The ongoing coronavirus is impacting every part of our lives, from the places we can go to the way we spend our time, to the priorities we have, and the way we spend our money.
Now, as the impact of the coronavirus continues to be felt across industries and within local communities. Recently an industry survey that is jointly conducted by industry body FICCI and tax consultancy Dhruva advisors and took responses from about 380 companies across the sectors. It is said that businesses are grappling with “tremendous uncertainty” about their future, therefore companies are carving out more measured responses that are also being woven into wider marketing campaigns.
There are newer challenges that agencies have to battle with Widespread travel restrictions have been announced across the country. Several cities are under total lockdown. The fate of mega sports events and ad-tech gatherings is yet to be decided. Moreover, ad agencies that are heavily dependent on interpersonal connect and physical presence of staff, are rethinking the way they are operating.
Several agencies are working out ways to go online and hold virtual meetings to deal with this unprecedented crisis. A leading media agency in Mumbai is gearing up for a pitch meeting that is expected to happen over Skype. Gurgaon-based independent creative shop Bang In The Middle has disabled its biometric machine. The agency is encouraging its employees to work from home when need be. However, Satbir Singh, founder, and chief creative officer of the independent shop Thinkstr, opines some areas of the business will not work online.
The Indian government’s mandate that e-commerce companies only fulfill orders of essential goods such as groceries during the past five weeks has led to Amazon cutting back on a lot of its offerings in the country. After getting off to a rocky start in delivering food and groceries, a large part due to labour shortages and supply issues e-commerce are now expanded its Pantry service across all cities.
Another area of business that can’t be taken online is production work. The Association of Advertising Producers (ASAP) representing 75 producer members, that does approximately 90% of the advertising work in India has decided to hit the pause button. On Sunday, ASAP along with other film bodies Federation of Western Indian Cine Employees (FWICE), Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA), Western India Film Producers’ Association (WIPFA), Indian Film and Television Producers Council (IFTPC) and Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA), unanimously decided to cancel all shoots from 20 March to end of this month.
However, online stores have seen grown in its overall sales amid the pandemic, but profits fell in the same quarter due to increased spending on its Covid-19 response. Meanwhile, experts are of the view that as India’s curbs on full-fledged business began only at the very end of the first quarter, the total impact is yet unknown.