Business continuity plan and sustainability measures in response to COVID-19

Background

Sannam S4 is committed to ensuring the services we deliver for our clients to continue despite potential political and social disruptions, natural disasters, or health emergencies.  Sannam S4 has in place a robust Business Continuity Plan as well as the Disaster Recovery Plan to provide management a roadmap for responding to these situations.  Sannam S4 formalized these plans as part of the process of becoming ISO 27001 Certified for our information security management system in 2018.

The unprecedented situation of the recent COVID-19 outbreak has illuminated the need to provide internal and external stakeholders with an outline of how we have actioned these plans and how we will address business continuity in the coming days, weeks, and months ahead.

Current Situation

On March 11, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.  Around the world, governments have responded with forms of shut down and social distancing measures.  International travel has been restricted or banned. Developments are unfolding rapidly and full details of these provisions as well as other developments can be found in the COVID-19 update page of our website

Sannam S4’s Immediate COVID-19 Response 

Sannam S4’s top priority is the health, safety, and wellbeing of our staff across the world.  Sannam S4 was quick to develop a COVID-19 Response Team, which included top leadership from each of the jurisdictions in which it operates.  The Response Team pulled intelligence from the markets and followed the most conservative guidelines available among leading global and local health authorities (e.g., WHO, CDC, Ministry of Health).  This led to taking the decision to implement remote, work-from-home across all Sannam S4 offices ahead of official orders from many governments.  These decisions were communicated with employees frequently and with the right specificity.  Support mechanisms and relevant information for employees has been disseminated by Human Resources on at least a weekly basis.

Potential Impact on Our Services 

Due to certain jurisdictions, particularly India, mandating full lockdown, our office-based services will be impacted largely due to non-availability and non-accessibility of space on account of the government restrictions. Areas of delivery that require physical interface will also be impacted.  Recognizing this, many governments are bringing more processes online in order to minimize disruption.  For services that require physical documentation, many of our client files are securely located within our premises and until those files are accessible, there may be some delays.  While many events are moving toward the digital platform, attending conferences and fairs will also be impacted for staff who regularly attend these functions on behalf of our clients.

Our Mitigation Strategy and Commitment to Our Client

As previously indicated, Sannam S4 staff have entirely moved to work-from-home and have been provided with appropriate resources by way of laptops, internet connectivity, and the technology in order to access client information.  Effective and efficient use of these platforms has been supported through internal training sessions.  Our regular meetings, both internal and external, are taking place through online media and communication channels leveraging platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Skype and others.

In the event any particular team member falls ill, Sannam S4 has organization charts across all of its service lines and can assign other team members to provide interim support.  In India, where Sannam S4 has most of its employees, all staff are covered under group life and medical insurance.  COVID-19 hospitalisation is covered under the current plan.

Under work-from-home, regular support is provided from line managers and HR to enable staff to continue to work effectively from home.  Planned communication channels are in place between the staff in India and the client’s point of contact.  Where necessary, work plans have been developed to ensure service continuity.  In such cases, these are reviewed regularly and flexed as required to ensure focus on delivering the overall objectives.

For clients in the higher education community, weekly COVID-19 updates from senior management are provided including an India news digest, Indian market sentiment analysis, and other market insights.  Key announcements from the Government of India impacting doing business in India and compliance, in particular, are also collated for distribution at no cost to Sannam S4’s clients and broader network.  Sannam S4’s professionals have also presented on a number of webinars and prepared white papers covering key aspects for our clients’ consideration.  Many of our insights are collated and shared with government authorities through our association and stakeholder networks in order to support the overall government response to the crisis.

As a business, we understand the challenges we and many of our clients are facing and are committed to coming out of this crisis stronger together.  Senior leadership at Sannam S4, including members of the COVID-19 Response Team, will continue to monitor the safety and sustainability of our own business to ensure our clients’ exposure in the areas we manage is limited and managed effectively.

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