Hyderabad: Hyderabad’s economy is not immune to the coronavirus that is sweeping China. Though the virus has not yet made its way into the city, many of its businesses are preparing to brace for massive losses due to stoppage or delay in transport of cargo from China, where most of their goods come from.
Importers who generally visit China to place orders said they wouldn’t go there any time soon. Multiple businessmen who depend on these imported goods said they will soon run out of existing stocks.
Naveen from Cinderella Imported Shoppe in Jubilee Hills, which sells imported knick knacks and electronics, said he expects to see a massive impact on his business, and others like his, by the end of February. He receives goods from importers in Mumbai, who get them from China.
“Most of the stocks we are selling arrived a month ago from China. This stock will last another month. This is a perpetual process. However, importers we work with have told me that they are not willing to visit China anytime soon to place more orders. So the shipments are bound to be delayed,” he said.
Kaizer of Roland Electronics, which sells electronics components for industrial and educational use, said the electronics market would see the biggest impact. “Many factories in China which manufacture electronic goods have been instructed to shut down. So the delay has begun right at the production level. Shipments will be delayed even further,” he said.
Kaizer said that even a week-long delay in shipments would have a massive impact on his business.
“Normally, we visit cities in China to place orders but I won’t be doing that now. I can even live with a slowed-down business. My life is important to me and I can’t risk it,” he said. Kaizer rued that the Indian manufacturing base of semiconductors and electronics was small. “In my experience, 99 per cent of all electronics are made in China. It is unfortunate that we have to depend on foreign markets,” he said.
Some businessmen said the prices of some goods will rise in the coming month.
“Electronics which do not come under the MRP regime are expected to rise by 10-15 per cent,” said Kaizer.
At the same time, goods which have printed MRPs on their packaging will cause a fall in profits for other. Some businesses also said they were fortunate to be immune from the coronavirus fallout due to its coincidence with the Chinese New Year.
Agarwal from Jai Bhawani International, which imports building materials, said most factories in China that he deals with were already shut for new year celebrations. “We were already working with suppliers from other countries so we won’t be affected. In any case, we have a buffer stock that will last us through six months,” he said.