Rs 100 cr lost in truck strike,industry still takes it in stride

By the time the truckers’ strike was called off at the national level on Monday,Pune’s industrial sector had lost an estimated Rs 70 crore to Rs 100 crore in a week.

Written by Ranjani Raghavan | Pune | Published: January 13, 2009 5:02 am

Counting its losses : Shipments delayed,contracts lost,production down

By the time the truckers’ strike was called off at the national level on Monday,Pune’s industrial sector had lost an estimated Rs 70 crore to Rs 100 crore in a week. The only reason the impact was not felt deeply was that the industry was already in the throes of an economic slowdown.

“Conservatively speaking,the region’s industrial units could have lost around Rs 10-15 crore each day during the weeklong strike,” said Mukesh Malhotra,vice president of Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA). This was primarily because of shipments being delayed,leading to firms losing contracts in that period,he said.

Production in most firms was down by around 50 per cent. Thus,most firms were able to stretch their inventories for a week. “Instead of two days,our inventories ran for seven days. But many firms are still facing a shortage in supplies of items like mild steel sheets,bars,channels,angles etc,” said Suresh Mehtre,chairperson of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Small Industries Association.

One area that took a hit was Pune’s export-import trade with around 30,000 containers unable to move in and out of the region. “There was no movement of goods for the entire week. As supplies were not coming,production in many manufacturing companies were also halted,” said executive director of Dynamic Logistics-ICD Dighi,Praful Talera.

For Vinod Manekar,head of the Sri Guru Kripa Engineers and Fabrication at Kalawade,which used to see a turnover of Rs 1.25 crore per month when the economy was booming,the truck strike put paid to the sole export order that the firm had received a fortnight ago. The company is into the fabrication of stainless steel and supplies are procured from Mumbai.

“Production had come to a halt. Due to the recession,it has been a dull period; we have been receiving fewer numbers of orders. Fifteen days ago,we finalised a Rs 3.25 lakh export order. However,I needed a higher grade material which could not be brought here because of the strike and the order was dropped,” Manekar said.

The firm employs 15 workers,who were idle for most of the week. “There was no work here but we can hardly ask them to sit at home,” he said.

This was a situation that many firms faced last week. N R Plastics,a firm employing 30 workers,was hampered because it had to get supplies from Gujarat. “We needed polypropylene,HDPE and other supplies which are not available locally,” said owner N Rasalayyan. The firm has pegged the operation loss for each day at Rs 30,000.

“We had to keep the shop open,even if there was little work,” he said.

For Hyundai Construction Equipment India Pvt Limited,it was more a case of their clients losing out because of delay in supply of machines. “There was a level of dissatisfaction. Each week,we dispatch around 10 machines worth Rs 5 crore. Last week we were unable to supply machines; our clients,mostly contractors,might have lost close to Rs 40-50 lakh,” said Suvendu Moitra,head of marketing,Hyundai Construction. In terms of inventory,the company was fairly stocked up.

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