The Sourcing Business in Times of Social Distancing

The year 2020 has been full of surprises. Who would have thought in 2019 that the whole world would shut down together and every person would be confined to the periphery of their homes? While a few saw a grim uncertain future, many others saw COVID-19 as a great opportunity. Those who saw COVID as an opportunity started reshaping their business models. Because of the unconventional approach keeping in mind the COVID-19 chaos, divergent industries are getting back on track, either through innovations or through adaptations.

At one point, for instance, the online market was supposed to surge to 600% by 2022; but given the current situation, its already up by 825%! COVID-19 is proving to be a great accelerator. Trends that had been evolving are now booming. The business has been picking up since June 2020- Only the method of doing business has changed.

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There has been a storm of virtual exhibitions in industries like furniture and jewelry, textiles, and food; and the manufacturing industries are getting steady orders. Because of COVID-19, there has been one fall out though. China went under lockdown in December 2019, and since then countries by and large have, and want to, shift their manufacturing base from China. If not immediately because of pending orders, the companies are looking at a two or three years scenario where they want to switch over to other prospective countries. The shift was also propelled by the US-China trade war. Given the sentiments, PM Modi pitched India as an alternative to China. The business has started picking up in India, importers from other countries are placing record orders, not to mention the domestic furniture orders streaming in through on-line portals.

  • Manufacturing and India

A close connection- Rich, diverse, and unique, the furniture and home requirement industry perfectly mirrors the country’s diverse topography and culture. Because of the abundance of raw material, India becomes the preferred destination for manufacturing. The present government is working tirelessly to make India the hub of manufacturing, and easing out through its policies so that investors look towards India. The industry employs millions of artisans and craftsmen all over the country. India leads the pharmaceuticals’ manufacturing and Bill Gates on record has said that India will be the chosen destination even for the COVID- 19 vaccine because everyone is losing faith in China and doubting their intentions.

India has a complete edge over manufacturing in terms of availability of land and labor, an abundance of raw material, and a host of sourcing and buying agents-experts in their field- to give first-hand support to the importers of other countries.

  • Second Largest Taskforce

As the second-most populous country with 60% taskforce under the age of 50, India hubs the second largest, and the youngest taskforce. Because of this, there is no dearth of talent and that is why India could kickstart immediately once the lockdown period was eased. As soon as buyers from other countries were ready, and keeping in mind the distancing; the manufacturing and sourcing agents began virtual exhibitions for their overseas clients. Within two months since the lockdown was eased, the manufacturing is gaining speed, and there is a steady rollout of orders. One of the main reasons is also that many industries want to shift base from China.

  • Quality Equipment

Indian factories equipped with Indian machinery? No. You will be surprised to find the best of the equipment sourced from Japan. The Indian companies rely heavily upon world-class measurement tools and machines that are manufactured in Japan. On the whole what makes India a competitive manufacturing hub is the low-cost labor and strong engineering and technical capabilities contributing to higher and finer production runs.

  • Working Ethics and Transparency

There is always an inherent risk in sourcing from a foreign country. Factory owners in India take tremendous pride in their products. Most take extra care to ensure what comes off the line is genuine and authentic. Additionally, there is an inherent level of transparency when it comes to doing business in India. One of the most important factors is the openness of owners to invite you to their factories. As of 2019, India scored ranks higher than china on transparency.

  • Labor Cost Advantage

The good news is that Indian manufacturers fare better than global averages for cost control despite low capacity utilization, primarily because of lower wages and a focus on reducing cost. As of November 2019, the labor cost in India averaged to 92 cents, compared to $3.52 in China, according to BCG.

  • Buying and Sourcing Agents

The sourcing and buying agents in India work directly with the factories and serve as your extended back-offices in India. The buying agents as facilitators know their country, its labor, the laws, and the logistics better than anyone from outside the country; and endeavor to give the best services by choosing the right region, the right factory for your procurement. WeSource Inc through its website.

  • Incentives to Micro Small and Medium Industries-

The government’s prime focus has been on creating entrepreneurs. For this, there has been strong support for individuals who want to start their enterprise. The government is giving out subsidies so that the youth opts for creating their own business. Also, the government is focused on skill development of its taskforce, to match international standards.

The method of doing business has changed a bit, but to say that the business is lost, and nobody is buying will be a dismal and an incorrect statement to make. Now that the initial shock of COVID19 is past its intensity, and people are gearing up once again to best deal with the situation; business is picking up. Companies like Ashley Furniture has come out with a vast range of furniture that will encourage work from home and staying at home concepts. The marketing strategies have changed and all the top brands are working towards bringing markets to their clients’ doorstep.

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