It is a difficult time for businesses, but it is also a good time for brand building. Understanding this opportunity, Duroflex is looking at ways and means to engage with communities and also taking time to mull over diversifying the business.
An exploration of the crisis
Speaking to The Free Press Journal, Mathew Chandy, Managing Director of Duroflex said, “Our businesses are hit but we are financially a strong and resilient company. We have stood the test of time. We vow to keep ourselves resilient and as part of this we have decided to diversify.” However, Chandy did not divulge any detail. “It will be too early to talk about it, " he stated.
While this economic situation looms, Chandy and his team are exploring options not just to ease pressure on the medical team fighting COVID 19, but also exploring opportunities for the future. Presently, Duroflex in partnership with
Dozee are helping track heartbeat, respiration, sleep, and stress-recovery with medical-grade of 98.4 per cent accuracy. Dozee is a contact-free health monitor that has a thin sensor sheet that goes below the mattress.
“We have used Dozee to monitor more than 30 plus quarantine individuals. We have supplied this technology-enabled mattress to a few hospitals in Kerala and Karnataka. Through this technology, the non-critical patients or quarantined individuals can be tested from remote locations, helping in reducing pressure on hospitals.”
While Duroflex is extending help during this pandemic, it is also using this opportunity to learn and develop new products. Commenting on the Dozee-enabled Duroflex mattress, Chandy revealed, “This is an opportunity where this technology-enabled mattress can be useful by an individual to keep track of their elderly family member from a remote location.”
The company will continue investing in product development. But it is not looking at investing in areas where there will be no immediate returns.
“Our focus is on innovation, product development, new skills and talents, and widening our community. We will not rush into investing in heavy capital infrastructure. But the focus will be on the full capacity utilisation of existing infrastructure,” Chandy asserted. The company had plans to invest around Rs 100 crore to expand its business.
Duroflex has six manufacturing units located in Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. “All these units are mostly shut as they do not come under essentials. But once lockdown is lifted, we will start production in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka as the units in these locations are not based in (COVID 19) hotspots,” he added.
“We will start production in a phased manner. We will start sales in e-commerce channels, as other channels of sales will be shut for a longer time.”
However, as and when needed, Duroflex has been taking special permissions and producing mattresses for the hospitals. Duroflex has provided 1,273 mattresses to hospitals and satellite hospitals (smaller centres).
The company donated around 300 mattresses to CMC Vellore, a teaching hospital in Tamil Nadu. The company has also provided mattresses to the quarantine centre at Tata Housing Project and the District Industrial Centre (DIC), Krishnagiri.
Attempting to make Duroflex synonym to sleep
The company has been able to get an engaging audience who are staying at home and spending most of their time in bed. So, as a brand Duroflex is looking at building brand recall through a series of activities. The mantle for this is with Smita Murarka, Vice President, Marketing of Duroflex.
“We are engaging with a mixed set of audience and building a community that values sleep for immunity. While we do this, we are not force-fitting our brand,” Murarka stated. The company has released a film titled #StayIn with the social message urging people to #StayIn and #StayHome. “Other than this, we are collaborating with influencers and conducting activities on a weekly basis, " she added.