COVID-19 and the crippling of Indian manufacturing

Peering at the economic damage to come through the lens of the Haryana industrial belt

The Haryana industrial belt starts as soon as you come in from Delhi, crossing the now-defunct toll booths on NH-48, passing Airtel’s gaudily coloured headquarters on the right, breezing past the non-sequitur Cyber Hub on your left, until 80 km later you hit the state border with Rajasthan.

While there are no official estimates, this industrial belt around Gurugram houses more than 10,000 small and medium enterprises in manufacturing alone, where until a month ago over 1 million workers were employed. Only a few thousand have a permanent home in Gurugram.

The Gurugram to Manesar industrial area in the state of Haryana caters to a variety of industries—auto and auto components, garments, leather goods, rubber products, etc. To understand the havoc that the coronavirus outbreak and India’s lockdown have wrought on small businesses and workers across the country, there’s no better example to take. Read on.

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