The Covid-19 crisis hit India in 2020 and, ever since then, the country has been struggling with the pandemic. During the first wave, the lockdown was implemented, which resulted in zero sales in multiple sectors, be it tech or auto. The second wave of the pandemic, which came in March of 2021, has had severe effects within the country.
To maintain services, telcos such as Jio, Airtel and Vi recently decided to provide certain packages to people in the lower sections of society so that they are able to maintain connections with their loved ones in these troubled times. It seems that the need for such packages is gravely increasing, as is evident by a recent letter that was released.
Offline Retailers Ask For Relief Packages
Offline mobile phone retailers have seen reduced sales over the last few months due to increased curfews and lockdowns that have restricted travelling. To stay afloat, these retailers have reached out to the government of India seeking a relief package that includes a moratorium on loans, collateral-free loans and covid insurance to support this community that has seen a massive reduction in income.
In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, dated May 20, the All India Mobile Retailers’ Association or AIMRA has urged the prime minister to extend relief measures like collateral-free loans between Rs 25 lakhs to Rs 1 crore and an interest-free moratorium for six months as well as covid insurance worth Rs 50 lakh for a minimum amount.
Furthermore, the body has sought a stimulus package for these retailers so that they can meet their standing expenses as well as get vaccines since they are frontline workers. As per these retailers, the mobile phone business is at the edge of bankruptcy due to rental bills, electricity bills, taxes and bank interests which cannot be paid due to the absence of money.
The uninterrupted delivery of non-essential goods by certain e-commerce brands is further hurting these retailers since the playing field is not level, and this leads to sales being driven away from the retailers.
In a statement released by Sunil Gupta, State President of AIMRA Rajasthan, it is mentioned that as retail remains closed during the lockdown, the e-tailers are selling and delivering non-essential goods, creating an opportunity to win customers reducing the demand for retail sellers, which might also lead to unemployment.
The body has also reiterated its stance of not treating mobile phones as essentials in contrast to the demand of phone brands and e-commerce platforms such as Flipkart and Amazon.
Shloke is your go-to guy when it comes to consumer tech. Specializing in In-Depth pieces, he's also getting to grips with Telecom. His hobbies consist of Formula One and Gaming.