As the country enters into Lockdown 4.0, the businesses which are on the threshold to resume operations as soon as possible, are waiting for the situation to normalise as the spurt to open up the economy has begun.
Guwahati, which is the hub of commercial activities in the North East of India, is trying to stay afloat during this time of crisis. At a situation where curfew is imposed from 6 pm to 6 am to curb the spread of Covid, businesses are trying to take maximum benefit out of the hours where they go about to execute their businesses.
Although the numbers are rising, Guwahati is not severely affected by Covid. Thus businesses have been partially resumed since May 3, 2020.
“We are now working with 30 per cent workforce and within the10 am -5 pm. As several students studying outside the region and the working professionals, are back to their home in Guwahati now, they are generating good demand for IT products,” informs Pavan Agarwal, CMD, Datamation, which is a superstore of IT retail and distribution.
With most people working from home there is a sudden spike in the sales of mobile phones, laptops and tablets, accessories, printers, etc.
“There is a silver lining for IT companies,” says Agarwal on a lighter note. “We are in a better position today than other industries like hospitality or textile. We are surviving the lockdown due to the gateway provided by IT which ensured business continuity.”
Although there is demand surge for IT hardware but business for system integrators is still sloppy.
“In Guwahati stores and shops are partially open. It is a bit of difficult times as we cannot get our products sent to our customers. Even when we arrange for transporting the products to the customers, but their organisations or facilities are closed. GS Road and AT Road, the two thriving IT markets of Guwahati are mostly seeing shutters down,” informs, Bhaskar Kalita, MD, BMG Informatics.
BMG Informatics provides products and services to oil and refinery companies; hydel power companies; educational institutions and others. The company’s other service offerings include facilities management, IT enabled services, IT consultancy, software and website development, virtualisation, cloud computing, IT infrastructure development, third party maintenance, system integration and training and education.
“It is high time we should start now. Apart from some software licensing business, which is just 5-7 per cent of my total business, is moving. Other big and small IT retailers are opening their stores, but are in shortage of stocks and footfalls are very less due to lack to public transport. Overall, people are only running 20 per cent of the businesses,” adds Kalita.
Agarwal however, points out a peculiar problem with the businesses based out the region, he says that the partners there do not really have a vision for business continuity. They are generally operating out of the distributor money and have not built their capital strong enough to sail them through the troubled times.