The technology industry reordered its priorities as soon as the second wave of the pandemic hit India, Nasscom president Debjani Ghosh said at the Times Techies Webinar last week. In a survey that industry association conducted with 250 member firms recently, CEOs said employee health and safety had become their No. 1 priority, followed by employee engagement. Business operations and cyber security was only No. 3.
Even with that, 90% of the companies said there was no impact on business, and the remaining 10% said the impact was minor.
“We have been an industry that has always stood for resilience, results and agility. In the last one month, another word that comes strongly to mind when I think of the industry is empathy,” Ghosh said. The industry’s ability to work remotely, she said, has saved lives. “We have also seen tremendous empathy from customers. They believe in us, and despite everything, we are not allowing it to impact productivity.”
Tech Mahindra MD & CEO CP Gurnani said that during the crisis, the industry functioned like an orchestra without being in the same room – coordinating with each other to ensure emergency supplies for all, easing of regulations. “We converted our cafeterias into insolation centres, we directed out CSR money towards oxygen plants,” he said.
Ghosh noted that every firm, Indian or MNC, is signing up with hospitals to accelerate vaccination drives. “Every tech firm has come out with its plans to vaccinate their staff and their family members,” Ghosh said.
Keshav Murugesh, group CEO of WNS, noted how Nasscom worked with the government to relax complex laws, and to ensure a work-from-anywhere environment on a permanent basis.
He said the way the industry responded to the challenges has given a lot of confidence to overseas clients. “I think we have demonstrated what the world wants tomorrow, and we from the technology side are able to see it and deliver it today,” he said.
Murugesh noted that when the industry went into 2020, most companies had to pull back their revenue guidance, given the enormous uncertainty in the clients’ businesses. But in the last few quarters, the guidance has become much firmer. “In the current fiscal, most of us have given normal guidance from a revenue and profitability standpoint,” he said, indicating that the industry is now back in a stable environment.