At a time when companies are on a brutal firing spree amid coronavirus lockdown, Asian Paints has set an example by announcing annual salary increments for its employees in order to boost their morale, even as the company said revenues might fall. The country's biggest paint maker has also transferred Rs 40 crore into the accounts of its contractors. Not just that, the company, according to a report published by the Economic Times, has been assisting the sales channel by providing hospitalisation and insurance, full sanitisation facilities for partner stores, and direct cash support.

Asian Paints store
Asian Paints has also donated Rs 35 crore towards the PMCares and other state coronavirus funds. Facebook/AsianPaints

"We have to set an example of true leadership and an organisation that takes care of all its stakeholders. I have been updating the board regularly on all such initiatives and have received their approval for these actions. I see this as a big opportunity to step in and interact with every single employee and assuage their concerns in an uncertain marketplace. We are not in the hire and fire business," Asian Paints MD and CEO Amit Syngle was quoted as saying by The Economic Times.

Donated Rs 35 cr toward PMCares & state Covid funds

Recently, Asian Paints announced to donate Rs 35 crores towards the PMCares Fund and other state relief funds to fight the coronavirus pandemic. On request from the Ministry of Chemicals, Asian Paints is also making sanitizers to fulfill the increased demands.

"The germination of the idea of sanitizers came from the Ministry of Chemicals, nudging us to make them....We came out with a range of hand and surface sanitizers under the brand name Viroprotek. This launch also resonated with our health & hygiene space foray where we already have Royale Health shield, an anti-bacterial and anti-asthma paint," Syngle added.

Asian Paints has been debt-free for years and maintaining a healthy dividend payout to its shareholders. Although the sales have declined by 9.62 per cent over the past five years and likely to down further due to coronavirus lockdown, the company will get benefits from the slumping crude oil prices since it forms up to 35 per cent of the raw material costs.

"We have been debt-free for years and are quite comfortably placed even if the uncertainty goes on for the next four or five months. The company had announced a huge dividend payout in March and shareholder return is our top priority," Syngle added.