Greetings from the VOXCO – A leading manufacturer and exporter of performance pigments in India.
Economies across the world seem to be reverting back to pre-covid levels. Most parts of the world have seen a swift V-shaped recovery since they allowed activity to resume. However, several regions across the world continue to experience a lower-than-before level of activity, indicating that a complete recovery may not be as swift as expected. The recent manufacturing purchasing managers’ index was 56.8% in September. This is the highest in eight-and-a-half years, indicating that economic activity is recovering. We are experiencing a steady normalization of economic activity at a gradual pace. In a significant rebound, goods and services tax (GST) collection posted growth in September after six months of contraction, indicating a return to normalcy in economic activities after months of disruption caused by lockdown. The robust mop-up may be an outcome of restocking ahead of the festival season in October / November economists suggested. Many of our Paint Manufacturing units did well for themselves both in the Industrial as well as decorative segment, though not up to precovid levels. The favorable monsoon throughout the country has shown signs of a bumper harvest in the making. But these months has put tremendous strain on the financial outflow of all industries, and hence trying for recoveries from customers would be an herculean task which has to be tackled immediately India is reported to be the 2nd largest country behind United States in CoV19 active cases. The focus now has shifted upon getting the vaccine quicker to the market. Nevertheless, this pandemic has taught lessons that otherwise human race would have never imagined in wildest of their dreams. Digital technology was leveraged to the hilt during the lockdown days. Some of the new normal digital activities are going to be stay back permanently with us. The first massive shift we’ve seen is in “communication”. While video conferencing apps have been present for a few years now, their adoption and ease of use by businesses is becoming just like we used landlines. Companies that don’t have websites, are building ones, and are more actively pursuing digital marketing opportunities. Clunky websites and emails IDs need to be replaced by better, more focused cloud-based solutions. They are the carriers of brand image of a company in this remote work environment. Lack of physical interactions has seen the shift towards WhatsApp groups with employees, and the use of other sophisticated tools to keep in touch with the customers and suppliers. As more people adopt remote-working technologies there is a powerful network effect, with each new customer making the service more useful. Together Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet and Cisco Webex now have well over 300m users.
The thought that delivery of physical goods requires physical processes is seeing a fundamental shift. Now, digital solutions are being thought of first and need for physical touch points is thought later. Talks about relevance (and in some cases closure) of different branch and distribution offices is doing the rounds at many companies. Soon, we would also be thinking about automated barcode scanners, lifting and placement in the warehouses. The pigments, coatings, plastics and the ink industries have also to gear themselves up to these fast developing trends and adapt fast to embrace the changing trends.