The year 2020 was a year of uncertainty and fear. The Covid-19 pandemic caused a severe economic slump along with an unprecedented public health crisis globally and Bangladesh was not beyond this impact.
The manufacturing sector in the year had to limit production due to poor market demand triggered by the pandemic. Most of the companies in the country had to cut costs to reduce losses.
Even though the pandemic is not over yet, 2021 has started with the optimism of getting Covid- 19 vaccines. Experts hope people will be able return to their normal lives this year as vaccination is set to go widely across the world.
In this situation, The Business Standard has spoken to Mohammad Mohsin, vice chairman of PHP Family, to know how they are setting their business plans in the new year.
TBS: As a leading manufacturer, how are you preparing your business propositions for 2021?
Mohammad Mohsin: 2020 has opened our eyes. We have learned many things in the year, like health awareness and environmental issues. We take the news of the arrival of vaccines positively. But there is nothing to be excited with the news because there is also news of side-effects of vaccines and new strains of the coronavirus.
But amid all the negativity, we want to take the new year in a positive light and hope it will help to boost our business. The smart and timely decision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has helped us survive during the pandemic time.
PHP wants to observe the year 2021 because we think going slowly will be a wise decision in the present situation.
We believe in 'slow and steady' policy. We did not cut the salary of our staff or fired any of them even when our production came down to 40% during the pandemic time.
Moreover, we are optimistic about the resurgence of our business. Now we are doing business in half part of the country. After the opening of the Padma Bridge, we will be able to expand our business all over the country.
TBS: What are your expectations in 2021?
Mohammad Mohsin: We will not run after any result in 2021. In this year, we want to make our foundation strong which nosedived in 2020 due to the pandemic. We want to repair the wounds created by the pandemic last year. We want to be financially stronger to face such any further disasters.
Do you think the manufacturing sector will turn around in 2021?
Mohammad Mohsin: The sector is coming back to normalcy. It is improving gradually. Now we are utilising 80% of our production capacity, but we could utilise only 40%in the begging months of Covid-19 in the country.
Hopefully we will be able to run our factories with full capacity in 2021.