Uncertainties arising out of the pandemic still persist despite expectations of domestic market coming back to form as the second wave of COVID-19 recedes and the festival season comes closer, according to textiles and garments major Arvind Ltd chairman Sanjay Lalbhai.

In his address to shareholders in the company’s Annual Report for 2020-21, Lalbhai said export markets, including the United States, are poised to deliver strong growth in coming quarters and overall demand growth is expected this year as retail and distribution pipelines are running low on inventory.

“As expected, FY2021 was a challenging year for our core textiles and apparel businesses. There was a sharp reduction in demand across all markets especially in the early part of the financial year,” he wrote.

As the countries learned to live and cope with COVID-19, Lalbhai said, “Many of the export markets started to resume. By the second quarter, several of our export customers had started placing orders, partly driven by their online demand.”

For this year, he said, “I believe that the US and our other export markets are poised to deliver strong growth in coming quarters. Domestic markets will also come back as the second wave of the pandemic recedes and the festival season comes closer.”

“This year is likely to see growth in demand for us as retail and distribution pipelines are running low on inventory,” he was quoted as saying by a news agency.

“Our sampling process has moved online, and sets us up for a much speedier response to the market,” he said, adding the company is also investing in block chain based solutions to improve traceability of inputs.