Solving supply chain issues in mask manufacturing
Indian mask manufacturers usually produce around 240 million disposable masks every year, primarily for domestic use, as per the estimates of the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry. But this number has increased sharply due to the worldwide Covid-19 outbreak. These manufacturers and distributors are currently in an overdrive to meet the steep surge in demand for protective gear, masks, and other critical medical equipment.
Since there are no large-scale manufacturers of surgical masks in the country, the landscape has been dominated by a high number of fragmented small and medium-sized companies with a production capacity of between 10,000 and 1,00,000 masks a day.
Over the past few weeks, these manufacturers have been facing various difficulties in continuity of their manufacturing operations in view of the lockdown. The 21-day nationwide lockdown has imposed a high number of restrictions on these manufacturing units, especially in terms of logistics for employees/workers involved in production, and in procurement of raw material for these masks.
One of such manufacturers, a Bangalore based manufacturer of 3-ply masks, Urbanbuddha LLP, approached Invest India with several supply chain issues, which had led them to temporarily halt production. The company had a large batch of non-woven fabric stuck in Tamil Nadu, which is an essential material required in mask manufacturing. Along with this, the company also required permission for transportation in Bangalore for its employees/ workers engaged in the manufacturing process.
Realising the underlying necessity of mask manufacturing in current context, Invest India worked diligently with all the relevant authorities to resolve their issues. The team coordinated with the Tamil Nadu government and managed to get their raw material released from the state and transferred to Karnataka. The team also worked with Karnataka government and assisted the company in obtaining curfew passes for their essential staff members. All this was done in less than 48 hours!
In addition, their non-woven fabric suppliers in Tamil Nadu, Jayashree Spun Bond, a small manufacturer in Madurai, had also been facing issues in obtaining permissions to carry raw materials for surgical masks and medical gowns for their orders in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The Invest India team assisted the manufacturer in every step of the way and liaised with Tamil Nadu government to get them the required approvals.
Therefore, the team was able to untangle multiple supply chain issues in a record time. As a result of this intervention, Urbanbuddha LLP is currently producing approximately 25,000 masks everyday and supplying them across India whereas, Jayashree Spun Bond is also seamlessly providing raw material to mask manufacturers across Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.