How tech helps companies operate during pandemic?

Capex will be spent on business decisions. There may be some scaling down, in certain areas. With innovations, people will want work fast, and change fast.

Pradeep Chakraborty
New Update
work from home

These are testing times for all, with the Covid-19 pandemic all around. However, technology remains the center of everything. In this context, CorpGini - The {Corporate} Punch, has organized a series of webinars around Corporate Sustainability and Growth Program.


Everything digital

In a webinar, titled: How technology can help companies operate during a pandemic, Ankur Garg, Chief of AI, Sonasoft Venture Partner Z Nation Lab, spoke about how there should be automation in manufacturing, given the current times. Gopali Raval, Contractor MD, AI, Accenture, added that technology is now the center of everything.

Stating that everything is digital today, Akhilesh Tuteja, Global Cybersecurity Practice Co-leader, KPMG, said that the CIO or the CTO has full view of the business process. It requires the complete knowledge of technology. KV Dipu, President and Head of Operations, Bajaj Allianz, noted that the CTO can become the next CEO. He or she (CTO) is coming into the core of everything.

Gautam Balakrishnan, CMO, Tata Projects Ltd, said that if we go back 10-15 years, very few had the ability to work remotely. The ordinary access that people have today is very different. We are now working on an enterprise class communication platform. Hitesh Sachdeva, Head of Startup, ICICI Bank, noted that most of the businesses are now moving to digital first. Most of the traditional organizations are also moving to this environment.


Inseparable, critical relationship

Talking about the relationship between technology and the present situation, Balakrishnan, called it inseparable, while Kersi Tavadia, CIO, BSE Ltd, termed it critical, and Raval said it is co-dependant. KV Dipu, President and Head of Operations, Bajaj Allianz, said that we are servicing our customers even now.

Raval added that today, the human-machine collaboration is very high, as ever seen. Balakrishnan noted that the had panic happened without technology. The comfort that there is someone at the end of the phone today is just great. Tavadia added that there is criticality in technology to make all of this work.

WFH and IoT

Raval said that working from home was never an issue. Now, more action is happening. We are helping clients digitize and work from home. There are multiple uses of AI technology. We are trying to do things remotely, and hence, the IoT demand has gone up.


Balakrishnan said there has been tremendous uptake of the workflow approvals. We are much more in the IoT space. Today, the IoT products are flying off the shelf. The IoT demand has increased tremendously.

Akhilesh Tuteja said that a lot of clients are also slowing down workflows from home, as there are security concerns. There are some frauds happening as well. There are going to be some compromises. KV Dipu said that as a user, we have deployed IoT in a big way. We are working with our CISO to manage security.

BYoD, remotely

Puneet Kaur Kohli, CTO and CIO, Manappuram Finance Ltd, said that WFH technology is the need of the hour. Services provided from the management remains the same. People are also working on the BYoD concept remotely. Development and testing teams, and security teams are working round the clock.


We have a traditional model of selling. We delegated everything to the relationship managers (RMs). Every day, a new feature is being added to the mobility platform.

The need for cyber security is natural, added Tavadia. Prudent security measures are now required. Organizations have to decide on their WFH policies. At BSE, we planned this from the start.

Drones come in

According to Hitesh Sachdeva, one area that we are far away is from deploying drones. Some of the e-commerce and food delivery startups have requested the government for the usage of drones. Customer service is another area. Virtual call centers, voice bots, chat bots, etc., can lighten the burden.


Most of the business are struggling with sales. Therefore, telesales is becoming more relevant today. There is the emergence of drones, video, KYC, etc.

How can manufacturing companies stay afloat

Balakrishnan noted that Covid-19 will likely be the new normal over the next 2-3 years. The impact on office and corporate spaces will be great. The medium- to long-term view on real estate is negative. Similar view will be the aviation industry. However, delivery will surge. We are now using drones with 4G and high-definition video. We will see a lot more location-based enabling of services.

Tuteja added that security is about inspiring trust. If you don't have better security, you will end up losing customers. There are realities of infrastructure in India. Infrastructure will come as we have more demand.


Tavadia noted that some good infrastructure is already present in India, as an example, telecom. Today, we are valuing the importance of innovation. Balakrishnan said countries are using 2-factor authentication, similar to India.

Can innovation happen without capex?

According to KV Dipu, Innovation does not require heavy investment. For example, telemedicine does not require huge investment. Kersi Tavadia added that capex will be spent on business decisions. There may be some scaling down, in certain areas. With innovations, people will want work fast, and change fast.

-- With inputs from Aanchal Ghatak

drones wfh iot