CO which stands for Corona, VI stands for Virus and D for diseases, as the first case was detected in 2019 and there by the name COVID19, globally known as COVID‑19 pandemic or coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic. All around the globe, every small, big, develop, underdeveloped and developing country, everyone is suffering great losses due to this pandemic situation. Along with the health factor, loss of life; this pandemic has also brought a significant amount of loss to the economy of a country too and India is among the most affected country in terms of COVID 19 and for economy too.
As of 18 July 2020, India is having a count of 1,040,948 corona virus cases, with 26,295 death. India underwent lockdown since 23 March 2020, since then till date with changing situation the rules for the lockdown are slowly eased out, the reason being economy! Public, private sectors were closed only those belonging to essential service category were open from March to June 2020. Few businesses and companies which had the possibility of virtually connecting by staying home were functioning.
India textile industry which is providing employment to over 45 million people is expected to reach US$ 223 billion by 2021. The textile industry in India contributes about 5 Per cent to the Gross Domestic Product. This is not a small number. Pre covid the industry was undergoing many downfalls, but with many improvisation and policies the industry was recovering but today with this covid situation many textile industries are at stand still. Due to shut down of malls and retail store, along with lockdown where people are staying at home along with cut reduced income, the demand for new clothes or high fashion product is not that high. But textile industry is not just limited to the Fashion and garments. It includes right from the farmers producing cotton, to yarn manufactures, fabric manufactures – handlooms, power looms, knitting machines, finishing chemicals, dyes, home textiles, textiles used in automobiles and the list goes on.
The workers involved in the production process of textiles majorly include migrant workers who are struggling for their livelihood. With this status of the workers it is too difficult for the manufactures to meet the demands and supply. As of now the food, health and hygiene is the only sector where majority of consumers are looking forward and other product consumption are reduced. The production order quantity of the textile goods is been reduced to half and many have completely stopped the production due to less or no demands. The international markets are also suffering to a great extent, the export items are with small order quantity and very low margin. There are many textile manufacturing companies who have their orders ready to be shipped or given for further processing but with reduced demand and consumption many ordered stocks are just lying in the ware house. So, it can be clearly seen that both the domestic and international markets are suffering in terms of manufacturing part.
With the covid 19 situation consumers are becoming more cautious while buying any goods or services. Many questions like production process of the goods, hygiene and sanitization of products while buying from the retailers, while buying from malls, consumers are used to have trials but after this covid situation people will hesitate and more than that will the consumers enter in to crowded place? Clothing may not be on the priority list for majority of the consumers even after opening of shops post covid and consumers will think twice before touching and feeling the merchandise. This whole situation will have a long-term effect on the consumer buying behavior. Retailers are at risk, with merchandise in the shops and warehouses, where they have to pay maintenance cost without any source of income. There are many sales and discounts that are going on e-commerce website but very few percentage incomes earned from those. In all these circumstances many retail and wholesale shops are also reducing the number of employees so as to sustain the business.
Many IT companies and other services like ola, uber, Swigy, Zomato reduced the number of employees, some reduced the pay, many didn’t pay to the workers. This situation was due to the pandemic situation and lockdown. As per the MRD report it was said that there is a job loss of 40 million people.
What can be done?
Is layoff and reduction in salary the only option? Obviously NOT!!
As in every situation we have to accept the new normal, may it be online school for students, work from home for many workers, change in habits at home after coming home or while going out, similarly industries can adapt to few new changes and try to gain confidence of the consumers. By advertising on the quality and hygiene of the production process. This will bring in the question of cost of advertisement, but there are many platforms that are available with minimum or no investment.
Also, the companies can research and concentrate on innovative methods and development in the production process. The retailers can think, work upon and redefine the shop environment and infrastructure that will make the customer feel safe and comfortable. The companies can also work on cost cutting with optimum utilization of resources, the company can enter market with new product development as per the current need of the market where cost factor is not considered much.
Another option which can be worked upon is by optimizing business process, where the focus will be on eliminating the factors which are not used in today’s operation of the business and which are not the essential ones. Working on Customer service, quality of the product, operation of the business can some of the factors that can majorly worked upon for effective functioning of the industry even in the pandemic period. After all any business is a risk and experimentation must be done to sustain in the market. There is never a full stop once we enter into business, we have to constantly keep on upgrading and updating ourselves.
Article Written by-
Intern at TVC
Masters in Home Science Nirmala Niketan
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