Mayank Shah, senior category head at Parle Products, said only 30-40 per cent of the company’s 135 plants were currently running. “Not all lines are fully operational within these units because workforce allowed inside factories is not more than 50 per cent,” Shah said. “I hope to see this getting resolved in the coming weeks.”
On Thursday, Britannia Industries had said capacity utilisation
at its units stood at 25-30 per cent only, though it hoped to see manufacturing activity gain speed in the coming days. Bread and rusk, for instance, in cities such as Mumbai are not readily available due to restricted movement of goods, distributors and retailers said. Nestlé’s Maggi noodles, a popular snack, also remained unavailable at grocery stores in the financial capital as people rush to stock up essential products.
Suresh Narayanan, chairman and managing director of Nestlé India, admitted Maggi consumption had increased during the lockdown, reiterating that the company was doing its best to make stocks available to consumers. Nestlé is also looking to open up more of its plants in the weeks ahead.
ITC said it was operating its plants with restricted number of hours and reduced workforce in line with the approvals received from local authorities. “Efforts are being made to ensure the supply chain functions smoothly across the country despite the challenges of manpower shortages and availability of trucks,” an ITC spokesperson said.
But with transporters still unwilling to ply trucks due to strict enforcement of lockdown
and containment rules, companies expect the April-June quarter to be a washout even as the March quarter suffers.
“We will need to approach the reopening post the lockdown
in a staggered manner,” said Vivek Gambhir, managing director and chief executive officer, GCPL. “We hope to start with 50 per cent capacity ramp-up from 20-25 per cent production levels that exist now for mainly essential items.”
Mohit Malhotra, chief executive officer, Dabur India, said he saw plants opening up gradually, with the scenario improving in the next one month.