How different businesses in the ICT sector are dealing with COVID-19

 Dmitry Okorokov's Interview for Teletimes international

How is your business currently dealing with the impact of COVID-19? Is your business operational through “work-from-home” or other hybrid policies?

Everything we do at Infinet is about connectivity. We keep our customers happy by providing them with world leading fixed broadband wireless access (FBWA) solutions so they can stay connected to those who are important to their own businesses. Infinet has a presence in over 130 countries around the world and we are accustomed to solving many work issues remotely. At the moment, and despite the conditions, Infinet continues to manufacture and ship equipment, our production operates as usual and every day we receive new orders from different parts of the world. We will continue to fulfill our obligations to employees and customers. 

Research and development work continues as intensively as possible. Our R&D teams continue to work remotely and with high levels of efficiency. We have also made sure all our other departments can work remotely too and we remain committed to our ambitious plans for design and development. We will certainly do everything that we have planned together.

How has the supply chain behind your business been affected?

We have seen that delivery times have been affected somewhat and costs have increased as the number of cargo flights has decreased. However, we have not been forced to suspend any supplies and continue to fulfill our obligations to customers, although sometimes with slight delays. We have more than enough components to support the production process of all our products for many months. 

How long do you think will the impact from COVID continue to last?

The current situation is unprecedented in modern history. At the moment, no one can accurately predict how much more time the world will be affected. One thing is for sure, we will all feel the effect of the massive impact the situation has on the global economy for a very long time to come. 

Do you think it is still advisable for businesses to continue to invest in innovation related projects?

Yes, of course, life does not stop, and neither does our business. We must not only survive in this difficult situation, but also meet the high requirements of our customers and the emerging trends of the modern market. Developers need to be able to look 10 years ahead. It can take up to 4 years for a new product is put into mass production. In order for the development to be able to pay off and bring money to the company, it must remain relevant and be sold for another five years. In order to maintain this pace, investment in development cannot stop.

What will be the notable adverse effects of the pandemic in your industry that will be visible two months from now?

There are definitely going to be some lasting changes for the telecommunications industry as a result of the current outbreak. An obvious problem now is the lack of capacity of communication channels. Companies in all countries switched to remote work, which increased traffic. On the other hand, as a result, the demand for equipment has increased. Telecommunications operators are providing an increasing number of services; the number of subscribers, as well as the need for channels, including radio, is increasing.

What would you be your advice to your customers and vendors dealing with COVID-19?

In this difficult time, we must be as careful as possible. We implore customer and vendors to adhere to the advice of relevant authorities, and we hope they can keep themselves and their families safe during this time. We must also appreciate however that people rely on their business for their livelihoods, and their operations can just stop. We understand that today's crisis is not systematic, and when it ends we must get back up to full speed very quickly. 

 Teletimes International, April 2020