Covid 2.0 a big challenge for Indian IT
Amid the pandemic, World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced the Indian Covid-19 strain as a global concern. This coupled with travel bans by many countries for Indian travelers is going to put the mobility of corporate professionals under check.
Amid the pandemic, World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced the Indian Covid-19 strain as a global concern. This coupled with travel bans by many countries for Indian travelers is going to put the mobility of corporate professionals under check. This is no good news for India Inc, especially for export-oriented industries like IT services companies.
Staffers of Indian IT firms are considered as one of the most mobile corporate professionals. As the US market accounts for more than half of revenues for most Indian IT firms, sending Indian engineers to work on this onsite location is a usual practice. However, this has been severely curtailed from last year with the US administration imposing a ban till March of this year in the wake of the pandemic.
Though the Biden administration has not continued with the ban, Indian firms are less keen to send their staffers to foreign shores on the backdrop of the raging second wave in the country. Meanwhile in India, IT firms are facing project delivery issues due to absenteeism. Unlike the first wave, the second wave of the pandemic is much widespread.
This has led to a situation where many employees are falling sick or their relatives are getting affected, resulting in absenteeism. If some team members report sick, others are under tremendous pressure for maintaining a smooth workflow. Though clients are empathetic to the situation in India, delays in project delivery can't be ruled out in the current circumstances.
The raging second wave is also likely to affect the onboarding of new employees and fresh engineering graduates. Though more than 95 per cent of IT employees are currently working from home with companies conducting virtual onboarding, the process is generally slow. Therefore, Indian IT firms will absorb the new hires, albeit slowly amid this pandemic.
India is currently reporting around four lakh cases per day. This is four times higher than the peak of the first wave. Though the central government has not imposed a lockdown, most States remain closed to contain the spread. So, the reopening of offices with some sense of normalcy coming back remains a far cry for now. Indian IT firms had earlier said that they would bring back employees in batches with the adoption of a hybrid operating model.
But this process is going to be delayed further with employees staying put at homes in the near future. Though there is no impact on productivity yet, fatigue of work from home is definitely setting in.
During the first wave of the pandemic, Indian IT firms have swiftly adopted the 'work from anywhere' model, ensuring a smooth workflow. Indian IT firms are also the first set of companies to recover among all the businesses. But the second wave is different. It is affecting the employees and their families, making the execution risk real. Under these circumstances, it is to be seen how the commentary of double-digit growth in the current fiscal plays out in the coming quarters.