A housewife buying sanitizer bottle at a medical shop.
Business Bureau :
Monthly market size of these items in the city is pegged at Rs 35 crore per month
COVID-19 might have put several business into backfoot but it has brought bright future for those who are selling face masks, sanitizers and hand gloves. All these items are witnessing a phenomenal jump in demand. “There has been a sharp growth in demand for face masks, sanitizers and hand gloves as more people are buying these products to protect themselves from COVID-19. In Nagpur, the market size for all the three products put together has ballooned to Rs 35 crore per month as compared to Rs 50 lakh per month before lockdown was clamped by Government,” said Ashwin Mehadia, President of Nag Vidarbha Chamber of Commerce (NVCC). He and his family are into healthcare business for more than 60 years. “Before lockdown, the demand for these three products was very low.
Only surgical shops used to supply these products to hospitals and clinics. Nobody had expected that these products would see frenzied demand. Earlier, the demand for face masks in the city was about 10,000 to 15,000 pieces per day which has now shot up to 2 lakh to 3 lakh per day,” he said. The Government has made compulsory wearing of face mask due to which the demand has inflated to such an extent, he pointed out. There are different types of face masks available in the market. They are use and throw, two-ply, three-ply, N95, surgical and non surgical masks available in the market. Also there are about 8 to 10 MSMEs manufacturing face masks in the city. There are small number of self-help groups (SHGs) engaged into making face masks for industries and their employees. Apart from this, Orange City Garment Cluster is also manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits for the doctors.
The demand for sanitizers has also gone up as a preventive measure from falling prey to any contagious diseases. “When lockdown was imposed in the first phase, there was shortage of sanitizers. But now, there is ample supply to meet the burgeoning demand. There are about 15 to 20 local manufacturers rolling out their brands in the market,” sources said. Accordingly, the Government has taken a good decision to cap the prices of sanitizers to Rs 50 for 100 ml and Rs 250 for 500 ml bottle.
The demand for hand gloves has also increased which is not only limited to hospitals but to general public. There are more than 40 to 50 national brands available in market. “Apparently, everything has suddenly changed, when the COVID-19 pandemic spread its tentacles across the world. Now, people are living in fear of contracting the virus as a result the demand for face masks, sanitizers and hand gloves will increase manifold once the lockdown is lifted. Due to outbreak of COVID-19, people will have to adjust and live with these things as a part of their life,” Mehadia noted.