COVID-19 has shaken the world by causing health havoc across the continents. The virus has spread exponentially across the globe, resulting in a pandemic affecting millions of lives. To minimise the effect of the global health crisis, nations worldwide are trying to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. But sadly, health-hazard is not the only impact of the virus; the effect hasn't been constrained to just medical casualties but also the mental and emotional stress created in the country, leading to a state of panic and chaos. To curb the growth of the virus and prevent any further panic, India has announced a national lockdown-- which will not only help the nation to break the chain but also give a sense of health-safety to the citizens, thus lessening the fright-factor amongst people.
However, that doesn't seem to be enough; various sectors and industries across the country are still seen bearing the brunt of the virus, especially on the economic front. With the business world taking a hit and companies being severely impacted, this calls for an action based on collaborative efforts. It is time for the corporate sector of the nation to unite and present one strong front while endeavouring to combat the crisis.
As it is often said, there is a silver lining in every cloud; the verticals are seeing the light of the day gradually. The experts have been indicating the increased rate of consumption of FMCG products in March 2020 and anticipating the demand to soar in the current times. The stock market is further adding muscle to the predictions as they elevate and rise, indicating low volatility index and the eventual growth of Metal, Pharma, and FMCG industry.
According to the recent economic data, the industrial production numbers are improving and thus, further helping the global momentum, especially in the sector like FMCG. The performance of the global market is supposed to be the key driver for the Indian market in the upcoming times.
Along with the market reflecting a healthier future for Metal, Pharma and FMCG industries, RBI is also seen taking relevant measures to get the country through these unprecedented times. During the current volatile economic situations, RBI has announced the report rate cut to 75 BPS, which will further pump in liquidity in the market, eventually benefiting the FMCG sector. Also, the much-needed cut in CRR will lead to controlled inflation, thereby spurring the demand from end consumers. These recent initiatives by the government are disruptive in nature and will further provide impetus to the economy on an instant basis. With the rate cut, we will see an increase in consumption and spending resulting in an opportunity for the FMCG sector.
Even though the FMCG industry is anticipated to soar during the crisis due to the high demand for basic essentials; however, the sector is still observed facing some pressing concerns such as issues in last-mile deliveries and the restriction caused in the movement of transport while carrying out supplies from warehouses for the delivery. Stores are finding it hard to replenish supplies due to the lockdown and thus being less effective in reaching out to consumers and their demands. The obstacles are being acknowledged by the government as well, therefore leading to the state governments taking measures to ease the next few days for the public as well as the FMCG and e-commerce sector.
The state governments of various states including Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Delhi, have allowed the departmental and grocery stores to stay open 24x7. The governments have allowed food delivery to continue, but while tightening the hygiene standards of the food places. They have also added a lockdown-pass procedure to maintain the smooth operations while instilling health-safety. To further support the needs of the citizens and help the FMCG industry to cater to the people more effectively, the government has allowed the brands to keep their manufacturing units open. The government has issued advisory to ensure interstate movement of goods for the food processing industry to ensure uninterrupted movement and supply of goods and services as well.
With the people doing their bit to get through the pandemic and government supporting its citizens, it's time for other verticals to upgrade their strategies and business plans and contribute to get us all through the situation. One of the tools which will help the businesses to up their game is technology. Technology is serving as one of the factors helping the nation to get through as it is not only creating awareness about COVID-19 but also connecting the people across the world in learning something new and encouraging tribes and communities by going beyond the geographical boundaries. It is further helping the businesses to adapt to the Work From Home format and contribute to the economy of the country. Additionally, it is helping various sectors to meet customer demand through online channels.
Technology is helping the FMCG sector and businessmen to facilitate remote meetings rather than physical interactions and maintaining the fluidity of the market while keeping the businesses up on their feet. Integrating technological tools and connecting with platforms that provide one with business analysis and activity-tracking will encourage the FMCG to stay up and about and simultaneously cater to the needs of the consumers. Technology has been serving as a helpful tool as it is not only supporting the FMCG industry but also aiding the business leaders to track the pulse of the market.
The country might be battling the pandemic and bearing the effects of the virus across the nation, but as they say, "Every storm runs out of rain," and so shall this. With the government, citizens and the industries collaborating together and moving in a direction to subdue the pandemic, the nation is positively looking forward to getting through the crisis together, while fuelling its economic growth and financial stability.
The article has been penned down by Mr Paramdeep Singh, CEO, FieldAssist