Many Indian businesses have shown high preparedness, made contingency plans for the future and continue to operate as normal despite the significant impact of COVID-19, says a report.

According to HSBC’s Navigator report, almost half (46 per cent) of Indian businesses covered under a survey felt ‘very strongly’ impacted by the pandemic, yet more than half (54 per cent) felt they were as well prepared as they possibly could be.

This is a level that is the second highest amongst all countries surveyed and higher than the average across all markets (45 per cent), according to the report titled, ‘Building Back Better’.

The survey was conducted on more than 2,600 companies across 14 global markets including 200 firms from India.

Despite the high level of impact faced by Indian businesses, more than a quarter (29 per cent) of those surveyed said they are operating as normal, and this level was the second highest across all markets, behind mainland China, the report said.

“While COVID-19 has undeniably altered the economic landscape, Indian businesses have shown resilience in the face of adversity. Businesses will have to make varying degrees of adjustments to adapt to this altered landscape which will be the new normal for the foreseeable future,” HSBC India Head of Commercial Banking Rajat Verma said.

The fact that a substantial proportion of Indian businesses are still operating as normal may be attributed to nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of them either having a management that is sufficiently agile or being strong overall and able to manage with a number of adjustments, it added.

However, 2 per cent of those surveyed in India feel that their long term survival is threatened.

The survey further said the most important aspect for around 42 per cent of Indian businesses is to review their suppliers’ ability to weather future uncertainty.

Besides, 64 per cent of Indian businesses see the current environment ensuring positive changes to their products / services. This is the joint highest across all markets surveyed (along with China) and significantly higher than the overall average at 44 per cent.

Moreover, favourable changes to customer demand (60 per cent) and better access to financing facilities (62 per cent) are some of the other aspects that have been positively impacted by the current environment, the survey showed.

However, aspects related to availability of labour have the lowest positive balance for Indian businesses with only 53 per cent seeing it being positively impacted while 25 per cent see a negative outcome from the current environment, it noted.