Covid 2.0: Upcoming vaccination drive will help us get back on our feet – VG Jaishankar

Industry Watch | May 3, 2021 | Feature

VG Jaishankar Hyperlink Brand Solutions

An unprecedented rise in Covid19 cases in the pandemic’s second wave has affected the entire country. It has also hit the event industry hard. The shock came even as the industry was slowly recovering from the pandemic with in-person events starting to happen in the past few months.

EVENTFAQS Media reached out to industry stakeholders to get their view of the current situation and understand their approach to it.

We asked: Is the event industry better prepared now to face the challenge, than it was a year ago? Is there a case for government assistance to the event industry? What should the industry seek?

Here is what VG Jaishankar, President, Hyperlink Brand Solutions, had to say:

The experiential business is now better aware and prepared to handle in-person engagements with all the necessary Covid protocols. We are also engaging with companies abroad to assess best practices followed by them and to see if they are adaptable here in India. The key is self-discipline and self-regulation.”

“Recently, we did an event where we had a large yet crisp staff, working across multiple venues in order to maintain the guidelines of small groups. We were testing each individual every day before entering into the venues. We had Covid marshals on the floor strictly enforcing Covid protocols, sanitisation and appropriate Covid protection gear. We managed to curb the spread of Covid effectively in the midst of a large event, with the efforts mentioned. A large portion of our industry workforce is young and the upcoming vaccination drive will help us get back on our feet soon and this will eventually change the outlook for the industry from the client’s end too.”

“We have a large base of daily wage earners who suffer the most. Also, we have a lot of young people in this industry. I would appeal to the government to give the events and the travel/hospitality industry a tax exemption for a  minimum of three years. This will help in better utilisation of working capital and also help generate more employment. I would also appeal for lower rate of interest and easy financing (without collaterals up to a certain amount) from financial institutions.  This will help us re-establish the business.  Also, the government spending on this sector should increase and the rules of qualification and participation should be eased out in government tenders so that a larger base can take part in this sector.”

EVENTFAQS Media reached out to industry stakeholders to ask if the event industry is better prepared for the second wave and attendant restrictions on events across the country.

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