India is in the thick of combating the global pandemic and is currently subject to temporary lockdown due to the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). There has been disruption in food supplies, shortage of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and essential commodities, and a sudden increase in demand for certain medical, healthcare and daily essential retail products in the country as well as across the globe.
The demand for daily staples has precipitously increased due to disruption in logistics, uncertainty in supply-chain across state borders and panic buying.[[ Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies including Hindustan Unilever, Parle, Amul and Godrej said production has been hiked to ensure there are no shortages amid panic buying. Hindustan Unilever has slashed prices of hygiene products.
According to ITC, it is “extremely critical” to ensure adoption of precautionary measures during this period, but it is also important, that during such challenging times, “essential products are made available to consumers in a safe and sustainable manner across the length and breadth of the country through continuity of supply”.]] (Source : EconomicTimes.com)
It has become extremely challenging for the organisations not only to meet the demand supply ratio but also ensure the availability of the raw material and supplies for the production. Geographical reach also becomes crucial.
Though the retail giants will have to ensure the above aspects during such critical situations, they would also have to make sure (identify an opportunity) that they can also tap an untapped market / geography with more or less customer driven marketing strategies.
This can be an opportunity for essential foods/ retails / dairy / healthcare products based companies, as today a common man seeks to buy the above irrespective of the brand name. The local players or the players who haven’t yet capitalised on some of the local markets have an opportunity to expand their footprint. Ensuring that an apt quality is maintained, the lockdown time might just be enough to make the consumers realise the essence of the products and might convert the customer base towards them.
On the other hand, meeting the demands of a huge population of a country like India is itself a challenging task. Organisations needs to ensure that the production lines are working intact, availability of raw materials is ample and that the delivery of the produced goods is to be done on time. This in turn involves a lot of strategic and analytical approach for making crucial decisions.
How Data Science and Analytics plays a Vital Role?
FMCG and essential retail sector can benefit through data science & advanced analytics in the following ways:
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