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The Electronic Industry in times of Coronavirus Outbreak

CoronaVirus

Destruction has a new name and we are calling it the Coronavirus or COVID-19. With thousands of cases reported worldwide it’s climbing up the records in the list of deadly diseases in the history of mankind. Every industry needs human resources to function and given the impact of Coronavirus on human health it’s not a surprise that an economic slowdown is in the picture. With plummeting trade and supply chain disruptions it has impacted all the sectors in the economy.

Electronic Industry in Jeopardy

China has been the epicentre of this plague with the most number of cases reported in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province. China is known to be the factory of the world with its unprecedented manufacturing base. This outbreak has caused a massive strain on the sectors that rely on imports from China for their production. The industry that has suffered the most due to this plague is the electronic industry, given its reliance on Chinese suppliers and manufacturers. According to statistical reports, almost 18% of India’s merchandise imports are from China. India also is the net importer, the figure for 2019 stands at $56 billion.

In the contemporary scenario where the supply chain has been severely impacted due to the proliferation of this virus, the Indian electronic industry is facing the heat. The supplies that have already been delivered to India require aggressive sanitation before dispatching further given the nature of this virus. PCBs for a range of products like mobile phones, printers, PCs, etc. were being sourced from China and the assembly took place in India. Authorities have reported that the situation in the electronic industry is so grave that only 50% of the production capacity will be utilized in the coming weeks, this, in turn, will increase the price of the electronic goods by 20-30%. Also, given the temporary nature of the problem, no new player is coming forward to move the gap as it won’t be profitable in the long run when the situation is restored in China.

The way forward

Given the recent developments amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, India can be considered as a preferable alternative for manufacturing low and medium-end goods. To build trust in the international community, the government will have to work on the capacity building for the manufacturing sector to set India as a viable alternative for production. Leveraging the Make in India initiative, there are players in the digital signage segment like Osel Technologies who are already leading the game with their remarkable digital signage solutions, reducing the import dependency in the process.

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