First of all, I’d like to introduce myself briefly. My name is Augusto Castillo, and I’m one of the business development executives at Coorva. Coorva is a software development company that builds web platforms and mobile applications for our clients. One of my main activities is to expand our business across the United States.
One afternoon, on July the 30th, 2019, I got a message from a Slack group (“Creative Business”). Said message was sent by an employee of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, asking me to become a member of it. Since we are located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, my CEO, Gabriel Cartuccia, and I thought that it would be difficult for Coorva to become a member. Why? Because we would have to fly to New York City to attend the networking events. However, we decided to join the Chamber nonetheless, because we believed this might be translated into positive benefits for our business, like for example, using the GNYCC logo on our website, or for the Chamber to send email blasts about us to other businesses within the New York area.
However, this situation has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic: the Chamber has implemented digital tools to help businesses and companies stay in touch with each other during the lockdown. We went from having a very small role at the Chamber, to become one of its most active members.
Coorva has a work methodology where the software developers and designers work remotely. That is to say, there is no need for them to go to our office to carry out their daily tasks. Nevertheless, they can stop by whenever they want to. It’s highly important for Coorva to have a positive relationship with all the team members, even if it’s not about business per say.
When the lockdown was first announced here in Argentina (March the 20th, 2020), Coorva decided to have every member of the company work from home (for further information, read this article “How to work remotely for long periods”). Many other companies have implemented the same work methodology, and so has the GNYCC: using digital tools, like Zoom, to have virtual networking events with its members and non-members. From that moment on, we’ve started to have a much deeper engagement with the Chamber.
Twice a week, the Chamber sends invitations to join the virtual networking events which take place every Tuesday morning (10am EST) and Thursday afternoon (4pm EST). Both events are pretty similar: every attendee introduces themselves and their companies, and then, the host of the networking event starts a second round with a question at random, such as, something positive since the quarantine started, a client success story, and so on. The only difference between both events is that the virtual networking event on Thursdays is actually a virtual Happy Hour, where the attendees show up at the meeting with something to drink, such as a beer, a soda, or a cup of coffee, which makes the whole experience more pleasant and entertaining. Coorva is a member of the networking events every week, whether it is in one or both events. Coorva is always there!
Our own Webinar
On May the 29th, Coorva gave a presentation with the GNYCC. Said presentation was prepared by myself and supervised by my CEO, Gabriel Cartuccia. The Webinar was titled “Social distancing is not Social Isolation” (watch the recording on YouTube). We chose this topic because some people feel uneasy about the current situation: not being able to see their friends, parents, relatives, co-workers, etc. Therefore, I talked about the importance of having digital tools today, to stay in touch with those who have a place in our hearts. Also, this is related to corporate culture, because it is extremely important for the employers to stay in touch with their employees to keep them in a good mood, with a positive attitude and their motivation flying high. The human factor is essential at any company or business to reach success. If the employees don’t feel motivated, then their work productivity starts to decrease. So, in my presentation, I gave some tips that have been implemented at Coorva, so that employers could implement them at their companies as well (for further information, read the article “Social Distancing is not Social Isolation”) The Webinar had a positive impact. Moreover, the Chamber has posted about the Webinar on social media, where I was given a mention.
Being a member of such a wonderful organization has been very gratifying. Furthermore, Coorva is featured on the GNYCC’s website (see link here). This allows Coorva to expand its business even more, and it is also creating warming relationships with many members of the Chamber as well. Let’s say that this has been the good side of the pandemic, because we can keep in touch with the Chamber constantly, and today, more people are aware of Coorva, our services and the way we work. This has taught us that we always have to look at the bright side of every situation.