Inflation | Companies hopeful of economic recovery in 2021 but cautious about COVID-19 pandemic
KOLKATA: Sanitaryware makers to manufacturers of consumer durables remain optimistic about an economic revival in 2021 but cautious as the risk of COVID-19 pandemic still exists, officials said on Wednesday. Many companies across sectors are looking to make their balance sheets strong after they have experienced market disruptions in the current calendar year due to the raging global coronavirus outbreak, they said.
Firms ranging from tourism, food and beverage sectors to sanitaryware industry are focusing on the health and hygiene segment and strengthen their digital presence to overcome the challenges, the officials said, adding that the economic revival is expected in the second half of the next year, they said.
“Despite the major blow in the economy in 2020 due to the pandemic, 2021 seems to be the year of redemption and we can expect the economy to not only recover but also to show significant signs of growth,” Roca Bathroom India managing director KE Ranganathan said.
Revenue from some of its brands has reached 90-100 per cent of the pre-COVID levels, while sales from the touchless and hygiene products have gained momentum and the company has also forayed into the safe-essentials segment, he said.
Jaquar Group director and promoter Rajesh Mehra said reduced home loan rates and attractive payment schemes will boost the pent up demand in the market for home-building related segments in 2021.
He, however, said markets will only be able to recover in the second half of 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the scope and range of home appliances and help the sector evolve from conventional to smart products, consumer durable goods maker Panasonic said.
“We continue to stay invested, as we look for green shoots to serve our customers. We have introduced Miraie, which is powered by the internet of things and artificial intelligence. It is our connected living platform that has been developed in-house for our appliances.
“A connected ecosystem is expected to gain focus as we step into the new year,” Panasonic India and South Asia president and CEO Manish Sharma said.
McDonald’s operator in north and east CPRL head Robert Hunghanfoo said consumer sentiments have remained good during the festive season, while avoiding large gatherings and contactless experience have become a norm.
“Customers are exploring options that reassure safety or are ordering online. We will continue to focus on implementing measures that will help them when it comes to dining-in, take-away or ordering McDelivery,” he said while talking about the business prospect in 2021.
For the travel and tourism industry, the current year began on an ominous note and the lockdown brought all kinds of mobility to a standstill.
“The biggest insight was that passengers today are not just looking for timely and convenient travel experience but have started giving significant weightage to hygiene, sanitisation, and social distancing. Travel gradually gaining momentum and will grow in 2021,” IntrCity RailYatri CEO and co-founder Manish Rathi said.