangouts; individual consultations with my team, partners and clients are now happening more regularly than before, via WhatsApp chat functionality. One of my previous staff, that keeps asking for news, offered to organize a ‘virtual birthday party’ for one of our staff presently locked in Sumedang...
We were already implementing remote project management, through ASANA software and the present trend is now “the new normal” for us.
What are the main challenges you are facing ?
Of course, managing this transition brings many challenges, among which is punctuality. It has never been considered critical in Indonesia (jam karet), and these new tools trigger new challenges whenever the meetings involve several parties from different locations at one precise time...
Field surveys and site investigations have been totally redesigned. Actually, it generates a deeper involvement from the client's team. It requires a very precise understanding of the local context and a common vocabulary, in order to clearly identify the topic to address. Whatsapp video calls are excellent tools and generally provide the platform for discussion and online decisions.
Do you think this situation allows you to show where PT PIPA can express its strengths?
- Our experience allows us to quickly understand the problem, the challenge and the potential solution. Hence it allows straight to the point discussions.
- We are not strangers to remote monitoring, and I’m actually quite excited by the way we have been able to turn these online meeting challenges into digital opportunities so quickly.
- Aside from staying safe at home, our lockdown so far has been very much focused on reshaping and rejuvenating PT PIPA's strategy; It allows us to advocate even louder, that water is vital for business – ALL business.
- Our team keeps investigating innovative bridges to connect Indonesian Water sustainability with International professionals all around the planet. Watch our instagram, linkedin, twitter in few weeks time...
As far as we are concerned, in PT PIPA, more than ever, we consider that Water Sustainability keeps going, and so is our willingness to remain beside you and all MVB team.
Well on behalf of the MVB Team we wish all at PT PIPA the very best and hope that recovery comes soon