The lockdown imposed by several state governments and union territories has started to impact corporate India. Several companies on Tuesday announced a temporary scale down or closure of operations and even manufacturing facilities across the country.
As a result, an increasing number of manufacturing facilities in India have come or will come to a grinding halt. Those temporarily shut include factories, offices, warehouses and retail stores. Till about 10 am on Tuesday, confirmed positive Covid-19 cases had risen to 482 in India, with 10 deaths reported so far. As a precautionary measure the Centre and state governments had announced lockdowns and curfews in several districts.
Aditya Birla Group companies have reported that temporary measures are being undertaken in line with government orders of various states. Consequently, Ultratech Cement has shut facilities in several locations, while factory operations of Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (ABFRL) in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Odisha have been stopped till March 31. The company has also closed down all its retail stores till the month end. ABFRL has stated that the company’s business has been “significantly affected over the last few weeks and will continue to be materially impacted due to the current crisis”.
Grasim also reported about temporary shutdown of its operations at various locations as the situation is dynamic and depends on further government directions. The company said it might have to shut operations in its other locations too.
Some consumer sector companies have also stopped operations. Future Supply Chain has closed some of its warehouse facilities temporarily, barring food distribution centres across the nation till March 31. Shoppers Stop has closed all its retail stores till the month end. Trent has also followed suit, closing its standalone stores as well as those operating in malls. Colgate Palmolive on Tuesday said operations have been disrupted as its head office, plants and branch offices were shut following applicable directives.
Almost all two-wheeler and four-wheeler companies have announced a halt in production till March 31 or till further notice. These include Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Hyundai, M&M, Hero MotoCorp, Maruti Suzuki, Honda 2wheelers, Suzuki Motorcycle and Toyota Kirloskar Motors.
Some companies have decided to maintain closure till March 31 and review the situation on March 30 to decide on further course of action. While the companies say these shutdowns will have material impact on their operations, the uncertainty makes it difficult to assess the financial damage on the businesses.
Heavy engineering to infrastructure major Larsen and Toubro has suspended operations in heavy-engineering and switchgear manufacturing facilities in Powai in Mumbai, Vadodara and Hazira.
Another capital goods major Thermax has temporarily suspended production in its Maharashtra facilities — Chinchwad and Bhosari in Pune, Sholapur — Sricity plant in Andhra Pradesh, Savli & Mundra plants in Gujarat till March 25 or March 31, in compliance with government guidelines in this regard. “The company has closed its business offices at various locations in India and services at O&M sites in the country and abroad further to local government guidelines,” the company said.
Cummins is no exception — its operations and despatches are likely to be impacted due to the temporary closure of its offices and factories across Maharashtra from March 23 to March 31. Bharat Forge suspend operations in all their offices and manufacturing locations in India with effect from March 23 to March 31.