Over its 40 plus year history the Indian technology services sector has exemplified the spirit of innovation, reinvention and versatility, and the last 15 months have reaffirmed its resilience. If the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic was a trial by fire for business continuity plans, the second wave tested the industry’s spirit, and together they have shined a light on the strength and compassion of our 4.5 million people.
Demonstrating tremendous agility, the entire industry rallied together and rapidly adapted to new ways of working when the pandemic first struck.
The industry also invested in building a world class remote working model enabling end-to-end highly virtualised processes spanning sales, customer support and delivery; and people management including hiring, onboarding and employee engagement.
A flexible model thriving on the increased adoption of digital technologies and expansion of process infrastructure, has ensured that even as remote working increased from 90 to 98 per cent, and work locations expanded to 150+ cities across India, business continuity remained intact.
Key to this achievement was the unrelenting spirit of our people, and the unwavering commitment of the teams running operations across IT services companies, to ensure that our people and their families remain safe. Thousands continue to work night and day to take care of others’ needs, volunteering to provide round the clock emergency aid, adding to the financial assistance and health services provided by companies including testing, quarantine centres, medical devices and vaccination support.
Our people have also rallied together in mounting a robust community relief effort. As an industry body, we have partnered with State governments and NGOs, contributing critical medical supplies and strengthening the healthcare infrastructure.
Our industry continues to collaborate with the ecosystem including the Central and State governments, hospitals and vaccine manufacturers to get our people and their families vaccinated, and with the government now allowing import of WHO approved vaccines for emergency use, we have also offered to work with manufacturers directly to support them with supply chain issues.
We have also appealed the Prime Minister to temporarily relax the amended provisions of the FCRA Act 2020 to enable the smooth collection of global funds for pandemic relief. In July 2020, we had presented to the Centre, the nation’s need for an effective and holistic data utilisation strategy with a focus on quality, access, responsible usage, and security.
Covid-19 data combined with data analytics could play a key role in the future for managing such public health crises. We also recommend that States learn from proven models and set up processes and resources to monitor data around vaccination, supply of emergency medical equipment, hospital beds and testing among others, to ensure proactive planning for future calamities.
The past year has caused unprecedented disruption, and the IT services industry has been able to navigate this with agility and resilience with people-centricity at its core.
The writer is Chairperson, NASSCOM.