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We hope the market revives fast and the disease gets contained quickly, says V G Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India

We hope the market revives fast and the disease gets contained quickly, says V G Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India

How has your organization strategized to tackle this sudden pandemic and economically challenging scenario?

COVID-19 has posed many new challenges across businesses. One of the worst affected is the infrastructure industry. The recent lockdown in the country had put a number of restrictions on construction activities, decreased workforce and supply chain disruptions. All these have led to an impact on infrastructure projects in general. Schwing Stetter India has already resumed operations in its five Kancheepuram production facilities of Schwing concrete pump, Schwing concrete boom pump, Stetter concrete batching plant,Stetter concrete transit mixers, Stetter self-loading and self-propelled concrete mixers. The ongoing construction work at the upcoming facility of Schwing Stetter India at Cheyyar, Thiruvannamalai district, TamilNadu has also resumed. We will now run with the required workforce to meet the initial production demand, following all the Government’s directives on business operations. We are hopeful that the business will now begin to recover gradually and meet the customer demand.

We are focusing on continuous medical monitoring of the workers by expert doctors every few hours. The workers are checked consistently for COVID-19 symptoms and are provided with testing kits, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like masks, and other protective gear. They are ensured regular access to food and nutrition during the course of the lockdown so they don’t bear the adverse economic impact of the crisis.

We have set up accommodation facility with 625 beds for migrant workers at the upcoming production facility at Cheyyar to help prevent cross contamination and control infection and are ensuring social distancing and sanitization measures are followed in all six - under construction and existing manufacturing facilities.

What are the operational strategies adopted to keep the business going by embracing the mantra of social distancing?

Schwing Stetter India’s facility has commenced operations with the required workforce to meet the initial production demand, and will follow all the government’s directives on business operations. This includes guidelines on social distancing, adjusted shift timing to reduce crowd, reduced bus capacity, frequent sanitization in common areas, regular temperature checks, hand sanitizing at entry, more batches with reduced persons per table in dining area, and regular temperature monitoring by doctor and paramedical personnel.

In your opinion, tell us about the possible impact the situation will have on India's manufacturing sector and on the economy as a whole.

March turnover was not as per the plan due to sudden lockdown of factories, construction activities in India. April was completely a standstill and the extended lockdown is likely to hit the May turnover also. The economic hardship has affected right from the daily wage workers to corporate companies, small businesses, MSME’s and practically every commercial establishment. As the construction equipment (CE) sector is affected since 2019 due to issues like reduced demand, NBFC problem, automotive slowdown (BS4 – BS6 issues), etc, this sudden lockdown has further added to our woes. We hope the market revives fast and the disease gets contained quickly.

Post-lockdown what would be your organization’s agenda to sustain a possible market slowdown/downfall.

The immediate concern is to take care of the people in the organization and the customers.We will be doing everything to reduce the cost and postpone certain capital expenditures. We will be looking for niche markets to improve and compensate for the sales drop in domestic and export markets.



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