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Wholesaler prepares for ‘quick start’ post COVID-19

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Gennadi Zharkov: His Lotta Olt company prepared for a quick start when the COVID-19 pandemic slows down.

Russian wholesaler, Lotta Olt, is preparing for a ‘quick start’ once the COVID-19 pandemic begins to slow down and the tackle industry shows signs of recovery.

Rather than allowing trade connections to suffer, the Moscow company has increased online communication with regular announcements and messages to reassure clients, many of whom are still in work mode. 

“We are also making more frequent calls, even to customers who have not placed an order, just to maintain contact,” said Gennadi Zharkov, the owner of Lotta Olt and an industry veteran of more than 25 years. 

“We are letting customers know that we are in pretty good shape – better than some others – and that the warehouse is full. All incoming orders have been paid and will be delivered soon. We have no credits or other negative factors and are ready for a quick start as soon as the pandemic slows down.”

In accordance with current regulations, all Lotta Olt staff are working from home, except for once a week, when a few managers have special passes to drive to the warehouse to pack and ship orders.

To help make sure the business emerges from the crisis in as good a shape as possible, Zharkov has had to reduce salaries by 50% and has negotiated discounts with some of his service providers like IT, telephone and internet. 

He has also focused on optimising the business using discounts, generating more online orders, small but mobile customers and working with internet shops.

“The crisis is a challenge and there remains a high level of uncertainty,” says Zharkov, a long-serving EFTTA board member. ”But in such a situation we have the opportunity to advance the plan for reorganising the company, which already existed but had been postponed for various routine reasons. 

“This is not the first challenge we have faced, but definitely the most difficult one. However, just as before, there will be a recovery.”

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