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Coronavirus impacting business, reducing cash flow: FICCI

Rohit Shishodia
A recent survey carried outby FICCI among industry members has revealed that there is a significant impact of coronavirus on business. As many as 53 per cent of Indian businesses indicate a marked impact of the coronavirus pandemic on business operations even at early stages, finds the survey.

The survey reveals that besides the direct impact on demand and supply of goods and services, businesses are also facing reduced cash flows due to slowing economic activity which in turn is having an impact on all payments including to those for employees, interest, loan repayments and taxes.

According to the survey, the pandemic has significantly impacted the cash flow at organisations with almost 80 per cent reporting a decrease in cash flow. The pandemic has had a major impact on the supply chain as more than 60 per cent respondents indicate that their supply chain has been affected due to the deadly virus.

The survey finds that the impact of the pandemic on supply chain is likely to worsen further. According to the survey, organizations have brought in a renewed focus on hygiene aspects concerning the pandemic. Almost 40 per cent have put in place stringent checks on people entering their offices and disinfection. Nearly 30 per cent organisations have already put in place Work-from-Home policies for their employees.

Nearly 42 per cent of the respondents feel that it could take up to 3 months for normalcy to return. While for some of the sectors, the work from home proposition is posing implementation challenges as it has a direct bearing on the business operations.

This is particularly true for manufacturing units where workers are required to be physically present at the production sites, and services sector like banking and IT where lot of confidential data is used and remote working can enhance security threat.

The survey finds that companies operating in these sectors are finding it difficult to implement work from home facility without compromising with their day to day operations.

The FICCI has stressed that there is an urgent need to take immediate steps to not only contain the spread of the virus but also to address the key pain areas of the industry which can help in minimizing the impact of the outbreak on the Indian economy and businesses.

The FICCI has advised the government that there is need of a combination of monetary, fiscal and financial market measures to help the businesses and people cope with the crisis. Therefore, to be able to frame correct actions and policy measures, it is important to understand clearly the specific problems that people and businesses are facing currently. This alone can enable government to take appropriate measures,” added the FICCI.

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