Fijian hardware company retains staff during COVID-19

Makita Australia's rep Russell Van Bael (right) demonstrates the cordless Makita circular saw at during the promotion event at Vinod Patel Carpark in Centerpoint yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

One of the country’s leading hardware companies made every effort to retain staff at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite being on the “back foot” when supply chains were affected around the globe.

Vinod Patel and Co Pte Ltd chief operating officer Neelesh Pal Singh said they had to re-strategise in order to keep business afloat and to avoid sending staff home.

“There is no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted everyone and it did on us too,” he said.

“I cannot hide away from the fact that it affected building material supplies and at certain times it put us on a back foot too.

“But, since we had a strong team, we managed to adapt to the situation, we went around sourcing new partners.

“We are still improving in the situation from what we were compared to two years ago.”

Mr Singh said they had to work around the situation so their staff did not lose their jobs.

“It was one of the most important things, we needed to keep our people employed as best as we could because they had families to feed.

“No one was laid off even though we had to go on flexible hours, but we just made sure everyone was working.”

He made this comment during the Makita Trade Event at Centrepoint on Wednesday night.

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