Diversifying in tough times is what humans are designed for. Amidst the pandemic when most businesses were extensively suffering due to the nationwide lockdown and shutdown of warehouses, retail counters, etc.; to stay afloat during these tough times many businesses chose to shut down their operations temporarily while some re-strategized their operations. It was during these testing times, that many businesses closely observed the situation and shifted their focus in manufacturing safety products including Face Shields, Face Masks, Hand Sanitizers, Infrared thermometers, Sanitizer dispensers, etc. This paradigm shift in businesses was observed across sectors including Consumer Tech, Architectural & Interior Designing, Liquor, and Automobile Industry, etc. Essential service providers are ensuring hygienic surroundings for their front line warriors and at the same time, working at a great pace to satisfy growing consumer needs.
Our Hon'ble Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi during his speech announced that India is manufacturing 2lakhs PPE kits in a day and this is because of the large contribution of different sectors involved in manufacturing the safety products. An important point to focus here is the fact that even though India is aiming at mass production of safety products, proper certification and government regulations still needs to be followed to ensure quality products and maximum safety. The products manufactured by various brands are strictly adhering to the government regulations and pass proper medical certification before being launched in the market. From importing it from Mainland China to exporting it in European Nations, India has achieved tremendous success in the production of PPE products. Not only leading brands but SMEs too are manufacturing kits at their own small scale while making profits by selling them locally to the Pharmacies or directly to the public. This humble initiative of Making India #AtmaNirbhar has helped various sections of the society in generating revenue and at the same time recommencing the workforce giving back a platform to be self-reliant.
A great benefit of venturing into safety equipment is that the enterprises can get to keep operating and coming into work. With our country facing job losses and salary cuts, the business of safety products manufacturing has opened door to employment opportunities for a lot of people. The technique of stitching a mask is quite easy to learn and it helps workers from different industries to earn their livelihood in this time of the global pandemic. For small and medium enterprises, pivoting to making safety products equipment proving to be a win-win situation as organizations are able to meet up their cost and keeping their employees engaged. In fact, many NGO’s too are helping villagers to stitch their own masks and sell them in the market to earn their livelihood.
Analyzing the current scenario, the demand is more product-led in this market than brand-led. Once things settle in, the brand would have to float through to build their reputation in safety product vertical. Brands need to look at how integral these product extensions are to the main business. They can then accordingly take a call on whether this is temporary or something permanent as a part of their product portfolios.
During the initial days of this prevailing COVID pandemic, there was a certain void that existed in the market for these products. With no facility of manufacturing even a single safety product, and to achieve an almost unrealistic goal of producing 2.06 lakh safety products daily within a span of two months after the coronavirus outbreak India has come a long way. The credit definitely goes out to the community as a whole who stood strong amid this crisis to turn it into an opportunity.