Indian Business Leaders Optimistic of Economic Revival in 6-9 Months

Views expressed by experts across IT/ITeS, Telecom and Real Estate at
CII webinar on New Normal: Impact of Covid on Business and Economy’

India will emerge stronger from multiple crises
of economy, pandemic and super cyclone in the next 6-9months feel
industry leaders, based on the resilience shown by people, businesses
and government.

The positives and silver lining in the current COVID-19 and economic
slowdown were identified and elucidated at a webinar on ‘New Normal:
Impact of Covid on Business and Economy’, organized by CII, Delhi. The
webinar included eminent panellists like Mr. Aditya Berlia, Chairman,
CII Delhi & Co-Promoter Apeejay Stya & Svran Group Mr Rajan Mathews, DG,
Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI),Mr Sujit Baksi, Head-
APAC Business & President, Corporate Affairs at Tech Mahindra,Ms Prativa
Mohapatra, VP Sales at IBM India/South Asia and Mr Prashant Solomon,
Managing Director, Chintels India Pvt. Ltd & Hon’ble Treasurer, CREDAI

All the participants had one common line of agreement—telecom, and
information technology is key to survival and revival of lives and
economy. Speakers across the industry highlighted that India has the
potential and vision to rebound from this tough situation and emerge
stronger. If done correctly, the economy can start showing results in
the next 6-9 months. Business leaders shared their views on challenges
posed on the Indian economy and what are their sectors are experiencing
on the ground. The panelists voiced out their suggestions for the
stakeholders and government to mitigate the crisis.

Addressing the webinar:

Mr. Aditya Berlia, Chairman- CII Delhi, Co-Promoter Apeejay Stya and
Svrán Groupsaid “”We are entering in an economy contraction of 5 to 15%
depending on the industry and this economic crisis is unique for India
as we have not experienced something like this in decades. CII has
immediately responded and is helping during the crisis but we know more
can be done and will be done. The steps taken by government are
fantastic for medium-term but what we require something which can help
businesses next week not in six months. We believe in that last six
months of this year Covid-19 economic issues will begin to be resolved,
and then we will see things moving up

Mr Rajan Mathews, DG, COAI said “The last few months have put us in
front of concurrent emergencies for instance cyclone Amphan struck us
amid the Covid crisis and during this phase everyone woke up to the fact
that without network, things would come to a standstill. And we have to
prepare in view of this becoming the “New Normal” and telecom industry
is going to play a critical role going forward. This also presents us
the opportunity to innovate and create critical solutions indigenously
which can be globally scalable. Our industry faces unprecedented
financial crisis and at the same time we require investments in our
Infrastructure so that we can be future ready to take up emerging

Mr Sujit Baksi, Head, APAC Business and President & Corporate Affairs,
Tech Mahindra said “COVID-19 has resulted in the world adopting to the
‘new normal’ by accelerating business transition towards digital
practices. IT as the backbone of the economy responded immediately to
this crisis as the industry was prepared and working towards
digitalisation. Today around 93-94 percent of our workforce is working
from home. We see this as an opportunity for our industry to change the
way of working and an enhanced engagement with the telecom sector, which
has emerged as a lifeline, yet again. I am confident that the IT
industry will bounce back in the second half of the financial year.”

Ms Prativa Mohapatra, VP Sales at IBM India/South Asia said “I call it
the great lockdown and how as individuals, organisations and society we
will emerge out of it to a new different normal. As new normal sets in,
leadership, decisiveness, empathy and teamwork will become more
essential. The telecom industry has emerged as the nervous system and IT
as flesh and blood in the current pandemic.  The immediate actions and
temporary arrangements deployed by the company, will thus be one
permanent in the future.The pandemic has shown the importance of
Business Continuity Planning and need for businesses to be agile. How
people and companies adapt from face to face communication to screen to
screen communication will define their success going forward.”

Mr Prashant Solomon, Managing Director, Chintels India Pvt. Ltd and
Hon’ble Treasurer, CREDAI NCR said “The real estate sector is the second
largest employer in India and the lockdown has greatly impacted this
labour-intensive sector. Operational resilience along with strong
government initiatives, like increased liquidity and one-time
restructuring of loans, are necessary to help the sector recover. CREDAI
recently specified these requirements in an open letter to the PM and we
are looking forward to further support. In the new normal, we foresee
reduced dependency on labour for some time, to comply with social
distancing norms. There needs to be an added impetus on close monitoring
of projects across residential and commercial sectors and post
moratorium options. The COVID-19 crisis has led to a major upheaval in
the way industries used to function, and the new normal will, hopefully,
enable a more robust and future-ready model.”

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