More than one million IT employees could continue to work from home even after the lockdown ends: Senapathy Gopalakrishnan

IT industry veteran Senapathy (Kris) Gopalakrishnan says that even after the corona virus-inflicted lockdown situation returns to normalcy, more than one million information technology employees are expected to continue to work from home.

The former President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said that reports suggest that 90 to 95 percent of people in many of the larger IT organizations are working out of the home. He further adds that the transition has been smooth. It was done very, very quickly. He thinks that this will now become part and parcel of the business continuity processing, planning in the future.

Gopalakrishnan said that during the ‘stay-at-home’ period, the IT services industry has managed to transition people to work from home. He further adds that it was not a trivial task. Business processes will have to be changed (with client permission) for a large number of people who have to be supported with technology infrastructure to work from home.

Senapathy (Kris) Gopalakrishnan is also the Chairman of early-stage startup accelerator and venture fund, Axilor Ventures. He said that many of the smaller Indian startups have also found that they are as effective working out of the home. These startups are now wondering whether they require permanent office space at all.

He said that India’s IT services companies are not going back to business as usual. He adds that firms would do a rethink on the office space they would require. They also need to think about how the services will be delivered in the future.

The former CEO and Managing Director of Infosys believe at least 20-30 percent of IT employees would continue to work from home even after the lockdown is lifted. It accounts for about 1.2 million people. As per industry body NASSCOM figures, four million professionals work in India’s IT-Business Process Outsourcing sector.

The co-founder of IT services firm Infosys Ltd said that he does not see job losses in the IT sector. However, he does not see recruitment happening. He further added that the IT sector could witness salary cuts.

People estimate that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic will be felt for 12 to 18 months. It means that recruitment will be slow or as good as nil for one and a half years. It will affect the most that have passed out this year and maybe next year.