Although cancelled or delayed business trips emerged as the most visible initial impact of the virus, declining sales is expected to be the greatest commercial woe in the future
As Coronavirus takes a toll on global and regional economies, YouGov ran a survey among 251 working professionals belonging to the senior management in various companies (senior business managers and above) between 17th- 22nd March to understand the impact of the pandemic on their business and the overall economy.
More than eight in ten (84%) of the surveyed business professionals claimed the Coronavirus had a large or moderate impact on their business. 8% said the impact was minor and 7% claimed to have no impact at all. Baby Boomers were more likely to feel the effect of the virus on their business compared to the other age groups.
Among the top ways in which the outbreak has affected their business was cancellation or postponement of business trips or external appointments, as said by 60% of the respondents. Almost as many indicated (58%) there was a drop in sales.
More than half claimed (55%) to introduce hygiene measure and supplies in the company and sensed insecurity and safety concerns among employees (53%). Many said they were facing HR- related issues such as- increasing number of employees working from home (46%) and increased employee sick leaves (39%).
Two in five faced interruptions in supply chain (45%), suffered office or store closures (42%) and experienced reduced working hours (47%).
On a slightly positive note, 9% said they witnessed increase in sales as a result of this outbreak.
The data suggests further disruption on the horizon with four in five respondents (82%) saying the virus is very likely or fairly likely to affect their business in the future. GenX respondents (90%) were much more likely than the millennials (77%) and Baby Boomers (79%) to say this.
One in five (19%) of all respondents, however, feel it’s not likely or not very likely to have a future impact on their business.
Although during the time of the survey, cancelled/delayed business trips or appointments emerged as the biggest visible impact of the virus, declining sales is the greatest commercial woe foreseen by people in the future, closely followed by further cancelled trips and appointments (at 59%).
A slightly higher proportion (61%) are expecting to see decrease in sales in the future compared to those already seeing such a decline.
Half of the professionals foresee further interruptions to the supply chain in the future (50%) and expect insecurity to persist among employees (50%). Many imagine difficulties in communicating with foreign partners or companies (47%).
As many as those who said this now feel they will suffer office or store closures in the future as well (42%). However, the number who feel operating hours will reduce in the future seem to be lower (at 41%) than the ones saying this now.
There are few (10%) who look at this as an opportunity and feel there will be increase in sales in the future.
Not only do Indian working professionals see a bleak future for their businesses but the vast majority (93%) feel the Coronavirus will have a large to moderate impact on the country’s overall economy. Only 7% reckon the impact will be minor.
Data collected online by YouGov Omnibus among 251 respondents in the India with designations of senior business managers and above between 17th and 22nd March 2020 using YouGov’s panel of over 6 million people worldwide. Data is representative of the adult online population in the country.