Tamil Nadu

Lessons learnt in 2020 help T.N. industries

CHENNAI: 25/05/2020: FOR CITY : COVID-19 : A smal scall unit in ambattur Endustrial Esate is operated with minimum staff as the Government has allowed the inidustris to open with conditions during the Lockdown in Chennai. K. Pichumani/The Hindu  

Lessons learnt during last year’s lockdown are seemingly helping large industries in Tamil Nadu handle production during the second wave of the infection.

However, smaller businesses, especially MSMEs who are yet to come out of debts of the first wave, feel any further downturn will create a huge dent in their balance sheets.

From vaccinating senior workers, arranging transportation, sourcing raw materials, providing accommodation near factory premises and re-aligning operations, big companies are confident of overcoming the current tide.

“There has not been much of an impact on production at the automobile hub. Most firms have vaccinated senior employees and everyone is monitored. There are a few absentees but that has not hampered business in a big way,” a representative of a union which caters to the automobile sector said.

However, he called for vaccination of all employees, irrespective of their age, as the sector employed many youngsters.

The Danfoss India facility in Oragadam, Chennai, is running at 100 percent capacity. Of the total employee headcount - 50 percent (staff in the production, logistics and supply chain functions) work from the facility and the others (sales, marketing, customer support etc) work from home.

Ravi Purushothaman, president, Danfoss India, said, “Special arrangements, including free vaccination for employees and their dependents, and added insurance coverage to manage any COVID-19-related medical expenses, have been introduced.” He acknowledged that the lessons from the last lockdown had helped address gaps across multiple levels of business and fine tuning of “structured and process-driven approach to business continuity.”.

Grundfos India is accelerating production. “We are planning to work with our vendors to produce more materials and secure our stocks, especially for customers manufacturing essentials for combating COVID-19,” George Rajkumar, country president, Grundfos India, said.

“We are also planning to move stocks closer to the customers in the distribution chain to be able to deliver quicker if there is any stoppage in inter-State movement,” he added.

For most firms in the Chennai leather cluster, this is the season for making shoes, boots and slippers. “April, May and June is the season where we make shoes for the winter season. We have not cut down on production so far,” said Rafeeque M. Ahmed, chairman, Farida Group. Any intense lockdown will impact the export market this year as well.

The scene is different for the MSME sector. “Unlike big firms, we cannot pile up stock and raw materials. We work based on orders. If there is a lockdown, we will face labour shortage, among other issues, like last year,” said the head of an MSME unit in Chennai.

But most industrial estates in the State said in the last 10 days they had planned new strategies to fight the second wave.

Hari Thiagarajan, executive director, Thiagarajar Mills Private Limited, said orders had been good and the pace of vaccination across industries had picked up. According to him, the only cause of concern was migrating workers. “There are industries in Tiruppur and other belts that are heavily dependent on migrant workers, and if they leave like last year, there will be huge labour shortage,” he added.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 12, 2021 4:58:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/lessons-learnt-in-2020-help-tn-industries/article34353743.ece

Next Story