Indian automakers are grappling with multiple headwinds like prolonged slowdown and the pandemic. Despite many challenges, the automakers and dealers gathered their strength and bounced back. The Managing Director of Aditya Group, Aditya Patra, spoke to Orissa POST and shared his insights of the pandemic period.

What are the challenges Aditya Group faced during the pandemic?

The lockdown was imposed form March for which we couldn’t implement our plans as we prepared for the financial year ending. The lockdown affected both the financial years. We faced financial crisis as there were certain fixed expenditures like electricity bill that we had to handle. It was also a challenge to facilitate all material for our employees so that they can work from home. We offer employment to 1100 and it is our responsibility for their safety. After the month of September, 2020, we started to achieve 70 per cent of regular monthly business. Our business started getting better from October. But we received relaxation of 4-5 months from banks on paying interest. It was a huge challenge for all of us and we are in a recovery path.

New Covid-19 strain has been detected in several states, what do you predict?

Yes, we have been watching and hearing the related news. But our government handled the Covidi-19 situation very well and I am sure the state government will take safety precautions to avoid infections. But if such outbreak comes again, it will be a disaster for us.

Is there any change in customers’ buying behaviour?

We are now receiving orders from our customers for all models. Demand has increased now. Customers no longer prefer to exchange their vehicles but rather they wanted to have a back up vehicles to tackle such emergency. We can cater for the demand if adequate supplies are available.

Your opinion on Atma Nirbhar Campaign

Of course, the campaign will boost the entrepreneurship and encourage every entrepreneur. However, ‘Make in India’ is not a minor topic because we are dependent on import. The campaign will take time to achieve success. Such effort is required at least for 10 years to gain success in this campaign.

State government’s initiative for entrepreneurs

See, we have a well-laid down policies in our state to encourage entrepreneurs. I am pleased with the initiatives on the disaster management.

How easy is it to implement the scrappage policy?

Well, it was just introduced in the budget that the Centre will come with this policy.  But, there is a requirement of good infrastructure to implement the scrappage policy. The adoptability is not easy. Declaring a vehicle as scrap is just a first step but converting it into scarp in reality is not that easy. We need huge investment and infrastructure.

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