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Expert says India’s IT industry faces adverse operational impact due to coronavirus

Former NASSCOM President R. Chandrashekar noted that overseas and international travel had been impacted following the scare.

March 06, 2020 06:17 pm | Updated 06:19 pm IST - Bengaluru:

Workers wearing protective gear spray disinfectant as a precaution against the COVID-19 coronavirus in a local market in Daegu, South Korea.

Workers wearing protective gear spray disinfectant as a precaution against the COVID-19 coronavirus in a local market in Daegu, South Korea.

India’s information technology services sector is facing adverse impact on the operational front following the outbreak of coronovirus (COVID-19) in several countries, an IT industry expert said on Friday.

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Former NASSCOM President R. Chandrashekar noted that overseas and international travel had been impacted following the scare.

“While the lot of the industry today is about remote services, it is certainly backed by a certain percentage of actual travel and face-to-face interaction as well. So, complete elimination of that will obviously have an adverse impact ,” he told the PTI in Bengaluru.

Even within offices, since there are large number of people who gather together, a single incidence of infection within that organisation immediately necessitates some kind of measures, the former Telecom Commission Chairman pointed.

R. Chandrasekhar. File

R. Chandrasekhar. File

“People have been asked not to come to office and work from home. While the nature of the business allows people to work from home, it’s not as if 100%of work you can do from home. So, there are always different kinds of face-to-face interactions required, within the office. So, completely bypassing that will create some constraints,” he said.

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According to him, global uncertainty, slowdown and fears of recession, as well as uncertainty with regards to the economic trajectory definitely have implications for investment and IT spends.

“Therefore, the overall slowdown in terms of IT projects, IT spends is quite likely in the short-term, (but) it does not affect India’s relative position,” Chandrashekhar, a former Secretary of the Department of Telecommunication, said.

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He also said if disruptions in supply chain, especially in hardware from China, continue for a couple of months, it won’t cause any major upheaval.

But if the situation [ COVID-19 outbreak ] persists till the end of the year, that could have serious implications and hardware-related constraints would also kick in, Mr. Chandrashekhar said.

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