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Here’s How Businesses Would be Operating after Restrictions Eases in Lockdown

Amazon and Firstcry have begun accepting orders for all products across the country except in containment zones
BY Jaspreet Kaur
Feature Writer, BusinessEx
May 18,2020

With the recent notification by the Indian government, some businesses activities that have ceased are now begun operating. As per the Ministry of Home Affairs, all activities, beside those in prohibited zones, are permitted to function. However, state governments still have to make a final decision whether to allow businesses to operate based on the situation and demands.

Of late, e-commerce companies, Amazon and Firstcry started accepting orders for non-essential products throughout the country besides in containment areas. On the flip side, other e-commerce companies are still awaiting state governments' approval for selling non-essential items during the lockdown.

"The move enables e-commerce to deliver a wider selection of products while upholding the tenets of safety and social distancing," a spokesperson from Amazon said in an interview with The Economic Times.   

"This will give a fillip to the 6 lakh retailers and MSMEs on our marketplace and help revive economic activity more broadly," Amazon's spokesperson added

"The online retailer will work in accordance with the directives from the government and local authorities while serving customers and sellers," a spokesperson from Flipkart told The Economic Times. 

"Post the Government of India's guidelines last evening we are awaiting the guidelines and advisories from the different states," Flipkart's spokesperson added. 

At present, Flipkart is selling non-essential commodities in Andhra Pradesh and Punjab only as the state governments have permitted e-commerce companies.

Indian Companies Supporting “Vocal about Local” Theme  

India has been the only nation across the world which had prohibited e-commerce sales. Consequently, this move hurted sales of the e-commerce companies in the country. Although, the government had permitted recommencing of the brick and mortar stores and other similar physical stores. 

India-based consumer-facing firms like ITC, Parle Products, Amul, Bisleri, Godrej, Marico and Voltas have started pushin ‘vocal for local’ themes beyond all advertising and marketing campaigns and last-mile sales pitches. This occurred following the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s encouragement to this action in his address to the masses

"We are highlighting Indian roots and have started promoting ads with this message on digital media and TV, particularly news channels," CEO at Dabur, Mohit Malhotra said in an interview with the cited media agency.  

"Made in India will be a key factor likely to influence purchase decision and the vocal for local campaign has the potential of harnessing India's traditional knowledge like ayurveda," Malhotra added.

"ITC has invested extensively in developing a vibrant portfolio of Indian brands which support millions of farmers and creates large-scale livelihoods, with 25 Indian vibrant brands created from scratch," Executive Director at ITC, B Sumant told the cited media agency. 

The Prime Minister had requested the general masses to be “vocal about local” brands. Thus, asking people to procure products that are made by domestic firms in his address. It is a move to make India a self-dependent country.

Leveraging ‘Seek Local’ Theme 

After the PM's address, the ruling government had clarified that local does not imply only products made by Indian companies, but also those manufactured in the country by multinationals, reported the cited media agency. 

Similar to other companies, biscuit maker, Parle Products has begun rolling out an array of adverts for its brand such as Hide & Seek, Parle-G and salty snacks under the Modi-backed theme.

"We will use all platforms for communicating that we are a swadeshi brand," Category Head at Parle Products, Mayank Shah told the cited media agency. 

"We will have similar, if not same, creatives for other platforms to reinforce our Indian roots. The creatives will be across media platforms," Shah added. 

Packaged foods company, Prataap Snacks that sells food products under the brand, Yellow Diamond, has released adverts on social media stimulating people to purchase local products. 

"Consumers will get vocal about local when they love us," Subhashis Basu, Chief Operating Officer at Prataap Snacks, informed the cited media agency. 

"A consumer will not be vocal sustainably for a local product if it's not good, which comes with taste, quality and value for money," Basu added.

 

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