We all know that expression, if life gives you lemons then make some lemonade. Or, as Rahm Emanuel, the former mayor of Chicago once said regarding something else, ‘never let a crisis go to waste. It’s just an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.’ Like many of you, the recent circumstances have given me the opportunity to reflect on lemons, lemonade and all that’s in between. From a health and safety standpoint, the world has made great progress in curtailing the spread of the virus, but still the battle goes on and we can’t afford to be complacent or lower our guard. As we slowly return to the new normal, we recognize the fact that, first and foremost, we must do everything in our power to implement safety guidelines to protect our employees, their families and our communities at large.
We’re in it, together
I am proud to say that Kornit has adopted a proactive approach from the get-go of this crisis, identifying the need for protective face masks and quickly responding to the challenges of safe mask printing. We continue to shoulder the load by donating inks to printers across the globe involved in printing protective gear or in any way involved in the promotion of safety for healthcare professionals, victims and others on the frontlines. We have also initiated the Kornit Global Community Program, empowering our own employees to volunteer, and as a company to re-connect to our credo of Care with a capital C. The Program in effect enables our employees to trade their working hours for volunteering activities, geared at getting them involved in their respective communities and helping populations that were affected by the pandemic most. I have been humbled and moved by our employees’ overwhelming response, and this is something we will continue with even after things return to normal.
On another note, we are very pleased to see how face masks have quickly become quite the fashion statement, crossing the entire spectrum, from large brands to agile entrepreneurs catering to the need for protection and self-expression. What traditionally was a far-east phenomenon, has quickly become a global standard, and one that is here to stay. That means unparalleled opportunity for those quick to cater to this rapidly growing market. Again, we are proud to say that Kornit has been ahead of the curve with chemical-free inks that are completely safe. In addition, we’ve provided our customers and brands with a fantastic cookbook to capitalize on this market, while knowing everything they need to know to execute all applications.
The New Paradigm
In terms of business, there are reasons for both concern and optimism. While our thoughts are with those whose business has been hit hard, we also have reason to believe the crisis might just be the inflection point for the accelerated change the industry needed pre-outbreak, especially in terms of adopting a new mindset. E-commerce, just two months ago another channel, has become the only channel, and moving forward, appears poised to become the primary channel for brands and consumers alike. This radical shift in consumer behavior is pushing fashion to adopt an agile, digital-first mindset in order to meet the new challenges and seize on new opportunities. The new mindset requires new agile technologies and re-calibrating the supply and demand equation. It tackles such issues as proximity production, inventory management and reversing the unsustainable impact on the planet. Change is not easy, but it’s essential. The time to act is now. In the short term, this will provide business with a financial lifeline, and in the long term will provide the foundations for sustainable growth.
Kornit hosts McKinsey & Company
I would like to take this opportunity and invite you all to a very exciting live event where we will discuss the future of fashion. We are thrilled to be hosting Achim Berg, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company and leader of the McKinsey global apparel, fashion & luxury group.
Achim is coeditor of the annual State of fashion report, which McKinsey publishes jointly with the Business of Fashion (BoF) and is a frequent and well-known speaker at leading global industry events. The not-to-be-missed event will be held on this Wednesday, 20th of May. Click here to RSVP..
Hopefully we will no longer need to speak of lemons, and we will be able to focus on enjoying the lemonade, especially as summer is right around the corner.