We've asked our GreenTech exhibiting companies to answer questions on how the current Coronavirus pandemic had impacted their business.
Valoya is a provider of high end, energy-efficient LED grow lights for use in crop science, vertical farming, and medicinal plant cultivation. Valoya LED grow lights have been developed using Valoya's proprietary LED technology and extensive plant photobiology research. Valoya's customer base includes numerous vertical farms, greenhouses, and research institutions all over the world (including 8 out of 10 world’s largest agricultural companies).
How do you expect this current crisis will change your sector for the long term?
Horticultural lighting has not suffered from COVID-19 implications yet. Food production proceeds as does the research, both of which require artificial illumination. Valoya produces nearly all of its luminaires in Finland and due to good stock management practices, major disturbances in deliveries were not experienced. When it comes to the long-term, we will simply have to change certain aspects of our work. We are used to working from location, being at our customers’ premises, and doing business face-to-face. The new normal means becoming comfortable with managing everything from the first contact to post-purchase support without ever having shaken each other’s hands. Trust is an important component when selling products meant to last nearly a decade. Businesses that have been at it a decade or longer will proceed, leveraging the power of their brand and reputable references, while smaller and younger ones may struggle without ever having had a chance to establish their foothold in the industry. Thus we are ushered into a new era of natural selection.
How can companies assist each other at this moment?
COVID-19 has forced most of us to become remote workers. For Valoya, an 11-year old, born global, agile company, this had no negative impacts on how we work. Our staff, spread across four countries and two continents, and constantly on the move, is used to the remote working mode, and is equipped with all the right tools. We found that some of our partners do not have this level of comfort with remote working and, thus, the least thing we could do for them was to inform them of what we use on a day-to-day basis. Nowadays, with the specialisation and proliferation of internet technologies, there is a platform for everything. If we need a tool that creates an illusion, we are all in the same room, in front of a whiteboard, placing sticky notes on it, brainstorming on strategies, etc. there is a platform for that. We need to be understanding and supportive of each other and help out those companies for whom the new digitalised working mode is challenging.
How can the GreenTech platform help you?
It will be interesting to observe how the COVID-19 implications will affect the world of tradeshows and conferences and other forms of on-the-ground marketing. Even when things go back to normal, some things will remain changed for good. Perhaps people will be more hesitant to travel to shows because the larger and the more international they are, which in normal conditions would be their selling point, the more dangerous they will be perceived as. If we were critical of the modern lifestyle and considered it too digital and alienated, we will now have to suspend this attitude and embrace the digital. GreenTech and such platforms have a plethora of options ahead of them of how to bring the industry together. Webinars, podcasts, and other forms of smaller gatherings are a place to start. Beyond that, it would be interesting to see how tradeshows would work if they were 100% virtual. Could that be the new modus operandi of the tradeshow industry?
Our industry and the whole world are facing a challenge like none other in our lives. We must proceed with our business unaffected as so many depend on what we do, day-to-day. We are part of supply chains that secure food we all eat, and we must not forget that as we move from bedroom to living room to sit in front of computers and deal with partners scattered around the globe, faced with the same circumstance. It’s good to remain patient and understanding with each other as we are all in this together.
As for Valoya, the company was built on curiosity to explore what the possibilities of light may be. We help our customers grow by providing life-giving light that makes food and medicine production more efficient. Our mission in these troubling times is more relevant than ever, and we move from bedroom to living room every day with that awareness and gratitude that we get to do what we do.
Learn more about Valoya at www.valoya.com