Covid-19: Stories of impact

Work and Income

As a small firm in the business of research and strategy, expectedly, our work is significantly impacted by the pandemic lockdown. This maybe true for most people, however, the severity of the experience is not the same — across large companies, self-employed, high-income groups, low-income groups. To go beyond anecdotal or gazing at macro data from afar, we ran an online survey to understand patterns in impact on livelihoods in India.

Using the snowballing method for Indian residents, we received close to 100 responses to English and Hindi surveys from respondents across India. Our questions sought to understand how their quantum of work, income and expenses have been impacted.

It is evident that in the first month of the lockdown, the most vulnerable have been most impacted. Self-employed, households with income below INR 40,000 per month have faced significantly higher disruption to their livelihoods.


The beautiful food pictures flying across social media should tell us, many of us have increased expenditure on food & beverage. How did our consumption change for other categories during the first month of lockdown? What will change once lockdown is eased?

Our insights highlight the steady growth in food & beverage expenditure, stability of medical care, education and communication expenses and volatility of transport, recreation and apparel expenses.

Respondents expect their expenditure in most categories to bounce back once lockdown is eased.

Which brands will be able to fulfill their needs with continued limitations on operations? While stronger brands will have their customers take extra effort or time required to purchase them; smaller and newer brands have a window for trials of their products as movements remain restricted to local areas.

Recreation will need some innovative solutions as fewer people are willing to return to entertainment as usual with high exposure or even uncertainty in the event of another lockdown.

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