Alvero, a chemical engineer by profession and holder of Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Doctor of Philosophy in Business Management, said she consulted with her staff in charting a clear path for her company.
People above all
Alvero narrated: “We did an evaluation of our activities, including soil testing and lab testing for construction, environment, food and air quality. Our services were related to prevention and protection against COVID-19 but some of our key sectors were affected — especially those servicing the hospitality industry and the F&B (food and beverage) sector. The lockdown has affected our clients — which in turn affected our cash flow. But then again I banked on staff — they are chemists, researchers and lab technicians. They have the knowledge, skills and technical expertise to prepare solutions for sanitisers and disinfectants,” Alvero continued.
Alvero then instructed her staff to formulate a range of alcohol-based hand sanitisers. She partnered with a local manufacturer and produced Hagienex using environment-friendly and organic materials. “We can proudly say that Hagienex, a concept that came from my staff, was born during the pandemic. It is completely locally-produced and can compete with the more established brands. But more importantly, my staff were able to come up with a solution that supported our business model,” she pointed out.
COVID-19 lessons and solutions
Before the pandemic, Alvero said her company mainly focused on lab testing and certification in the UAE, India and the Philippines. She added: “We were affected by the pandemic, but we responded strongly, using our existing resources. We did not lay off anyone; instead we went aggressive in hiring because of the increased demand in chemists, engineers and lab technicians.”
Alvero noted it was a collective effort — from the bottom up — that salvaged her company. She managed her people well and they, in turn, became more creative and productive. “In our business, the most critical asset is our people. Yes, people-related costs, including compensation and benefits are the single-largest budget items for most companies, but managing people has now shifted to a more strategic role in fulfilling a company’s strategy and goals,” she underlined.
Alvero said in the next two weeks the company will a new line of household sanitisers, handwashes and kitchen soap, as well as surface disinfectants “We are finishing a filtration machine that can convert tap water into a cleaning agent. We are formulating water-based disinfectants to replace chemical-based cleaning solutions,” Alvero proudly told Gulf News.
She added: “The most important lesson I learnt during this pandemic was to trust your employees — they are very creative and they will surely help you keep the business afloat.”