St Petersburg - PhosAgro Independent Director Jim Rogers participated in a panel session at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum entitled 'Lessons Learned during the Pandemic: Stories of Business Successes and Failures', where he offered his perspective on the personal, professional and social experience gained from the coronavirus pandemic.
Opening the session, Andrey Sharonov, President of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO and Member of PhosAgro's Board of Directors, noted that the pandemic forced businesses to address new challenges and dilemmas, in which they often had to balance human and economic factors. Health hazards for employees, supply chain disruption, remote working, restrictions on business travel - all these and many other contributing factors affected companies and caused them to rethink their priorities.
Jim Rogers said that the business community's concern, openness and participation can and should become a key part of corporate culture, and only then would the world be able to avoid the large-scale consequences of such crises. "In Russia, I have seen such team spirit and companies fighting to keep their employees healthy. PhosAgro, for example, has spent more than RUB 3.5 billion fighting coronavirus.
After the first signs of the pandemic emerged, the Company quickly developed an action plan aimed at protecting the health of employees in several regions at once," said Jim Rogers. "It was essential for us to communicate with everyone on the team and to make sure they felt safe in their workplace. Timeliness, clarity and appropriateness of action in the early days of the pandemic, when the situation was constantly changing and we had little knowledge of the virus, bought time and minimised the number of people infected. Thanks to its strategic focus on people, the Company managed to avoid disruption to significant business processes, and moreover avoided having to shut down operations. At the end of 2020, PhosAgro not only did not reduce production, but increased output, created additional jobs, and in a challenging situation, was able to remain a guarantor of its employees' well-being. PhosAgro has done a great job," concluded Jim Rogers.
Christina Tikhonova, President of Microsoft Rus, agreed that during the pandemic, strengthening corporate culture, maintaining cooperation within companies and building effective teams were particularly important.
Mikhail Karisalov, the CEO of SIBUR LLC, noted that the pandemic and the shift of a large proportion of employees to remote working have made the issue of comfortable working conditions particularly relevant. Access to technical equipment and software and the ability to organise one's work and space while working remotely are important efficiency factors both during and after the pandemic.
During the discussion, Andrey Sharonov also said that he was impressed by the way many companies, including PhosAgro, supported all residents in the cities where they operate, without limiting their assistance to just their employees. According to Sharonov, this is a shining example of the corporate social responsibility that Russian companies have shown during a difficult crisis period.