The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been devastating not only on the health of the population, but also had a direct impact on the overall economy of countries globally. India is one of the highly populated countries in the world with more than 1.30 billion residents. The country’s economy was not spared, while the health crisis took a toll on human life. The Government of India under the leadership of Shri. Narendra bhai Modi ji, Honourable Prime Minister of India, tackled the health challenge by taking some harsh preventive measures and imposing a complete lockdown across India. Economic activities have come to a standstill in India too, severely affecting all the sectors of the economy.
Plastindia Foundation President, Jigish Doshi, discussed how India’s plastics industry has been heavily affected by the pandemic. “However, the plastics industry is playing a key role in fighting against the coronavirus through the use of plastics in personal protective equipment (PPE) in preventing transmission of the virus not only at health centres, but also for various other activities, e.g. cleaning, waste management and safe burials, and community care related to the outbreak, is a prime example of its valuable contribution. This industry is one of the few industries to rise up to the challenge and helping not only the Indian economy but also assisting the people medically,” according to Mr. Doshi.
Mr. Jigish Doshi, President, Plastindia Foundation
India’s plastics industry was particularly affected in the first quarter that is from April 2020 to June 2020, but the industry has shown signs of recovery. “Now we can say that it is almost recovered. On a positive note, the coronavirus pandemic has given a golden opportunity for the industry’s rapid growth as even with the pandemic, the plastics industry remains one of the largest employers in India as well as the young largest consumer market offering a huge growth potential matched by only few countries at the moment, which can turn to its advantage in a short period,” Mr. Doshi explains. He also stressed that the plastics industry in India is poised for rapid growth not only in short term, but also in the long term – with huge challenge being in the immediate short term as the Government of India and the Plastic Industry Associations are figuring out ways and means of reviving the economy through fiscal as well as through pragmatic policies.
“Our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi ji’s clarion call for Self Reliant or AtmanirbharBharat has given further boost to the Indian industry, including the plastic industry. Despite all negatives, I feel optimistic about our future, with anticipated recovery in terms of health and robust economic growth. I feel the year 2021 will be a very good recovery year, setting the tone for 2022 to be the ‘Golden Era’!” Mr. Doshi explains.
Plastics bags, packaging, e-commerce business, recycling and waste management industry, health, medical, skill development, academics, tolling, design are some of the industry trends that are likely to dominate in 2021, and where the Indian plastics industry has got the capacity, capability and competency in the global arena. Another important trend is the rise in plastics consumption. As projected, Indian plastics consumption will increase from 18 MMT to 32 MMT in the next 10 years. Covid-19 has emerged plastics from negative to human saving product, thus the crisis has turned into opportunity. “Small business models have emerged taking into account product diverfication and innovative thinking. The Indian plastics industry is second leading in the world and machinery, petrochemical, raw material, compounding sectors are expanding. in this country. Plastics are integral part of our lives and its unique features will propel its development in the coming years,” according to Mr. Doshi.
As the organiser of Plastindia, world’s third largest exhibition for the plastics industry, the Plastindia Foundation has decided to move the next edition to 2022 stating that the Foundation is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of exhibitors, business visitors and contractors during the full cycle of the exhibition starting from erection, exhibition and dismantling. Due to the pandemic, the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), the nodal agency for exhibition organisers in India, in consultations with the Health Ministry, has brought a health protocol for holding B2B trade shows. Plastindia Foundation is bound to follow the SOP as prescribed by ITPO but also endeavoured to follow additional general health and safety requirements during events, including pre and post event activities for facilitating safe and healthy show.
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