Just a couple of weeks back, India’s M&E sector was faced with the stunning reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Week 2 of the Government-imposed lockdown, the industry sort of saw the dust settle, and seems to be finding its feet again, with people settling down into what will be the new normal for some time.
Companies and agencies are innovating and seeking solutions that are largely digital in this extraordinary time. As the country prepares to deal with another week of the lockdown and awaits direction from the Government on the next steps, we present the second and concluding part of our series on how India’s M&E sector is dealing with the ongoing crisis.
We take a look at certain ecosystems that are definitely reeling from the lockdown – the events business has come to an abrupt halt with an estimated Rs 3,000 crore loss for the sector and with the livelihood of over 10 million professionals at risk. Media agencies too are staring at a loss of Rs 5,000 crore if the lockdown continues for another three months. Nonetheless, agencies are working closely with their clients and employees to keep the wheels of their business running through the crisis.
The OOH industry has been one of the worst hit in this situation with an estimated 6% de-growth. Industry leaders are, however, confident that the sector will bounce back once the crisis ends. Radio too has been severely impacted and some private players are seeking a bailout package from the Government. The Radio players, however, are taking due cognisance of this unprecedented situation and continuing to disseminate accurate updates and news on the situation across the country.
In these times of uncertainty, marketers too are doing their bit to put out messages of empathy, awareness and reassurance. However, some brands are said to have reduced ad spends by nearly 60% for the April to June quarter, while others have put all spends on Print and Radio on hold.
Despite the uncertainty and projections of doom, the overall sentiment across the board is that India’s M&E sector will weather this storm, just as it has dealt with every challenge in the past.