Last year, the monsoon rains paralyzed the city or so the headlines read; Shopping malls closed, retail and wholesale shops shuttered. But this year is different. The business activity was already, if not halted, slowed. So how will Karachi Rains affect the business this time?
Since COVID-19-induced-lockdown had somewhat eased, the business world was easing towards normalcy. Even though it was not at its full potential but restaurants were opening up for dine-in, and malls were opening for allotted time slots. This normal may look very different from the normal before COVID-19, but it was the new normal.
Let’s look at some of those ways.
1. Power Failure
With even a drizzle, electricity in Karachi disappears like magic, but with the recent Karachi rains bringing heavy showers, power failure continued for as long as 16 hours in some areas. All businesses, even retail shops, need electricity to be able to sell cold beverages. For B2B companies, the power failure hindered contact. Considering work-from-home (WFH) is in effect for most, online zoom meetings would have been affected.
2. Transportation / Supply Hindrance
For businesses such as wholesale and retail that were already suffering from supply shortages due to COVID, lockdown could not access their supplies. Transporters could not take the products from warehouses through streets filled with water that came up to the waist.
3. Halting Operation at Manufacturing Companies
With machinery that needs electricity to run, most manufacturing companies come to a standstill due to Karachi Rains. Even if the workers are all present, there is almost no production. So while products are not being delivered to retails shops, they are not being produced either.
4. Storage Affected
Since in most areas of Karachi, the rain fills up the roads and the houses, and the cars float away, warehouses get affected too. These storage places, the warehouses located in these areas, fill up with water, and destroy the stored goods.
And even if a business is not affected by all that, it suffers from the lack of mobility. If customers cannot reach the retail store or the mall still open, there will be no sales. Also, those businesses that deliver their products will have trouble moving from one location to another as well, considering they will have to find routes unaffected by rain, which is next to impossible in Karachi.
Rains that should be a blessing start choking businesses. For a city that is already being choked, wouldn’t this be more dangerous?
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