As the world comes to terms with the disruptions caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian economy is still grappling with an appalling second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak. The alarming impact of the second wave is that it is causing tragic loss of human lives and exerting massive pressure on the healthcare infrastructure. Localised lockdowns and restrictions have been levied in various states across the country to control the spread of the pandemic. Organisations in the consumer market sector have also been impacted and are facing multiple operational disruptions due to restrictions on transportation, temporary disallowance on sale of non-essential products, shortage of manpower and cash flow challenges.
Consumer behaviour has changed substantially in the last one year with more focus on safety and hygiene; a rapid increase in online purchases and digital payments; and a shift towards online entertainment platforms. With individuals adopting the ‘new normal’ way of life and seemingly persistent changes in consumer behaviour, organisations need to adopt radical strategies to retain/ attract customers and attain customer satisfaction.
Despite the substantial short-term contraction in consumer spending caused by the pandemic, it is expected that consumer spending in India will quadruple by 2030, driven by various factors, such as rise in middle-class households with higher disposable incomes, dynamic spending behaviour of millennials and strong surge in rural consumption, among others.
Such rapid transformation in the consumer markets sector also creates avenues for cost and revenue leakages due to vulnerabilities in the existing business processes and lack of adequate monitoring mechanism. In our experience, typical issues faced by organisations in the current scenario, which could further aggravate in the future are as below:
2. Sales and distribution
3. Supply chain and inventory
4. Regulatory non-compliance
While organisations rethink their strategies going forward, it is pertinent for them to also consider the below proactive measures to plug leakages in their processes, which could lead to substantial cost savings for them.
Organisations in the consumer market sector have become increasingly vulnerable to leakages due to the current COVID-19 situation. Such leakages could cause immense financial, as well as reputational damage to them. Therefore, organisations need to be more prudent in strengthening their processes to plug the leakages, which would ensure smooth operations and satisfied consumers. This will benefit not only the organisations, but also the society at large.
 How India will consume in 2030: 10 mega trends, World Economic Forum, accessed on May 25, 2021