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News : Prasad Recognises IT Industry Response in Lockdown as Report Questions Work from Home Infra in India


New Delhi, India, April 6, 2020 -- Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad acknowledged Indian IT and IT-enabled service industry's role in ensuring business continuity while working from home during the lockdown.

The comments have come against the backdrop of a report questioning infrastructure support in India to provide call centre services while working from home.

Meanwhile, the Indian IT industry has also contested the report, saying that the speed at which the service ecosystem has responded is phenomenal. The report by HFS Research mentioned inadequate home environments with spotty broadband and the need for new computers to process calls among challenges that the BPO industry might be facing in their operations during the lockdown.

"Nearly 90 percent of India''s IT workforce is now working from home & only those performing critical functions are going to offices. This has ensured that business operations are not affected. I am delighted to see the resilience of the Indian IT sector during this crisis," Prasad said in his tweet. The government has allowed IT workforce in the country to work from home for their safety from coronavirus pandemic.

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During the ongoing lockdown, over 90 percent of employees of all the organisations are working from home. "India’s IT industry powers global corporations and creates an enormous impact on global businesses. During these difficult times, Govt is extending all possible assistance to the IT industry to mitigate any adverse impact on domestic or global operations," Prasad said in another tweet.

An unverified Twitter handle of HFS Research founder and CEO Phil Fersht had mentioned the link of the report. "The global lock-downs are crushing the life out of the traditional global call centre industry. You simply can't move millions of agents into a work-at-home model without massive disruption. Especially when call volumes in some industries are going through the roof," Fersht tweeted. Tech Mahindra chief strategy officer and head of growth Jagdish Mitra countered HFS observation. "Responding not just from TechM but from the industry..the speed at which the ecosystem responded is phenomenal," Mitra said. He added that the support from the government, IT industry body Nasscom and customers has been "been truly a phenomenal story of the rise to an unprecedented crisis" The HFS Research said that the coronavirus pandemic is exposing an outsourcing industry that has been widely unprepared for an event like this in many ways, and the contact centre BPO industry is no exception.

"India and the Philippines have become the examples of world-class service delivery centres, but sadly their infrastructure for moving their delivery to work-at-home environments is far from adequate, especially when there is no time to prepare for the transition," it said. The report backed firms that are using some specific products and questioned the infrastructure of the rest of the companies.

Nasscom President Debjani Ghosh backed Mitra. "Today we have 90 percent + employees working from home, with only critical staff on campus to ensure no disruption to clients'' business. With the help of Gov't, the industry has shown tremendous resilience in moving to the #WFH (work from home) model. India and Indian IT will emerge only stronger!" she said.


Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

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