Keeping the wheels turning in the time of corona (Asia)


Fredrik Johansson Fredrik Johansson

We have asked our employees how the Corona is affecting their daily work in these dire times. Here is an update from Sunfabs subsidiaries. Fredrik Johansson, you are our Sales Manager at Sunfab Malaysia in Penang.

How is your local market doing under the current situation with restrictions based on the impact of the pandemic with limited opportunities to meet your customers?
“Basically, all markets in South East Asia has been under total lock down since mid-March and this of course had huge impact on the business in the region. However, restrictions are slowly being lifted now and hopefully we can see a slow recovery in some of the countries next few months. The general opinion of my customers is that 2020 will be a weaker year in total.”

Sunfab took early action on creating a guideline for all employees due to minimize the spread of Covid19, how have you been able to follow that, any reflections, negative or positive?
“Yes, I am aware of the Sunfab guidelines and have been following those. Most work can be handled remotely from home since the region I work with are under lock down and no customer visits are possible at the moment. Due to the circumstances, our continuing regular contacts with customers, has been working fine and it is very appreciated that we are in service to help. “

How do you work towards your customers to ensure that they get the support and business needs as seamlessly as possible?
What do you focus on in your daily work?
“I try to stay in frequent contact with the distributors and customers in the region. Email mainly for technical commercial and support, but also important with “informal” chats over the phone and WhatsApp etc. Distributors and customers are at the moment more or less in a “survival mode” so focus is to keep the conversation up and try to help out with any support they might need during this difficult time. I have also been able to do some preparatory work for entering new market once the Corona situation is more stable and international travel can be picked up again.”

What is the common view from our customers on their business due to the pandemic crisis and do they feel that Sunfab is supporting them?
“The situation is tough for our customers and their staff. No or very few incoming orders has resulted in pay cuts for employees etc. I do believe that they are happy with the support they get from Sunfab despite of the current situation. It’s about staying in contact and keep a good relation in general and try to give quick technical and commercial support once needed.”

The fact that the production and office in Sweden have been up and running during this whole crisis, any feedback from market?
“The customers seem to be impressed (and somewhat surprised) that we have been open all the time during this crisis.”

Do you have any success story or a happy story from your customer engagements during this period that you have got positive feedback on from customer?
“No, I can’t say that I can think of any success story for the past two months. In these difficult times, we all do what we can and there are many companies that are suffering financially from this.”

Is your market recovering and what is going to happen in near future, your feeling of the development?
“The markets are slowly starting to open up, but there is a great fear for set-back and a second wave of Corona virus which will most probably result in new lock downs and restrictions on the markets.”

Anything else you would like to say?
“The positive thing in all this, is that we seem to help our customers business to be as good as possible. But there are simply much slower activities on the market at the moment. That is why it is so important to keep the good relations up so that we can have a strong start once economy starts to pick up again. Long term, there are few people who don’t believe there is a great potential on the Asian markets.”