Poor performance in economy due to Covid-19: City-based businessmen
The recent Covid-19 pandemic left the city’s industrial sector paralysed for almost a year, with business yet to make a full recovery and economic opportunities being hit. The effect was reflected in a low score on this count in the Ease of Living Index, which was released countrywide on Thursday.
The Millennium City, which has long been touted as the engine of economic growth in Haryana, scored only 32.5 out of 100 under the Economic Ability pillar. Although the national average was much lower, at 13.17, industry leaders in the city said that Gurugram’s poor performance on this parameter was surprising.
They said that Gurugram was hit badly due to the lockdown in 2020 as most businesses and manufacturing stopped and the secondary and allied business sector, such as transport, security, food and beverages, failed to generate revenue. The food and beverage business and liquor industry, which account for a high proportion of jobs, have still not recovered while the real estate is still trying to find a way forward, according to local business associations.
The recent decision to implement job reservations for locals in such a scenario does not augur well for the future of the city, said experts but they agreed that Gurugram should bounce back as a favoured business destination as it has resilience and depth.
Vinod Sood, managing director, Hughes Systiqe, an IT company, said that while software companies have managed to remain unaffected, the pandemic has hit ITes and BPOs badly. “The service providers were also hit but things are bouncing back and the city will again score among top cities for business and economic opportunity as it has always been,” said Sood, who also holds the chair of National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom), Haryana.
Experts said that the IT sector, which generated a lot of allied businesses like cafeterias, cab services, pantry jobs, security business, etc, are also working at 25% capacity as a majority of people are working from home.
Owners of manufacturing companies, however, said that they are positive about Gurugram and said that the low numbers on the index might be an aberration. “This is only a blip on the radar as Gurugram is and will always remain a top job and business destination. The city has jobs for everyone and of every kind. Secondly, the wages are better and workers are well off,” said Manmohan Gaind, a Manesar-based industrialist.
Pawan Yadav, who owns a telecom-related manufacturing unit, said that demand was growing and business was getting back to normal. “Gurugram, like any other part of the country, suffered during the pandemic but we are seeing job generation. Demand is good and the industry is looking for workers,” he said.