As the Covid-19 pandemic has turned into thebiggest challenge of the year, designing proven corporate strategies has become a must for the survival of any company. Being one of the biggesthousehold namesin the female beauty niche, Avon was one of the first to have taken action to ensure the safety of its customers and employees. The FINANCIAL reached out to Director Ana Tskhadadze to gain insights into the company’s activities in light of the pandemic.
Q. What measures did you take to ensure the continuity of normal service?
A. One of our core values has always been to take care of our employees and their safety, therefore even before the Covid-19 threat had become a country-wide emergency, Avon had already begun avoiding risks and decided to let 80% of its employees begin working remotely, as well as making sure that the office would be turned into a very safe environment.
Thermo-screening, anti-virus equipment (medical face masks, face shields, gloves, hand sanitizers), disinfectants (disinfectant, floor and work surface cleaners) and systematic cleaning with special antibacterial sanitizers all became a daily standard that eliminated the risksas much as possible.
In order to ensure the continuity of business and reduce risks, 2 shift work schedules were introduced in the supply and distribution department. We provided special transportation for employees to move them from home to work and back home again, all for their own safety.
Standard dual packaging of products was used to deliver them safely to customers, and most of the customers were transferred to contactless delivery service.
Q. How would you evaluate the quality of your service now compared to before the pandemic?
A. Avon has always been distinguished for its high level of service, therefore during the pandemic, due to the restrictions imposed by the government, we had a problem with the delivery of orders in quarantined areas. A team of professionals managed to eliminate the problem in the shortest time possible however, and quickly resumed the delivery of orders to the quarantined areas.
Q. Has there been any need for employee layoffs or wage reductions?
A. Avon is one of the strongest global companies, which became even more evident during the pandemic. We faced very challenging and difficult obstacles during the lockdown, but we not only kept our employees at a 100% salary rate, but also paid their annual bonus and did not stop the benefits system for a single day (for example when compensating meal allowances).
Each of our employees is proud to be working for a company that takes constant careof their wellbeing. And moreover, although we have been working remotely since the first day of the pandemic, we have tried our best to maintain the corporate culture. We continued conducting various online trainings, masterclasses as well as sports activities,as we continue to believe that employees are the greatest asset a company can have.
We are also very proud to have managed to keep on our more than 1,000 business partners throughout Georgia without reducing their wages. One of the most important values for us is to help women become stronger, more independent and to give them more business as well as personal development opportunities. We are very happy that we have managed to make our values stronger even during a pandemic!
Q. What were the government regulations in your industry and how did the company cope with them?
A. We managed to cope with all the regulations that we’ve had from the government. Avon is a huge corporation and as an international brand we have more regulations within the corporation to keep our employees and associates safe. Even though it was very challenging for our company, we followed every regulation step by step and managed to adapt quickly and successfully.
Q. The pandemic has had a substantial impact on the majority of Georgian citizens. Has your company made any contribution though CSR campaigns or activities?
A. One of the most successful examples of our CSR has been the psychosocial support centre for women battling breast cancer, where former patients themselves are helping current patients to cope with the difficulties that accompany this incurable disease.
Despite the difficulties, we are very proud to have maintained funding for the “Pink Space” and continue helping the women who need it the most. In addition, we have launched the GEL 1 project, which means that any of our representatives will be able to transfer at least GEL 1 to the fund with just the click of a finger when placing an order on our website as a support project to pink space and the breast cancer campaign.
Q. What are your expectations of the future?
A. Being a household brand with more than 130 years of history and leading the global cosmetics market with quality products means that Avon is strongly positioned within the beauty industry.
Avon is a brand with a commitment to improving women’s health, safety and self-esteem through beauty and encouragement for them to speak out. Avon aims to be the brand that brings superior quality to all women.
We will stay focused on empowering women and encouraging them to achieve self-improvement and independence. We will always remain the number one supporter that gives them various opportunities for a better life and for a better future.