JOSE THOMAS

Jose Thomas began his entrepreneurship at the young age of 17. Born in Cochin, India as the 10th child of O. C. Thomas, partner of Choice Canning Company, he entered the family seafood business on the demise of his father... Read More...

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JOAN MARY

PA To Jose Thomas

:  jmary@choicegroup.in

:  91-98470-87504

:  91-484-3019725

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Dear Friends,

I am writing this blog with mixed feelings, sitting within the closed doors at my home in New Jersey, about 45 miles away from New York City, the epicenter of the Covid-19 in America, working off of my laptop with great hopes of seeing the world hop and thrive again!  Missing my City life… feeling terrible watching an empty and inactive Time Square!  My family feels that I am a share holder of Fox News because as I work I always have the news on.., I love watching President Trump … and his task force every day keeping all of us appraised of what’s  going on and what  may happen. Everyone believes this virus will be defeated and gone. I too believe this will soon be behind ..  But many still haven’t understood the impact of what this virus will leave behind for us in terms of the economy. In this blog I will be concentrating on the impacts of how this  virus will  attack  the  world economies  …especially India, and at the same time remind every business.. small, medium and large to be very practical and be helpful to all employees. No one created  this crisis… it came by surprise and attacked the rich and the poor without any discrimination!  We were all caught off guard!


I am not a magician nor an expert to predict where the world economy is heading, forecasting GDP and so on.  I have written in my earlier blogs about forecasts being made by various economists, predicting about the GDP growth of many nations, including India.  Even four months back I remember some leading firm predicted that India’s GDP will stay at around 7% growth. Look at it today? I wonder what was the meaning in making these predictions? This is not the time to predict, but time to act. I think most of the countries worldwide are walking into recession.  … at this time all I can say is …  be very realistic and act to protect ourselves and our business.


This invisible enemy has attacked 184 countries. The good news is that most countries have managed to mitigate this virus following the simple rules like social-distancing, and staying at home ..and  I see many countries  soon returning  to normalcy. While I really appreciate the tremendous job done by the U.S. Government, I must also applaud the Indian Government for having managed this pandemic very efficiently, keeping loss of life to the lowest levels. I live a few miles from the epicenter New York. I have been closely watching all the actions that the white house and various state governors have been undertaking in minimizing the damages from this invisible evil. Everyone has done a great job… we all need to remember the front line workers .. nurses .. first responders .. doctors .. police…  fire fighters and everyone else  who are risking their own lives for saving the lives of people who got attacked by this pandemic .


I am confident  this enemy will be defeated soon .. and I am sure you all will agree as well . .  Now I  want to draw the attention of all my readers  of the impact this terrible enemy will have on the world economy. There are many innocent people amidst us .. who  haven’t yet understood what’s in store, Scientists and medical professionals have done their job well.  Now the question is, who are the “scientists” that can protect and defend mankind from the peril of this pandemic?   THE ULTIMATE THREAT TO GLOBAL ECONOMIES!


Restaurants are  closed everywhere, small and medium businesses on the verge of collapse, unemployment rising …. America  has crossed 16 million in unemployment just last week. Very scary! At this time no preaching will help, nor the comforting messages being published  by billionaires and philosophers. They all are well found  and it’s very easy to write messages that will comfort people … the fact of the matter is… there are many out there who can’t solve their problems without money… and no rich man is out there  waiting to  solve the pains of millions! Who is going to solve the pain of the common man?  This pain cannot be solved with a band aid like economic  solution.  It needs a well-choreographed plan that can be executed and implemented.   For this we need brave and courageous leaders and not just economists.  I have faith in the leaders of the nations I am writing about in this blog .. USA  and INDIA   . look at our exports? Look at our domestic trades?  Look at the lucrative UAE  economy where millions of Indians  depend upon?


Today .. Everyone  from children to  adults are forced to stay at   home, because we have to collectedly fight this enemy…. There is no other way ! … but do you all realize what  will be the outcome of this sit at home?? for some it could be fun .. I must say they must be  the unfortunate ones who could be belonging to the group of the most innocent  and not being aware  the  long term consequences.


In America I too own and run a business. To support the economy  the federal  Government has come out  with various stimulus plans  and announced strong economic incentives  to help the people. One amongst the  various stimulus  is the one that benefit small and medium businesses known as “PPP” (Payroll Protection Plan). This means the U.S Government will reimburse  salaries and the fixed expense of a business for 8 weeks, as long as they retain their employees on their pay roll…  WOW!!  This will incentivize business owners to  keep employees in their jobs and soon after the economy opens up, one could be back in business .. can you imagine losing your trained employees or them disappearing when the virus is gone ? it will be very difficult to retrain and get back to where you left it when you were forced to shut doors.


I am also proud to write that my organization in the U.S also employees more than 100 people in our production facility and offices. I am quite happy to write to all of you that so far I haven’t laid off a single employee or even threatened to disturb the fabric of their life. I am very confident that I will be in a position to continue to do as I am confident of getting the necessary support from the U.S. Government and to work smart and hard to protect my employees including the beloved ones I have employed in India. Close to 1500 works for my company in India . and I will stand by them .. They are my assets . They are the reason for what I am today .. they worked hard for my company and I have more than moral responsibility to support them in these difficult times …


This morning I was shocked to see an article published in the  Times of India about a major IT company, one of the top companies in India.  I feel very sad and upset .. for the employees who worked so hard for this company and contributed to the unbelievable profits this company made during the past several years. I highly respect  the CEO who heads this company... a great organization having contributed to the Indian economy . but it’s very painful to read   about the actions they are planning to take in order  mitigate  the temporary dip they anticipate to  their bottom line ? look at  the action they are planning ?  My dear friends, you can draw your own inference from this.  I am  heading  the Choice Group  and have around 1500 employees.  We haven’t made profits to the decimal factor of what this IT Company has made but I am proud to say that my employees so far have been paid on the due date and I have never put any fear into their minds about being fired or “downsized”. On the contrary I am in touch with  them on a weekly basis .. promising them hope!   We business people have huge  responsibility  to protect our employees ..I  appeal to all the  business houses not to hurt employees during this transition to  an unknown future … after the covid goes away !


I must appeal to all large organizations in my country “India” who owns  large reserves and surplus to protect their employees at this difficult time.  Give them the confidence that we employers will “stand by them” like I am “standing by my employees” .  We all have to understand the responsibility of a true and honest business man or business house and don’t fear .. . Protect the employees, keep them safe and happy and make sure that their homes will have no reason to shed tears.  Let’s stand with them.  I suddenly thought about the great song “Stand by me”. For those who have the time, please click on the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqB8Dm65X18&list=PLir_7uE-qn_vISyy78QvqC1YDI4PbD2gf and you will understand the true meaning of the song.

I want to sign off by wishing everyone the very best and hope we see better days soon!!

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