Easy finance is enough: we will prevail!

By: Satyan Thukral

The recovery process from the phased lockdown has three challenges: we are working but our customers are not; customers are working but we are not; we both are working but logistics is not; all three are working but the project site is not ready!

This broken supply chain will last for around 12 months, or till we have a vaccine against the raging Covid-19 pandemic. However, in times to come, India will emerge as the biggest beneficiary of the crisis because I see there is a trust deficit created by China.

To help the furniture sector to recover, government should make available easy finance at low interest rates. With my knowledge of this industry, I am sure furniture making businesses will manage quite well.

I foresee a long-lasting impact on office, hospitality, educational and retail fit-out sectors of furniture manufacturing. The demand for home furniture will go up considerably, with focus on new segments like a home office, study room, library and kitchens.

As most of these private work sites will not allow many people in, the OEM segment of modular furniture will get a boost. Carpenters will have an opportunity to set up their own small workshops in their towns, rather than migrating back to cities. With labour shortage, automation in production will come in sharp focus.

The product portfolio of Caple Industrial Solutions is the largest in India so far

•         from CAD-CAM software to power tools to classical machines to automatic machines;

•         from solid wood processing to cabinet making to surface finishing; Indian to European and Chinese brands;

•         from ACP fabrication to solid surface fabrication to dry-wall construction;

•         and from project consultancy to spares and supplies to services.

Caple has invested in SAP Business One and Google Suite and was always on the cloud; during the lockdown we were either training or booking orders. We are dealers of many brands and understand the pain of a dealer.

Caple broadly is a direct sales company with seven demo centres in seven cities; but whatever dealers we have, we make sure they make money.

In the capital machinery and tools industry, lead time does not matter much because investments are planned much in advance. What really matters is service. Our service team should be able to travel and serve the customers to reduce downtime, if any.

The Covid-19 pandemic will, I’m sure, bring in a culture of personal and social hygiene. I think the ‘Swatcha (clean) Bharat’ push of the government will now encompass a ‘Swastha (healthy) Bharat’ culture.

As the economy opens up Caple has developed a few instruments that will be helpful to businesses resuming operations. Among them are our Covidisounts, Covid Campaigns, finance facilities, and a greater focus on support and service.

Of course, our leasing and ‘rent-a-tool’ facilities are some more options available to help kick-start production.

In the emerging scenario, the fittest will survive, the most agile will thrive. Remember that trust cannot be lost in woodworking because furniture is an integral part of our lives. Woodworking is a sunrise industry in India, and our day has only just begun!

– The writer is CEO, Caple Industrial Solutions (www.caple.in).

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