New Delhi, May, 2020.
India will emerge stronger from multiple crises of economy, pandemic and super cyclone in the next 6-9 months feel industry leaders, based on the resilience shown by people, businesses and government.
The positives and silver lining in the current COVID-19 and economic slowdown were identified and elucidated at a webinar on ‘New Normal: Impact of Covid on Business and Economy’, organized by CII, Delhi. The webinar included eminent panellists like Mr. Aditya Berlia, Chairman, CII Delhi & Co-Promoter Apeejay Stya & Svran Group Mr Rajan Mathews, DG, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Mr Sujit Baksi, Head- APAC Business & President, Corporate Affairs at Tech Mahindra,Ms Prativa Mohapatra, VP Sales at IBM India/South Asia and Mr Prashant Solomon, Managing Director, Chintels India Pvt. Ltd & Hon’ble Treasurer, CREDAI NCR.
All the participants had one common line of agreement-telecom, and information technology is key to survival and revival of lives and economy. Speakers across the industry highlighted that India has the potential and vision to rebound from this tough situation and emerge stronger. If done correctly, the economy can start showing results in the next 6-9 months. Business leaders shared their views on challenges posed on the Indian economy and what are their sectors are experiencing on the ground. The panelists voiced out their suggestions for the stakeholders and government to mitigate the crisis.
Addressing the webinar:
Mr. Aditya Berlia, Chairman- CII Delhi, Co-Promoter Apeejay Stya and Svrán Groupsaid ““We are entering in an economy contraction of 5 to 15% depending on the industry and this economic crisis is unique for India as we have not experienced something like this in decades. CII has immediately responded and is helping during the crisis but we know more can be done and will be done. The steps taken by government are fantastic for medium-term but what we require something which can help businesses next week not in six months. We believe in that last six months of this year Covid-19 economic issues will begin to be resolved, and then we will see things moving up
Mr Rajan Mathews, DG, COAI said “The last few months have put us in front of concurrent emergencies for instance cyclone Amphan struck us amid the Covid crisis and during this phase everyone woke up to the fact that without network, things would come to a standstill. And we have to prepare in view of this becoming the “New Normal” and telecom industry is going to play a critical role going forward. This also presents us the opportunity to innovate and create critical solutions indigenously which can be globally scalable. Our industry faces unprecedented financial crisis and at the same time we require investments in our Infrastructure so that we can be future ready to take up emerging challenges.”
Mr Sujit Baksi, Head, APAC Business and President & Corporate Affairs, Tech Mahindra said “COVID-19 has resulted in the world adopting to the ‘new normal’ by accelerating business transition towards digital practices. IT as the backbone of the economy responded immediately to this crisis as the industry was prepared and working towards digitalisation. Today around 93-94 percent of our workforce is working from home. We see this as an opportunity for our industry to change the way of working and an enhanced engagement with the telecom sector, which has emerged as a lifeline, yet again. I am confident that the IT industry will bounce back in the second half of the financial year.”
Ms Prativa Mohapatra, VP Sales at IBM India/South Asia said “I call it the great lockdown and how as individuals, organisations and society we will emerge out of it to a new different normal. As new normal sets in, leadership, decisiveness, empathy and teamwork will become more essential. The telecom industry has emerged as the nervous system and IT as flesh and blood in the current pandemic. The immediate actions and temporary arrangements deployed by the company, will thus be one permanent in the future.The pandemic has shown the importance of Business Continuity Planning and need for businesses to be agile. How people and companies adapt from face to face communication to screen to screen communication will define their success going forward.”
Mr Prashant Solomon, Managing Director, Chintels India Pvt. Ltd and Hon’ble Treasurer, CREDAI NCR said “The real estate sector is the second largest employer in India and the lockdown has greatly impacted this labour-intensive sector. Operational resilience along with strong government initiatives, like increased liquidity and one-time restructuring of loans, are necessary to help the sector recover. CREDAI recently specified these requirements in an open letter to the PM and we are looking forward to further support. In the new normal, we foresee reduced dependency on labour for some time, to comply with social distancing norms. There needs to be an added impetus on close monitoring of projects across residential and commercial sectors and post moratorium options. The COVID-19 crisis has led to a major upheaval in the way industries used to function, and the new normal will, hopefully, enable a more robust and future-ready model.”