Taking the Temperature Report #01


Digital Futures
Financial Management
Health and Safety
Legal and Policy
Planning and Governance
Reporting and Evaluation

The COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on the creative economy worldwide. The British Council, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Art X Company have partnered to report on the impact of COVID-19 on the creative economy in India.

In 2017, FICCI and KPMG reported the forecast for 2018 for the creative economy at Rs 275 billion (Rs 27,500 crore) and the crafts economy’s growth to Rs 239.6 billion (Rs 23,960 crore). Growth was forecast at 2.5% for the creative economy and 10% for craft.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the creative industries face an uncertain future. Sectors are contracting, organisations are facing difficult choices to ensure they survive, and individual professionals are contending with short-term survival and decisions about whether they can afford to continue to work in the creative sector. The creative economy will be very different in the aftermath of COVID-19 and some sectors may be decimated. India’s GDP forecast in May 2020 shows the economy slowing to a 40-quarter low of 3.1% (year/year) in Q4 of FY 2019-20 (Jan-Mar 2020). This takes India’s annual growth for FY 2019-20 to 4.2%, the lowest since 2008.

Authors: British Council, the Art X Company and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry

Key Findings

Micro, small to mid-size enterprises

  • MSMEs, the freelance workforce that cater to large companies, were the worst hit.
  • 53% of the events and entertainment management sector experienced 90% of their business cancelled between March-July 2020.
  • 41% of the creative sector had stopped functioning during the lockdown.

Measures to support

  • If available, short-term financial relief would be used to keep freelancers and organisations viable. 80% would use financial support toward lost income, staff costs and immediate business needs.
  • Cases of state interventions such as those by the Kerala Government and creative sector self-help programmes such as StayIN aLIVE provide powerful examples of what is possible with strategic support and collective action.

Mid to long term

  • 88% of the sector fears social distancing will impact the creative economy over the long term.
  • The creative sector is made up of innovators who are resilient. Adaptable and inventive organisations pivoting online, such as those behind India Craft Week, Jaipur Literature Festival (Brave New World series) and NH7 Weekender, show a spirit of solidarity between artists and audiences to continue to create and connect. However, the short-term impact of COVID-19 on the creative economy globally and in India cannot be underestimated and looks extremely bleak.

Launch of Taking the Temperature – Report 1


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