Avneet Singh Marwah
The country has been in lockdown for more than 9 weeks considering the Covid-19 pandemic. This unprecedented situation has forced businesses to relook their strategies especially the consumer durables manufacturing industry. One of the significant steps under the lockdown was to halt the sale of “non-essential goods” which not only impacted the livelihoods of millions of labourers, but also resulted in a loss of Rs 20,000 crore in the electronics industry, alone. But we now need to relook our business strategies based on the 3Rs.
Responding to the situation with a phased lockdown protocol was important but also resulted in shutting down manufacturing units across the country. At a time when the manufacturing industry had the potential to hire 86% more labourers by 2024 (Source), we saw operations shutting down.
A more important step is to reimagine “Manufacturing” from the perspective of automation and compliant to the guidelines for “new normal”. Artificial Intelligence will be a game-changer to improve accuracy in production and testing, with reduced human interventions. Factories must take enough precautions for employee safety. due to which most companies are looking for automation with the help of robotics and A.I technology. Which will result in more productivity and improved testing. Physical distancing, frequent sanitization, compulsory masks, staggered shifts, quarantine floors for medical emergencies, and temperature checks.
On the sales front, content viewership is on a record high on OTT platforms, and affordable smart TVs can lead this road to recovery. 85% of the demand for smart TVs comes through online sales which will continue to flourish as a means of minimal contact and safe delivery.
We are now on the road to recovery by allowing operations to resume under these new guidelines. In the new business environment, TVs, laptops are no longer “non-essential” in the traditional sense. First-time buyers are exploring. ” Revenge shopping” will help eCommerce and retail chains expand with new business models, and provide the impetus for manufacturing to resume under the MakeinIndia and Atmanirbharta impetus provided by the government.
In my personal view, both businesses and consumers need to fight COVID19 together, as it will be a part of our daily lives. Wearing a mask when we step out and sanitizing deliveries we receive are also a part of this” new normal”. As sales resume across all zones (except containment), we need to constantly remind ourselves to continue operations under safety precautions.
Avneet Singh Marwah is CEO and Director, Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd, a Kodak Brand Licensee. Views expressed are the author’s personal.