With India Inc. on lockdown, businesses have taken an unprecedented hit. Business leaders across sectors have mixed views about the time it would take to make a recovery. While 25% respondents feel it would take at least two quarters, 29% believe it could take between 6-9 months and another 29% believe it could take more than a year.
This came as part of market research firm Feedback Consultingâ€™s survey to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on businesses across sectors and the economy.
Among sectors, travel and tourism is the sector most impacted by the pandemic, according to 81% of the respondents, while being also among the slowest sectors to recover. The auto industry (80%), hospitality (71%) and construction & real estate (63%) are also amongst the most affected industries. Post the lockdown, e-commerce is expected to make a speedy recovery, according to 50% of the respondents, followed by IT services (46%), FMCG (44%), logistics and supply chain (43%) and retail (29%).
One of the biggest concerns faced by companies is the management of cash-flows (27%), followed by 26% business leaders who are worried about the uncertainty of the situation. With operational costs increasing and limited staff working remotely, 13% respondents are worried about business sustainability.
Firms are less optimistic about business bookings and are expecting the first two quarters of the year to have muted growth. About 23% respondents expect a reduction of over 15-20% in their business bookings, while 22% are expecting a reduction of 10-15%.
The pandemic is also expected to change the way businesses function in many ways. The survey revealed that remote working (29%), digital/tech adoption (23%), EHS (environment, health and safety) focus (17%) and de-globalisation (18%) are going to be the biggest resets in business, in the post pandemic world. About 46% businesses are also looking to focus more on employee engagement, while 66% leaders feel localisation will gain more prominence than ever before.
However, about 77% respondents are positive that the hit on businesses will be short-term as they expect newer business models to emerge. 59% business firms expect working from home to become a norm in a post-pandemic world.
One in two businesses are preparing to address the impact of COVID-19 by re-looking at their growth outlook for the coming quarters, while 33% are waiting for further guidelines before taking action. However, 17% respondents are planning to deal with the situation by managing their workflow.
In April 2020, about 146 business leaders participated in this web-based survey which was conducted across various sectors including auto, agriculture, BFSI, chemicals, energy, pharma, healthcare, education, construction, IT and services.
Feedback Consulting is a Bengaluru based B2B market research and business advisory firm.