Dabur, one of India’s largest manufacturers of daily essentials such as toothpastes, nutraceuticals and so on, said it saw a material impact on its its finances from the ongoing COVID-19 impact, and said it was exploring online options to boost sales.
“On account of Covid-19 and consequent lockdown since March, the impact on our production and sales will be material. This impact has been experienced in March and will continue till the lockdown stays during the current financial year. The full impact of this event is still difficult to evaluate or quantify as the situation is dynamic,” the company said.
Dabur had decided to shut down most of its manufacturing operations on March 23, when the lockdown was first announced. However, it kept some of its operations — related to the manufacturing of essential goods — running.
The items for which production has been kept going include those of hand sanitizers, handwash, disinfectants, Ayurvedic medicines, juices, coconut water, honey etc.
Given the extension of the lockdown till May 3, the situation will continue to remain similar till then, the company said.
“While operating our manufacturing units for producing essential goods, we have implemented strict measures like ensuring social distancing, hygiene practices and deep cleansing of premises to ensure the safety of our workers and staff,” it said.
The government had given an exemption to shops selling grocery and other essential goods from its lock-down.
However, consumers have been loathe to step out of their homes to make purchases due to intrusive and often intimidating police checking on the streets. This has hurt sales of semi-essential items such as honey, fruit juices and so on — a category that Dabur focuses on.
However, with the government giving the go-ahead to online retailers to operate their services, Dabur is now eyeing this option to push sales of such semi-essential goods.
“Even as we face disruptions, Dabur has been taking steps to mitigate the impact of the lockdown while ensuring the safety of our people involved in operations/supply chain and consumers at large. We have tied up with online delivery service providers to ensure timely delivery of Dabur products to retail outlets and consumers,” it said.
The company said it will work with the government and industry peers to roll-out the ‘Suraksha Stores’ initiative, which will seek to convert regular retail stores into ‘safe’ stores by implementing social distancing norms and so on.
It said the initiative was required for providing a safe shopping experience for the population.