Infections aren’t slowing down, companies are closed, entrepreneurs are forced to ask for loans. The situation in India is critical. Pandemic continues to rage and the latest Covid wave is hitting harder than the previous ones. The repercussions on the manufacturing system are very grave. Many tanneries, footwear manufacturers and makes of leather goods are all close to failing. Some have already made the decision to close for good, while others are just accumulating debt.
Latest Covid wave
“In January last year, before corona hit us the first time, my shop saw sales of around Rs 1 lakh in a month. Today, the sales have dipped to Rs 20,000 per month. I had two employees in my shop, whose services I discontinued because I could not pay their salary,” said Mr. Ranvijay Singh, an entrepreneur with a small footwear manufacturing operation, to theprint.in. The city is one of the major markets for leather shoes and leather goods in India, but many companies are going bankrupt due to the pandemic’s impacts. The area gets its leather from the nearby tanning district of Kanpur, one of the largest in the country. Here too things aren’t going very well.
A hit for tanneries
There are about 300 tanneries in Jajmau, which is near the city of Kanpur. These enterprises account for about 30% of the country’s total leather commerce value. Before the pandemic, tanners had to deal with restrictions imposed by the government that aimed at cleaning the Ganges’ water. This dynamic kept them blocked for months. “And then corona (virus) came – said Nafees Azmat, director of Allied Leather Finishers Private Limited -. Factories here are now working to 50% of their capacity. Export figures are down by 50%”.