MUMBAI: As the country battles the COVID-19 crisis, a large chunk of the population is confined at home. To ease the burden of social distancing, most of the people are consuming more content, both on linear TV and online. The surge in consumption has caused higher demand for cable boxes as well as broadband connection of GTPL Hathway.
“The demands are becoming higher actually as people are staying at home. We are recovering a number of old boxes in the cable side and there is demand for new boxes as well. However, we are seeing more surge in broadband connection and bandwidth consumption is also very high. The consumption has increased on the cable side as well,” GTPL Hathway business head – video and chief strategy officer Piyush Pankaj said.
While there is a curfew-like lockdown, it is challenging for on-ground staff to run operations. But Pankaj mentioned that as MSOs and LCOs come under essential services, the proper documentation proving that they are, is helping them to work. He also said that they are updating police permission everywhere that the service comes under essential segments.The on-ground staff have also been given proper cards and letters to save them from any hassle. To ensure safety, they have also been given health guides, hand sanitizers, dresses covering their face and body.
However, GTPL has also reduced the manpower working on ground, as the main requirement there is the technical staff. The workforce, which do not need to be on-ground, have been given work-from-home option. Hence, while 20 per cent of the team is working from the real location, rest of the workers perform their duties from home.
“Till now the payment side is rolling smoothly, we are sending URLs to customers and asking them to pay and in some cases operators are also collecting on their paytm also. Sometimes operators are using the URL, using paytm to pay us; somewhere consumers are paying directly to us. Lockdown started one week ago; we have not faced any problem on the credit side till then. If any problem comes, we will update technology and adhere to that,” Pankaj added.
GTPL has put some advertisements on COVID-19 on its own local channels. Moreover, whenever a customer calls, it is giving out messages to ensure consumer’s safety as well.