Last year lockdown saw many closed factories with almost zero sales. However, unlocking process provided a quick recovery and sales. Just as the nightmare of the last pandemic of 2020 was fading, more contagious and dangerous second wave of Covid-19 has bounced back nationwide disrupting everyday lives. It has set back the momentum made by the Indian manufacturers in the last two quarters. Let’s take a look how Indian factories are keeping them safe to mitigate the economic impact of the lethal second wave of Covid-19.
There are restrictions on working hours and also some states have total lockdowns. Some workers have migrated back to their villages in fear of total lockdown, but this hasn’t happened, so a lot of them are coming back. Responsible factories taking a number of safety measures – no mask no entry, temp check, daily sanitization of the factory, screens around workstations on the production floor, distancing of the workstations, longer lunch hours for smaller batches at a time, factories taking workers only with own transportation to avoid public transportation, open air meetings of people who do have to go to factories, no visitor policies, daily random checks for temperature on the floor, touch free thermometers etc. Basically, factories that take care of their teams during tough times, benefit by having reduced labor shortages.
Factories are providing medical and healthcare facilities such as Covid test, hygiene care, medical consultation, medicines etc. to keep their workers safe and boost confidence. Learned from the previous experience factories are not taking any chance this time. Most factories have labor in or around the city, so the impact is limited. Some factories have even arranged for accommodation and meals for their workers to avoid commuting and outside contact. Factories are keeping a regular temperature check of their workers. They are keeping their workplace and workers continuously sanitized. In case anybody shows the symptom he is being provided complete medical care. Some factories have even initiated for their workers’ vaccination. Because of all the above initiatives this pandemic has seen a very little migration across country unlike previous year when roads were flooded with migrant labors. For now, Indian factories are managing the situation without any labor shortage.
This time there is no nationwide lockdown and states are dealing with the situation at their level. In the process states are making sure the minimum impact on the factories. Overall manufacturing remains steady in the second wave of Covid-19. Overall second wave of Covid-19 has not much impacted the production. Although, manufacturer across the country have been asked by the government to operate at 50 percent of their capacity. At the same time factories are working with vendors to ensure uninterrupted supply of goods. Government of India launched PLI Scheme is also contributing for increasing factory output. Not every consumer segment is badly hit; consumer goods was the strongest-performing category sales of summer appliances such as fans, refrigerators and air conditioners have picked up pace even in the pandemic. The second wave has in fact boosted sales of Covid-19 drugs and factories manufacturing medications are doing really well.
Digital technology & marketing and e-commerce have provided a great relief to factory owner and customer both. It is bringing them together to keep the demand & supply and economy stay afloat. E-commerce has been a complete blessing during pandemic and helping maintain stability. Since e-commerce is allowed and operational in most States, demand and supply chain is being maintained by most of the factories. Plus there was a continuous rise in international demand too. Overall factories haven’t seen any major business disruptions during the second wave of Covid-19. While second wave of Covid-19 may delay the full fledged factories’ production recovery process by three-four months, it will not dent their overall long term future growth.