From re-purposing its manufacturing unit to make hand-sanitisers to delegating decision making process to the frontline sales staff to maintain the supply chain, incense stick maker Cycle Pure Agarbathies has adopted many strategies to tackle disruptions emerging out of the lockdown put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

Arjun Ranga, MD, Cycle Pure Agarbathies said, "We have managed to resume production at manufacturing units which are in green zones, in line with the safety and hygiene protocols and government approvals. Also in orange zones, at some location authorities have allowed resumption of production in units which are located outside the city limits. These units are producing at 33-50 per cent capacity levels depending on the locations.”

The company has 30 manufacturing locations spread across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, North-East, UP and Punjab.

Stocks of worship material and incense sticks, sold mainly through daily provision stores and neighbourhood stores, has run out across regions, as such products were not classified as essential products through the various stages of the nationwide lockdown.

Talking about the challenges, Ranga said," At several locations, we are unable to access our warehouses as they are in red zones even to fulfil demand in green and orange zones. Also, with the transporters working at just about 30-40 per cent capacity and lack of enough trucks and labour for loading and unloading stocks, has impacted logistics for products.”

This has led the company to delegate decision-making process for supplies to unit heads and its frontline sales staff, to enable adoption of nimble-footed strategies to maintain supply chains, dispatches and last-mile deliveries, he added.

"This state of flux will remain for a couple of months as the categorisation of regions into various zones will keep changing. So, we are also making sure our vendors become leaner and do not overproduce as we need to choose maintaining liquidity over opportunity costs," Ranga said adding that conserving cash flow has become critical during this crisis.

Meanwhile, the company has also re-purposed its manufacturing facility to launch Ayurvedic hand sanitiser product under brand Healing Touch. Ranga said that for now the product is available in Karnataka and the company will look at expanding its reach to other regions once the lockdown is lifted. "We are also working on a slew of launches in the personal hygiene and home hygiene space leveraging on various benefits of ingredients and fragrances," he added.