Time doesn’t stop for anyone but as the Coronavirus hit the world, it brought time to a standstill for some but for others, there were decades where nothing happened; and then there were weeks when decades happened. Here we analyse the Indian Economy to understand what businesses gained traction during the pandemic and what sectors faced resistance to their performance. We’ll try to explain what exactly caused the 23.9% drop in the Indian GDP for April – June 2020 compared to the erstwhile year and also try to analyse which sectors have come out of this slump and which sectors are still lagging behind after measures have been taken to open up the economy.

For this, we consider January 2020 as our base month and give it a score of 100 and the sector-wise monthly performance is compared to this base month’s consumption. So, we consider January 2020 as an anchor point to understand how the pandemic affected the total consumption in each of these sectors compared to this base month’s consumption in each sector. Here is how consumption was impacted for major Industries in India:

*Each graph point represents aggregates for the month


As we can see the worst affected were the Fashion Industry, Travel and Electronics & Appliances Industries. Of these, the Electronics & Appliances Industry had a V-shaped recovery and is now on par with its pre-corona levels. For the other two – Fashion and Travel, the recovery rate has been slow but is at a steady pace to reach its potential. Both of these are currently at 50% of their respective pre-corona levels but recovering fast. According to their trajectory, both these sectors would reach their pre-corona levels only by the end of 2020.

Other sectors which had mild shocks were the Food Industry, Super Stores (Eg., Amazon Flipkart) and Medicine & Health sectors. People stopped eating out but started ordering online. Super-Stores were initially barred from delivering in multiple locations across India but they had a sharp recovery with many people preferring to buy online. But they are still operating at roughly -15% of their potential levels. The pandemic put a lot of stress on Hospitals and Medical Infrastructure but interestingly the total expenditure of the country on Healthcare declined. People staying at home means lesser accidents and a higher focus on hygiene means lower diseases of other kinds. The Entertainment industry has also taken a big hit where movie productions were halted but online video and audio subscriptions saw a very big boom. The Education sector has taken a backseat in this pandemic with Schools shutting down and Coaching and Counselling centres operating at 50% of their potential. Books, Newspaper and Magazines purchases have also taken a steep hit. The sub-industry level impacts are covered in the later parts of this post.

Sectors which did not take too much of a hit were the Financial Services sector and Utilities sector. March is usually a big time for investments due to the end of the fiscal year with last month investing by people for filling the required quotas for Tax Rebates. Later digital wallet usage picked up to pull the whole sector up. For the sector of Utilities, it is more stable in consumption where sub-sectors like Electricity, Telecom and Logistics took a hit for a couple of months and then bounced back.


Now we look at some major industries and what was the impact on its sub-industries. For starters let’s consider Entertainment:

Here we can see that spends on Movies and Events have completely stopped as it is still not allowed to visit cinemas. However, both Video Streaming and Audio Streaming have seen a big jump in their user base. However, this jump doesn’t seem to be sustainable and seems to be declining. It will be interesting to see the stickiness of these new users once other sources of Entertainment restart. Next, we look at Travel:

It is no secret that Travel has been one of the highest impacted sectors because of the pandemic. Trains even went negative as for a month trains were completely halted and IRCTC was shelling out huge sums of Refunds. Airlines were completely halted for a month but even now the Airline sub-sector is only at 25% of its potential. The most stable sub-sector is Fuel consumption which has reached 80% of its potential. Automotive Purchases and Rentals are also fast approaching their pre-corona levels but are at 60% potential right now. Some sub-sectors which might still keep facing roadblocks are Multi-Travel Aggregators (Eg., MakeMyTrip, Goibibo), Cabs, Hotels and Buses. All of these currently are in the 15-30% potential range. Now Let’s look at Food:

We can see that Online Food Delivery initially saw a slump but now is higher by 30% from its pre-corona levels. But the pandemic has not been so kind on the other sub-sectors. Alcohol purchases and Restaurant Sales came to a blinding halt in April 2020 and later alcohol purchases roughly 85% levels and Restaurant sales are still at roughly 50% levels. For Now, most restaurants will have to get by through Online Delivery Platforms. Let’s move onto Fashion:

Fashion has also been heavily impacted by the pandemic. Only Beauty & Personal Care product sales standout as a fast recovery. Other sub-sectors within Fashion are also witnessing a steep but comparatively slower recovery. Since a lot of the workforce is working from home, personal care takes precedence but the need to buy newer trendier clothes has declined. But as people start becoming more social this need will come up again. At last, let’s look at Financial Services:

Since an optional EMI moratorium was announced from March 2020, the Credit Payments reduced to roughly 50% of its original levels. Since this moratorium ends at the end of August 2020, it will be interesting to see what percentage of these credits convert to NPAs. Another important bank portfolio is Insurance. Uncertainty pushes more people towards insurance products and we can see that has happened during this pandemic too. Also interesting is the increase in the usage of Digital Wallets. They have seen an impressive 40% increase in usage with people opting for a safer transaction method to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.


There has been a large talk about a V-shaped recovery of the Indian Economy. But is that true? Looking at the overall purchasing patterns we can predict whether the economic output is truly moving for a V-shaped recovery. Here is the overall purchase pattern:

*Each graph point represents aggregates for the month

Since purchasing data only affects the GST revenue of the nation and does not take into account Income Tax and other sources of revenue, these values don’t exactly represent the final GDP growth numbers. But they give a very good indication. The graph indicates that there is a definite V-shaped recovery but is the growth fast enough? The second quarter of GDP calculations run from July – September, we can see that both July purchases and August purchases are roughly 75% of their January numbers. Accounting for other revenue sources for the government the final GDP numbers for quarter 2 might still come out on the negative side. What are your opinions from this?

About the author

Nitish is the AVP of Data Science at Goals101. With expertise ranging from Computer Vision and Robotics to Classical Machine Learning, he has worked on setting up the Machine Learning Pipelines built at Goals101. Nitish spends most of his time writing ML code and piercing through our data to find insights. When not coding, you can find Nitish travelling, playing sports or reading

Disclaimer: The above views are of the author and not the views of the company.