ROCKWOOL - Navigating in the wake of COVID-19
Updated: Dec 16, 2020
As an integral part of the Green Denmark in Southeast Asia community, we aim to highlight the latest developments, insights and forecasts from leading Danish companies and solutions providers present on the Southeast Asian markets.
In our "Peers on the ground" article series we zoom in on how ROCKWOOL navigates the new norms of business in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the following, Jeff Wilcox, the Managing Director of ROCKWOOL Asia shares his thoughts and insights of the ROCKWOOL business as well as the trends and opportunities beyond COVID-19.
What are the immediate effects of COVID-19 on your activities in Southeast Asia?
COVID-19 has affected our way of life, with the ‘new normal’ and practices of wearing masks, social distancing and hygiene maintenance. In respect to the business, we experienced a challenging 2nd quarter with the Government imposed temporary shutdown of production in our Malaysian and Indian factories, which disrupted supplies to the market. Furthermore, with many of us having to work from home, we naturally tended to work longer hours with meetings and trainings all conducted online.
We are very proud of how our people have responded and adapted quickly to this new situation, and how we have come together to serve our customers and keep the business going.
How has the crisis affected the way you operate and act in Southeast Asia?
Our priorities are the safety of our employees, keepings our factories running and serving our customers to the best of our abilities. Even with COVID-19 affecting the construction industry, our business model remains resilient based on ‘local production for local markets’. It allows us to run our local business to meet the local market demands and protects us to some degree from impacts of changes in global supply chains.
As we adjusted to working from home where necessary, we are also accelerating the use of digital and remote working to keep our business going, to serve our customers, and to be ready to bounce back fully as restrictions are lifted across different countries.
Do you see immediate opportunities arising in light of the current crisis?
In the ‘new normal’ of COVID-19 pandemic, people now spend more time indoors, having to change how they work, live, and play. Buildings therefore should be a safe and comfortable place for them to spend extended periods of time, while allowing increased concentration and productivity for those working from home.
ROCKWOOL is in a unique position to be able to offer insulation solutions that keep buildings safe from fire, protect its occupants from the heat and noise commonly experienced in urban environments, as well as helping to keep air conditioning bills in check despite the long hours of indoor cooling time.
Looking beyond COVID-19, which lasting change or new trends do you foresee within your commercial focus areas in Southeast Asia?
Acceleration of digital transformation is something that is already happening now. Companies do need to take radical steps to adopt digital technologies, at the same time modernizing the mindset and culture of their workforce in order for the transformation to effectively propel the business forward.
Another trend that we see emerging is on ambient wellness. Being stuck at home during lockdowns, people had formed hygiene habits that are becoming a part of their daily life. It also encompasses the desire to remain safe and well in the spaces they are in. Certainly, this need to be in a safe environment offers potential new areas of opportunities for us in terms of creating indoor spaces that are both safe and healthy for occupants.
What is your best advice for new players eyeing markets in Southeast Asia at this stage?
Southeast Asia is a region with diverse market situations and requirements. Therefore, new players eyeing this region should invest in being present in each market in order to have a good understanding of and to serve the needs of individual markets. ROCKWOOL has, over many years, invested in building our presence here; today we are in the position to serve our customers well in each of the markets of Southeast Asia. We will continue to increase our local presence here as we look to grow more strategically into 2021.
Get in touch for more information about ROCKWOOL:
Head of Branding & Communications - Asia