Indians more anxious in the second wave of the pandemic, survey finds


How are Indians coping with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic? This has been the question that the world has been wanting to know, especially with the continued devastation that we are witnessing on the regular, along with the fortitude of Indian people trying to tide over this crisis together.

A recent survey by Deloitte — called the ‘Global Consumer Tracker’ — has found that India ranks highest among 18 countries in terms of anxiety during the second wave of the pandemic — 21 per cent of consumers in India are anxious, followed by Chile (16 per cent), Poland (13 per cent), South Africa (13 per cent) and Italy (13 per cent).

It found in the 30-day analysis-based consumer survey that with the significant increase in the number of cases, the Indian consumer is seen to cautiously approach the future by prioritising health safety, preferring online channels for purchases, and choosing to delay large purchases.

Key findings:

* Online medium has emerged as the preferred channel for purchase and it continues to grow. Here is how consumers have been buying online: medicines (22 per cent), electronics (34 per cent), clothing (33 per cent), food ordering online from restaurants/take-aways (33 per cent), and if available, the next vehicle online (57 per cent) as well, due to various restrictions.

* The spending intent shows consumers are focussing on non-discretionary items. For instance, 48 per cent consumers show net spending intent towards healthcare, 33 per cent towards medicines, 42 per cent towards internet, 47 per cent towards groceries, and 44 per cent towards household goods.

* Additionally, Indians are significantly more concerned about returning to the workplace than they were in February 2021. About 28 per cent worry about returning to their offices, as compared with 15 per cent in February.

* Individuals are also not looking to venture out as they do not feel safe about going to a store, restaurant, engaging in person activities, staying in a hotel, returning to the workplace, taking a flight, etc.

* Around 67 per cent of consumers prefer more locally-sourced items going forward even if they cost a bit more, and 71 per cent prefer brands that responded well during pandemic.

* Findings indicate consumers’ intent to stick to their current vehicles for a longer period than they had originally expected (71 per cent); 61 per cent consumers are putting off regular maintenance for their vehicle,  and 47 per cent think their car doesn’t need replacement.

* Over the next three months, consumers plan to limit use of public transit (71 per cent) and ride-hailing (63 per cent).

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