BEST FOOT FORWARD.
On the 31st of January, the Indian government banned exports of all personal protection equipment, including clothing and masks to avoid any potential shortages in India. However, about a week later, this ban was lifted to help China battle the disease. With the growing cases and the exponentially growing fear, it is very evident that the threat of Coronavirus is very serious.
Right now, there’s no medicine or cure to the COVID-19 crisis but the best way to mitigate is by taking necessary precautions. Social distancing is key to breaking this chain.
At the primary stage, we can stop the transport of workers within villages and towns. We as a manufacturing unit have more than 50% of labourers hailing from nearby villages.
Also, if anyone is showing any kind of symptoms he or she should be immediately put under isolation.
In the process, one of the major damages will be the world-wide economic disturbance. There will be heavy losses, as the whole economy is interconnected and correlated with each other. The climax gives everyone a reason to put in motion, massive resources to revitalize the economy. Most workers are migrant labourers which mean, due to the loss of opportunity, they have started returning to their native places. With the disruption in workflow and production schedule, the industry is facing its worst-ever crisis. Our immediate appeal is for a year’s moratorium for repayment of principal and interest. It would go a long way in tidying up this crisis.
The measures being taken by the government to fight the coronavirus pandemic has put footwear manufacturers in a spot. On one hand, the sector is struggling to continue with its production schedule as off-take has come to a big pause, and on the other, the pressure to repay its dues to banks is forcing the industry to appeal to the government for a one-year moratorium on repayment of principal and interest on a loan.
Meanwhile, the European buyers, particularly from Italy and Spain, have asked the footwear industry exporting community in Agra to defer shipments until the situation gets back to normal. Some have cancelled their commitments, deferring payments on goods sent or not lifting the goods. This is a cause for concern as production has been taking place continuously to fulfil the committed orders and for delivering on time. Production plans have gone topsy-turvy. In addition to this, prices of dyes and chemicals have gone up by about 30 per cent. In line with the financial measures taken by all the industrialized countries to bail out the units from the ongoing crisis, the industry in India is seeking a bailout package, a financial stimulus package to rejuvenate the economy and quantitative easing to revive and uplift the confidence of entrepreneurs.
However, the association has pointed out that there can be a positive impact on India as well. If international flights are operating, then buyers from abroad will seek an alternative to China. We may stand to gain at that time but now there’s nothing in play.
To mitigate this loss, the best we can do is to restructure the worker's organization chart and the production plan, search new markets where the impact of COVID-19 is less and prepare a crisis management plan.