Retail demand back to 90-95% of pre-COVID; govt business strong: Liberty Shoes

CNBC | March 31, 2021

Adesh Gupta, CEO of Liberty Shoes on Wednesday said his company is not worried about the second wave of COVID-19. He said that retail demand is back to 90-95 percent as compared to last year and he is also positive on demand for the next couple of quarters.

“Overall I think the demand in retail has almost come to 90-95 percent when we talk about our own stores or our franchise stores. So, we are quite satisfied and we are optimistic going forward for the next year because at least for the next two quarters there is no lockdown which was the case last year. So, even if the demand may fall little bit due to COVID wave 2, but we still feel that the next two quarters would be far better than last year two quarters,” he said in an in interview to CNBC-TV18.

Gupta said that the company has done well in B2G (business to government). He also said that the company’s business with the CRPF has seen a jump of 100 percent year-on-year.

“The B2G, which is the government tenders, there we have done remarkably well. This year will be almost 75 percent more than the last year which covers our institutional business for private sector. Besides that, we are also selling to CRPF which we call as ‘jungle boot’, there we have seen almost 100 percent growth because of the product we make. Also, we have added e-commerce even in B2B business,” he said.

However, he expects the school business to remain under stress due to COVID-19.

“Schools have been closed almost for a year now. So, there a lot of demand has fallen. As we move into the next financial year, we don’t know how the COVID will pan out in the country, but there is a sense that school business might still be disturbed,” he said.

Gupta also said that they are receiving payments from the central government, but there are delays in payments from states. He said that the company has recovered 95 percent of the payment from the defence ministry, but the order from Andhra Pradesh Police has Rs 30 crore outstanding.