With India beginning to ease lockdown restrictions, the country’s IT companies are asking their workforce to come back to the office.
However, analysts say, a majority of IT professionals will continue to work from home for some more days, as the states with large tech hubs, including Karnataka and Telangana, have chosen to remain under lockdown until the first week of May.
Even in the states where travel restrictions are partially lifted, IT providers can only bring half their workforce back to the office.
“These limited exemptions will be operationalized by State….. administrations based on strict compliance to the existing guidelines,” says a memo from the Ministry of Home Affairs. Businesses need to “ensure that all preparatory arrangements concerning social distancing in offices, workplaces, and establishments … are in place”.
The IT industry cannot feel free until Karnataka and Telangana lift restrictions completely, because Bangalore and Hyderabad are located in these states. Known as India’s Silicon Valley, Bangalore is home to the headquarters of Infosys and Wipro, while Hyderabad has the second largest cluster of IT firms.
Today, nearly 90% of the IT workforce in India is operating out of the home because of the restrictions. “They have taken requisite permissions from clients for this,” says Sangeeta Gupta, Senior Vice-President at Nasscom, India’s outsourcing lobby group.
“We have suggested member companies to take a staggered approach and start with 15-20 percent workforce in phase I, and then increase it depending on the on-ground situation,” Gupta told the news wire PTI.
India’s IT services industry has employed over 4.3 million people and generates more than US$191 billion in annual revenue.