India is on the verge of an unprecedented economic catastrophe as the humanitarian disaster from the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds.
The sheer scale of disruption from the ongoing 21-day national lockdown, announced by prime minister Narendra Modi on March 24 to contain the outbreak, is unprecedented in Indian history.
With the number of COVID-19 cases leaning dangerously more than 200,000 and the worldwide death toll crossing more than 8,000, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus outbreak a pandemic in the second week of March 2020, four months after the novel virus first made headlines.
Raw Materials and Spare Parts
Nearly 55% of electronics imported by India originate from China. These imports have already slid down to 40% in light of the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown. As a countermeasure, India is considering the promotion of indigenous production in a bid to reduce dependency on a single market. Additionally, China is India’s third-largest export partner for the export of raw materials like organic chemicals, mineral fuels, cotton, etc.; and a lockdown of the countries is likely to lead to a substantial trade deficit for India.
The toll on the pharmaceutical industry is of significant concern for India, mainly as 70% of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) are imported from China. These active pharmaceutical ingredients are essential to a large number of pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in the country. As COVID-19 is rapidly making its way through India, medication is going to be the number one consumer demand, and because there aren’t nearly enough APIs to manufacture drugs, the subsequent traders and the market are witnessing skyrocketing prices. The prices of vitamins and penicillin alone already see a 50% surge
The Economic Times
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With major cities on lockdown, organizations have had no choice but to dig into their business continuity and contingency plans. Ever since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in India, numerous companies have instituted a ‘work from home’ drill using critical resources to understand whether remote working conditions are feasible. That being said, remote working also has its limitations and cannot be carried out by other sectors like retail, hospitality, or manufacturing, leaving them no choice but to face business interruption.
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