Growing Export Saves The Day
The manufacturing activities expanded in India during April despite the local and regional lockdowns.
The IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) came in at 55.5 in April. It was little changed from the March reading of 55.4. However, the growth rate for new domestic factory orders and production was the slowest in the last eight months. A reading above 50 denotes expansion from the previous month.
There was a considerable slowdown in domestic activity levels in April. But, manufacturing activities were duly supported by rising exports. As per the PMI data, International orders expansion in April was the fastest in the last six months. Recently, the Commerce Ministry also suggested that India's exports in April jumped nearly 3x to $30.21 billion from $10.17 billion in April last year.
Persisting Vaccine Crunch
India is likely to continue facing a shortage in vaccine supply for the next few months. However, the Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla believes that the situation is likely to improve from July.
SII is working on increasing the existing production capacity and it will come into effect by July 2021. Post that, the vaccine production is being expected to increase from current 60-70 million doses/ month to 100 million doses. The Centre has also granted Rs 3,000 crore to SII for the required capacity expansion.
In Mr Poonawala's words, SII refrained from expanding capacity earlier as they did not have enough orders. The company estimated the order flow to be far more benign before the country was swept away by the second Covid wave.
In the hindsight, it can be said that the central and the state governments underestimated the Covid situation. It led to the delay in setting a proper infrastructure to tackle the surge in Covid cases.
Expansion Or Growing Frustration?
As the pandemic continues to impact cinema operations, multiplex major Inox Leisure is now looking to expand its food and beverages segment.
It has partnered with food aggregators like Zomato and Swiggy to deliver its food and beverages to customers to their homes. The company is also targeting to increase the revenue contribution of the F&B segment from 19% in the previous fiscal to up to 35% in the future.
The movie exhibition business showing no signs to take off and fixed expenses are always lined up. In this context, this move appears to be a rather desperate one. Traditionally, multiplexes have never relied on third-party channels to grow their F&B business. It was always considered to be supplementary to its exhibition business.