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Last updated: 26 Mar, 2020  

Locked generic THMB Urban working professionals hit hard by India lockdown: Survey

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SME Times News Bureau | 26 Mar, 2020
Over eight in 10 urban working professionals in India claim the novel coronavirus has large or moderate impact on their business and declining sales is expected to be the greatest commercial woe in the future, a small-yet-significant survey said on Thursday.

Baby Boomers (born between 1944 and 1964) were more likely to feel the effect of COVID-19 disease on their business compared to the other age groups, according to the survey of 251 senior business professionals by YouGov, an Internet-based market research and data analytics firm.

Only 8 per cent said the impact was minor and 7 per cent claimed to have no impact at all.

Cancelled or delayed business trips emerged as the most visible initial impact of the coronavirus, according to 60 per cent of the respondents. Almost as many indicated (58 per cent ) there was a drop in sales.

India is currently under a 21-day lockdown and businesses have shut operations and services, excluding those part of the essential services.

More than half claimed (55 per cent) to introduce hygiene measure and supplies in the company and sensed insecurity and safety concerns among employees (53 per cent).

"Many said they were facing HR- related issues such as- increasing number of employees working from home (46 per cent) and increased employee sick leaves (39 per cent)," the findings showed.

Two in five faced interruptions in supply chain (45 per cent), suffered office or store closures (42 per cent) and experienced reduced working hours (47 per cent).

On a slightly positive note, 9 per cent said they witnessed increase in sales as a result of this outbreak.

The data suggested further disruption on the horizon with four in five respondents (82 per cent) saying the virus is very likely or fairly likely to affect their business in the future.

"A slightly higher proportion (61 per cent) are expecting to see decrease in sales in the future compared to those already seeing such a decline," said the survey.

There are few (10 per cent) who look at this as an opportunity and feel there will be increase in sales in the future.

"Not only do Indian working professionals see a bleak future for their businesses but the vast majority (93 per cent) feel the Coronavirus will have a large to moderate impact on the country's overall economy. Only 7 per cent reckon the impact will be minor," the survey said.
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