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FMCG firms apply 2020 pandemic learnings for minimal disruption

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Amid surging COVID-19 cases in the country, FMCG companies say they are applying learnings from the last year when nationwide and several localised lockdowns impacted their manufacturing and supply chain, to mitigate impact of any future disruption. Emami Ltd Director Harsha V Agarwal said based on the earlier experience, the company is well prepared to manage any sudden local lockdown and resultant uncertainties, if any, according to news agency PTI.

“We are agile and keeping a close watch on the situation. Simultaneously, we are beefing up our supply chain by building stock of both finished goods as well as RMPM (raw material and packaging material), wherever necessary.

“We are also trying to ensure that our stocks are nearest to the selling point as much as possible so that our response time is minimised to tackle the situation in the event of any disruption. However, currently we see no disruption anywhere,” Agarwal was quoted by PTI as saying.

Dabur India Executive Director-Sales Adarsh Sharma told PTI it is applying learnings from the last year to ensure minimal disruption in supplies.

“We are applying learnings from last year on streamlining the supply chain to ensure minimal disruption in supplies. Some of the measures implemented last year, like order-booking though our call centre and WhatsApp, have been stepped up. We have also increased the frequency of supplies to distributors and outlets in the impacted markets to tide over any potential impact,” he said.

Arvind Mediratta, MD and CEO, METRO Cash and Carry India told PTI: “We have absorbed all the learnings from the past year with respect to disruption in supply chain and evolving consumption and buying behaviour of customers.

“We are now better equipped to ensure enough stock availability for our customers, especially the kiranas. We also have our ecommerce app for convenient online shopping for our customers”.

“With the current upswing in COVID-19 cases, it is difficult to predict the geography and tenure of localised lockdowns. We do not expect any supply chain disruptions. As a proactive measure, we have ramped up our productions levels and are building optimal inventory levels across multiple points in our supply chain from factories to warehouses across the country,” Godrej Consumer Products CEO – India & SAARC Sunil Kataria told PTI.

The Maharashtra government on Sunday announced a weekend lockdown in the state from 8 pm on Friday to 7 am on Monday to curb the huge surge in COVID-19 cases.

Apart from the weekend lockdown, strict restrictions came into force from Monday 8 pm onwards under which shopping malls, bars, restaurants, small shops will be open only for take-aways and parcels. Saloons and beauty parlours will also remain closed in the state.

The daily rise in COVID-19 cases in India crossed the grim milestone of one-lakh from 20,000 infections in just 25 days, unlike last year when it took 76 days for daily cases to reach the then peak of 97,894 on September 17, reflecting the speed at which the virus is spreading.

India recorded an all-time high of 1,03,558 single day new coronavirus infections pushing the nationwide COVID-19 tally of cases to 1,25,89,067, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

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