India Inc Welcomes Govt Plan to Enforce Work-from-Home
Industry captains agree first priority is breaking the virus’ chain of growth, assure they will do whatever it takes to accomplish that
Mumbai | Delhi | Kolkata: India Inc welcomed the government’s move to enforce work-from-home rules in the private sector to combat the spread of the coronavirus and said that they are already complying with the rules. Captains of industry who spoke to ET on the issue said that the first priority is to prevent the virus from spreading.
“Controlling the chain of growth of the virus is important and for that whatever preventive measures the government deems fit has to be implemented,” said RC Bhargava, chairman emeritus, Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker. “We do not know if the direction to work from home applies to the manufacturing sector right now, but if the gover nment thinks manufacturing has to shut...it has to be done...the virus has to be controlled. That is the most important thing right now,” he added.
India on Thursday banned all international flights for one week and sought to curb all forms of mass transport in a bid to quell the rising number of positive coronavirus cases in the country. The government also asked states to ensure that the private sector follows a work-from-home policy. Harsh Goenka, chairman RPG Group said that all group employees have been strictly advised to adhere to directives of government authorities. “Work-from-home policy has been effective in RPG Group companies since 2016 and has been widely advised at the moment. In manufacturing units, all employees not engaged in essential activities have been advised to WFH,” he added. “Most of our CEOs are working from home. The companies have advised all employees who have returned from foreign travel and tested negative to strictly follow self-isolation for 14 days. No employee has tested positive for Covid-19,” Goenka said.
A Vivo official said that their experience store in CyberHub in
Gurgaon has been shut. “Devices are being launched online. The management has disallowed even domestic travel and our teams are unable to travel between Bengaluru and Delhi. Only indispensable employees are coming to office. Above all, we have been ordered by the government last week not to share any information to avoid the spread of panic,” he added.
A Samsung official said that the employees’ travel to and from Korea was already halted for the past one month.
VR Sharma MD of JSPL said that work-from-home and ban on international flights will not have a big impact on the steel business since a lot of work is done by email. “The banking sector is working so it is not a big issue. I think the industry will take our PM’s appeal very positively since it is in our interest and for national good. It will stop the spread of the virus. Due to work-fromhome, some offices may need to close down but the impact will be for a short time only. We will implement work-from-home in our offices. We have orders in hand and in process. Our manufacturing locations are in remote areas where the population is relatively safe and secure.”