Print Posted 10/21/2017 in Category 1

‘I’ve Never had a Year so Bad’: How Big Economic Changes of Last 3 Years Have Hit India’s Small Businesses

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‘I’ve Never had a Year so Bad’: How Big Economic Changes of Last 3 Years Have Hit India’s Small Businesses


Washington post reports:

NEW DELHI — The sweets usually fly off the shelves during the Hindu festival of Diwali, but this year, only a handful of people stopped by. Idle employees waited around to take orders while the neatly piled towers of shimmering confections waited for customers.  

Famed in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk market, Kanwarji Bhagirathmal is one of many small businesses in Delhi where sales have slowed. “This time last year, there was a rush of people standing in front of the shop,” said Rachit Gupta, who runs the sweets store. “People who were spending 1,000 rupees [$15] last year are spending 600-700 now [$9-$11].” 

In the past year, India’s economic performance has fallen short of expectations. The shock of major economic changes has caused panic and confusion, leaving some small businesses like Gupta’s with slower sales than in past years.

“If food is something people are willing to forgo, then I’m not sure what’s happening to others,” he said. 


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/ive-never-had-a-year-so-bad-how-modis-big-economic-changes-have-hit-indias-small-businesses/2017/10/19/8b029792-afaf-11e7-9b93-b97043e57a22_story.html?utm_term=.1b9c9cbb1bd3

Small businesses hit hard this Deepavali

the Hindu reports:

Individuals who prefer to have their clothes made to order rather than pick up ready-to-wear garments should brace up for possible delays in deliveries as many tailors in the city are struggling to meet the demand in view of the heavy load shedding ahead of Deepavali.

Small businesses such as tailoring units and small-scale flour mills that are dependent heavily on festival business are facing a severe crisis situation in view of the 12 to 14 hours of power cuts in the region ahead of Deepavali.

After a few days of relief thanks to the widespread rain, about 14 hours of load shedding has become the order of the day in the city. Over the past few days, load shedding is enforced for eight hours in two four-hour spells between dawn and dusk, effectively robbing small businesses of their working hours in a day. This apart, power cuts are enforced for at least two hours between 6 and 10 p.m. and in 60 to 90 minute spells every alternative hour during the night.

The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) started resorting to 12 hours of load shedding from mid-September after wind power generation dwindled. Towards the end of October, there was some relief for a few hours especially during the days of rain and load shedding during the nights was reduced to some extent. Even then the TANGEDCO had resorted to only two three-hour spells of power cuts during the day. But now it has been increased to two four-hour spells, badly affecting the output of small traders, many of whom say they cannot afford gensets.

Tailors, a worried lot

Tailors, for instance, seem to be the worst hit this festive season so much so that some of them are worried over facing the wrath of customers if they overshoot delivery schedules, which some say could extend possibly beyond Deepavali. Most tailors have stopped taking orders this year much before their usual “stop order” time.

“This has been one of our worst years in terms of output though we have got more orders than last year. We stopped taking orders over 10 days back. Yet we are struggling to complete the orders already accepted. We can hardly operate our motor-operated sewing machines, which are essential to increase output, as we get power supply only for just about two to three hours during the day. Stitching using machines manually takes a lot of time. Besides, women feel tired and complain of leg and hip pain when they are forced to operate sewing machines manually,” says Kavitha, a tailor who runs a tailoring unit employing over half-a-dozen women tailors in the city.

“With just about five days to go for Deepavali, I am worried whether I would be able to complete the orders that I have accepted,” says Chithra Gopalakrishnan, another tailor in the city. Although many people have switched over to readymade garments, these tailoring units still attract sizeable number of customers, especially women, tailors say.

Similarly, the few small-scale flour mills, which do some brisk business ahead of Deepavali, complain that they were unable to operate the grinding machines for most part of the day, leaving customers who traditionally prepare their family sweets for the festival in a spot of bother.


Read more here:http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/small-businesses-hit-hard-ahead-of-deepavali/article4077123.ece



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