OTW's Portfolio Companies Respond to COVID-19

OTW's Portfolio Companies Respond to COVID-19

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. This stands true for Dibesh Karmacharya, the Chairman and CEO of BIOVAC Nepal Pvt Ltd. In trying times like these, Dibesh has done what real leaders do: proactively take charge in of mobilizing human and technical resources for COVID-19 preparedness. He has collaborated with his partner company, Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN), and led initiatives to:

Deliver training on the detection and surveillance of COVID-19 in Nepal and on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use by security forces
Set up a Bio-Safety Level 2 molecular diagnostic laboratory at the Nepal Korea Friendship Municipality Hospital within one week
Develop standard operating procedures for sample collection from 53 residents of Madhyapur Thimi Municipality who have had recent travel history to affected areas

Keep the Water Running

The need for running water has intensified 10 fold, as frequent hand-washing to ensure protection against COVID-19 has become the new normal. Bearing this in mind, Smart Panni is continuing its maintenance services during the lockdown and will continue to serve existing individual, households and institutional clients in maintaining their bio-sand filtration and rainwater harvesting systems.

Waste Concern is on a crusade against waste accumulation in the streets of Kathmandu. As the entire city is under lockdown, garbage collectors on the municipality payroll too were subjected to stay indoors until further notice, resulting in the streets being littered with day-to-day household waste.

On 29 March, Waste Concern partially resumed its operations after the government’s notice to resume immediate garbage collection. Waste Concern is taking measures to ensure that its collectors are well protected while they clean up the city by providing them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and sanitizers. At present, Waste Concern collects waste once a week from 4 am to 7 am in accordance with the government’s lockdown mandate.

Running the Mill Differently

Production has come to a halt, employees have returned home, and stores are shut. Although conditions seem bleak, companies like Cotton Mill have found a silver lining in the situation. For Cotton Mill, this lockdown has been a time for self-reflection and self-improvement. To increase and improve customer engagement, they are revamping the company’s website and social media platforms. Cotton Mill’s accounting team is also making use of this time to improve their internal processes by holding frequent virtual meetings with their auditors to streamline accounting practices. In addition, planning is underway to clear its existing inventory by introducing sales discount on various products.

Prior to the lockdown, Cotton Mill began manufacturing cotton masks to supply the growing need for personal protective equipment and will continue to do so after the lockdown has been lifted.

COVID-19 may have disrupted the normal schooling in Nepal but it hasn’t been able to stop the Nepal Bloom School from ensuring that the learning continues. The school has started BloomED, a Youtube programme that publishes weekly videos on different academic topics and sub-topics. The tutorials are specifically for Grade 10 students preparing for Secondary Education Examinations (SEE).

In the face of the pandemic, Ficus Biotech has halted its field and agro-consultancy services. On the bright side, it is actively deploying its staff to take care of plants that are being grown in its laboratory. Three employees have committed to be stationed at the laboratory and two at its greenhouse to continue production of new plants and nurture existing plants. Ficus is ensuring that its employees have an adequate supply of food and safe and hygienic accommodation in the office premise.