Home / Companies / People /  Reopening supply chains a Herculean task now: Rajiv Bajaj tells Rahul Gandhi

Opening up the supply-chain ecosystem, which has been severely disrupted by the over two-month long nationwide lockdown, will now be a Herculean task for India Inc, said Rajiv Bajaj, managing director (MD), Bajaj Auto Ltd on Thursday.

“A large country like India cannot save itself from this crisis but has to sell out of this trouble. It is a herculean task to open up now. The PM (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) needs to stand up and tell everyone that everything is under control and that catching infection does not mean death," said Bajaj, in a conversation with Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi.

According to ratings agency Crisil, India’s GDP is expected to contract by 5% this fiscal due to the world's most stringent lockdown that brought the economy to a standstill. Sales of vehicles are also likely to decline more than 25% during the year owing to a sharp drop in affordability of customers.

Vehicle manufacturers such as Bajaj Auto Ltd had shut down their factories and showrooms from 25 March, after the announcement of the lockdown to contain the spread of covid-19. Meanwhile, most companies along with their suppliers and dealers prepared standard operating procedures (SOPs) that need to be followed once manufacturing and retail operations resumed.

After restarting manufacturing in May, most companies and their component suppliers have been using around 20% of their installed production capacity. Also, lack of demand in the market and high vehicle stocks at dealerships have propelled these companies to limit vehicle production.

Bajaj Auto is planning to venture into Brazil, South America’s biggest market, to expand its export base and reduce dependence on the Indian market in the long-term. The company is also all set to enter Thailand with its premium motorcycle brands, including KTM, Husqvarna, Dominar and Pulsar NS series, by July.

The Pune-based company is also exploring other markets to increase its global footprint.

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