Mumbai: Small and medium enterprises are consolidating labour, using innovative incentive schemes and even redesigning assembly lines to tide over a labour crisis brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant migration of jobless workers.

Labour intensive industries in the country, especially those in tier-II and III cities, are unable to restart operations as most of their workers have migrated and the small workforce left behind is seeking higher wages. According to industry trackers, the mid-scale companies are now implementing out-of-the-box strategies to tackle issues of labour and raw material.

Inox India, which operates three factories in Gujarat— in Silvasa, Kalol and SEZ—has opted for labour consolidation after facing shortage of welders and skilled fitters for manufacturing pressure vessels and related equipment.

“At our Kandla and Silvassa plants, we have 30-40% workforce from other states where we anticipate shortage of manpower for critical applications. We will be reallocating staff from other plants for critical applications in fabrication,” said Deepak Acharya, CEO of Inox India.

Many of these mid-scale companies are also reaching out for help in developing a strategy for manufacturing and managing workforce.

“In such a scenario, efforts like productivity improvement via work flow and time and motion studies, multi-skilling through training within industry are more relevant now than ever,” said Aakash Borse, founding partner, Faber Infinite Consulting.

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