Business

It may take 6 months for normalcy: CII

Vikram Kirloskar./ File photo

Vikram Kirloskar./ File photo  

Resort to pay cut, if need be, but keep employees safe: Vikram Kirloskar to corporates

India Inc. may require at least three to six months to restore normalcy and business continuity after the entire course of the COVID-19 event is over, says Vikram Kirloskar, president, Confederation of Indian Industry.

“All of us are facing a tough challenge. Overall, things are not looking good. All industrial segments are suffering. Small-scale industries are under severe pressure. Large industries can’t run without ancillary companies and supply chain support.

“Stock markets are down globally. The rupee is under attack,’’ Mr. Kirloskar told The Hindu.

However, he said, “The good news is that, the Indian government has been handling the issue very sensibly, right from the beginning, compared with other affected geographies. Some say India is the safest place today.’’

The CII has asked all its members to take up leadership role in ensuring the safety of enterprises, employees and society as a whole, and do not rely on rumours that are floating around.

“None of us should panic, rather, we should strictly adhere to advisories, stay calm, move around responsibly, work hard to contain and fight COVID-19, is the message CII wants to give out to all individuals, small entrepreneurs and large corporates in this country,’’ said Mr. Kisloskar.

He said he was supposed to have met a Japanese visitor in India on March 4, but the latter was not allowed into the country and was sent back from the airport itself.

“That means, our government has started taking precautions from the beginning of March. Therefore, I hope and trust that the numbers given out, of COVID-19 suspected and confirmed cases, are correct, of course with some plus or minus.’’

According to him, Indian corporates have been proactive as they are already allowing a lot of their employees to work from home.

“Companies now have to adopt various measures, including cutting operational cost and introducing effective risk management solutions to be able to come out unscathed.’’

As a piece of advice, Mr. Kirloskar said, businesses now have the heavy responsibility of realigning, not retrenching, their people effectively.

“Some top managers may have to take serious pay cuts, some employees can be sent on unpaid vacation for a few months while in some cases, employees may be asked to work extra hours/days to compensate the time that’s lost. However, companies should keep their most critical asset, the people, in safe custody,’’ he urged.

As a word of caution to people, he said, citizens, too, have to be highly responsible. People were missing quarantine and jumping on train or playing in the open. “Don’t take any risk at least for two weeks. We are one of the few countries where COVID-19 which is under control. We have to stop the virus from spreading, which is critical for the safety of our life and livelihood.’’

As per Mr. Kirloskar, the media, overall, has been doing a responsible job in terms of handling virus stories. “However, I am not tracking much of social media, because if I did I may go mad, so I avoid it,’’ he added.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 5:55:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/it-may-take-6-months-for-normalcy-cii/article31111352.ece

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