New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) As the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing nation-wide lockdown severely impacts across sectors, Essar Capital Director Prashant Ruia has said the the company would face a tough time in the coming one or two quarters.

Addressing employees of the company through Essar Radio, a platform created to maintain ‘e-connect’ among all ‘Essarites’ working from home, he said that the Essar Group is in a better position compared to other companies.

“Covid-19 will have a global impact, the magnitude of which we are still assessing. We are certainly going to see a very difficult one or two quarters. There will be demand destruction, which is already visible across the board. Whatever plans we have will have to be calibrated keeping in mind the pandemic,” he said.

Ruia added that Essar has been “working tirelessly” to resolve some of the issues it faced because of developments in the country’s regulatory framework, adding that the group has significantly reduced its debt and its balance sheet is much more robust.

“We are now leaner, lighter and stronger to take on the future,” Ruia said during the interaction on Tuesday.

He added that the company was poised to embark on a phase of investment-led growth, the third phase in its transformation.

The first phase was the deleveraging that is now largely completed and the the second phase was consolidation, which is expected to be complete by June this year, he said adding that the third phase was growth under the Essar 2.0 programme.

On the group’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak, Ruia said that it had set up a monitoring committee with all the senior management of Essar which is now meeting daily through virtual means to address the situation that has arisen out of the pandemic.

On another front, Essar Foundation is focussed on providing support to the larger community, from supplying personal protective equipment, masks and ventilators to hospitals to providing food to labourers who are finding themselves in a difficult position.

“Many of these efforts have already been set into motion and we plan to do a lot more for the community so that we play our part in being good corporate citizens,” Ruia said.

The Essar Covid-19 Relief Fund is committed to support various marginalised groups that are truly in need of funding, he said. This includes transgenders, the homeless, daily wage earners, and women with a background of domestic violence.

“We have reached out to Essar employees and senior leadership to contribute to the fund,” he said.

–IANS

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