Large FMCG companies said that they will facilitate automation at their factories, as they are grappling with the shortage of workers and social distancing norms they have to follow even post covid future.
Fast moving consumer goods companies are struggling with the production and other operations because of non-availability of manpower since the commutation of these employees is restricted while some are refusing to come to work, worried that they may catch the disease or some have gone back to their native towns and have no means to come back since public transport isn’t running in many parts of India.
Huge but one time- FMCG Automation
B Krishna Rao, Category head at Parle products said that most of the companies have been shying away from automation since it is a one-time large investment while having labour at factories needs smaller but long time investment. He also said to avoid these situation in the future they have to invest in automation similar to what most factories in the developed world adopted decades ago.
Companies also feat that most of the employees may not be back to the cities even if the lockdown is lifted as they will look into newly created employment opportunities in their respective hometowns.
Angshu Mallick, deputy chief executive if Adani wilmar which sells edible oil, atta and rice said they’ll closely evaluate each part of the operation to see how the labour requirement can be minimized.
Dabur is also evaluating end of line automation at its manufacturing units but for now they need workforce, said executive director Sharukh Khan.
Saugata Gupta, managing director of Marico said they are operating with a much lower strength of staff at factories and third-party providers because of the strict safety norms that’s been deployed. Marico also said it will explore more automation initiatives across the distribution and supply chain network once the current situation stabilises.
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