How Coronavirus is impacting India’s tech and startup industry

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Covid-19 poses challenges for the business community, both the IT services and BPO sector. Infosys on Saturday evacuated one of its office in Bengaluru as a precautionary measure. This happened after one of its employees came in contact with a suspected Covid-19 patient.

Coronavirus Impact

Senior vice-president Nasscom says,” You can’t shift people from, say, Chennai to Delhi. It happened during the Chennai floods in 2015 to keep a business functioning. Besides, travel, hospitality and aviation verticals might see a dip in growth in IT spending as coronavirus has directly impacted all three due to travel bans and grounding of flights.”

This could lower the overall sector’s growth by a few notches from the estimated 7.5% by Nasscom for 2019-20.

The US market accounts for almost 65% of the business of Indian IT services companies. It is better cushioned to a large extent as the companies have hired more local staff.

Cautious India Inc. asks staff to work from home.

As coronavirus infections spread, many companies – from big corporations to startups to technology MNCs are asking employees to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel.

Some companies offering remote work models. It includes e-commerce majors Flipkart, Snapdeal, Uber, Ola, Swiggy and Paytm. Also, IT companies such as Wipro and Tech Mahindra are adopting this model.

Nitin Kamath, the company founder and CEO a stockbroking startup Zerodha has tweeted about work from home instructions to his company.

Fintech player Instmojo, ed-tech platform Unacademy, social commerce company Meesho based in Bangalore is among other startups that have asked employees to work from home.

A representative from Wipro said,” We have enabled work-from-home in the affected regions to minimise the risk of others getting infected.”

COVID’19 – Impact on travel

India’s IT industry has a large number of people travelling overseas on projects. According to the guidelines by the health ministry, all people returning from countries hit by the Coronavirus have to be quarantined for 14 days.

Harshvendra Soin, the chief people officer at Tech Mahindra said,” We have postponed all internal events that required large gatherings and everyone has been advised to adequately leverage technologies such as telepresence and video conferencing.”

Internet commerce companies that range from Flipkart to PayTm and Uber are promoting remote working options among employees.

Rajneesh Kumar, the senior vice-president of Flipkart told about teleconferenced. He said that the employees were being encouraged to interact with their colleagues using tools such as video-conferencing.

Indian corporates, technology firms and startups are educating employees to adopt better hygiene products. They are advised to avoid public spaces and seek medical help.

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