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

The Economic Times - - Going Viral: Covid-19 Impact - Our Bu­reaus

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.”

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