Toonz Media Group, situated in Trivandrum, Kerala is one amongst the many studios that create some fascinating IPs for kids to enjoy. With the current pandemic situation across the world, many companies have been shut down, many are shifting bases and others are following the work from home option, to keep the work going.
Talking to Animation Xpress, Toonz Media Group CEO P. Jayakumar took us through the working patterns at their office. “The safety and health of our staff, partners and clients has been our paramount concern and hence we initiated work from home even before the nation-wide lockdown was officially declared,” said he.
In this situation too, the company is achieving nearly ninety percent productivity, which is something they all were hopeful about but weren’t practically anticipating and therefore it has come as a pleasant surprise to them. All the artists and other staff are working from the safety of their homes and continue to deliver as efficiently as possible.
We hear many companies taking harsh measures and there are salary cuts, lay-off happening, but Toonz has decided not to implement any measures that would cause distress to our employees. “Our employees have really risen to the challenge and are ensuring that deliveries as well as sales are continuing to occur at its intended pace,” added Jayakumar.
The company is in fact giving back to the community at large. The educational arm, Toonz Academy is providing a 25 per cent fee discount to all their students whose immediate family members are part of the healthcare and police workforce. This is Toonz way of showing deep gratitude for the selfless service they’ve been providing.
To a certain extent, the pandemic definitely has posed challenges for all businesses. The development, pre-production, sales and other support-service teams at Toonz have been working effectively through collaboration from their homes in India, New Zealand, Turkey, Spain and Ireland. However, being a large studio, with hundreds of artists handling animation production, it has been challenging to arrange complex systems, data rooms and software at their homes.
The company has ensured that the business operates as normally as possible and their sales as well as content deliveries continue to happen without hassle through the extensive deployment of adequate relevant technology and equipment. They have also installed certain common portals for all employees to facilitate interaction as well as for monitoring the progress of various projects/ activities.
“The existing culture of intra-team and inter-team interaction and coordination throughout the company has proven to be a great advantage during a tough time like this. Channels of open communication have helped us resolve any issues without delays,” Jayakumar said.
The team is coping with the situation and is busy than usual, mentioned Jayakumar. “My schedule has been busier than before with plenty of calls and online meetings through the day,” added he. Virtual townhall team meetings, weekly mailers checking on everyone’s well-being as well as passing on useful information keeps the entire team connected and motivated, building a sense of community, keeping everyone’s spirits up.