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TCS well-positioned to weather this storm: N Chandrasekaran

The next few months will be difficult for enterprises globally but Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is well positioned to weather the storms and take advantage of opportunities that come up during the downturn, TCS Chairman N Chandrasekaran has said.

In a letter addressing shareholders in the company’s annual report, Chandrasekaran said technology will play an “ever-larger role” in helping businesses adapt to the new normal and differentiate themselves in the post-COVID world.

“When we emerge out of this crisis, the world will be a very different place. We are witnessing many of those changes already. With cloud and the new class of collaboration tools, people are discovering that they are able to collaborate with each other just as well working from home, as they did in person in the pre-COVID era,” Chandrasekaran said.

He cautioned that the next few months will be difficult, but also exuded confidence that the Mumbai-based company is well-poised to help customers in their recovery and rebound journeys.

“It (TCS) is well positioned to weather the storms ahead and take advantage of opportunities that come up during the downturn to acquire new capabilities and gain market share. In the post-pandemic world, technology will play an ever larger role in helping enterprises adapt to the new normal and differentiate themselves,” he said.

Chandrasekaran said that in many sectors, digital channels have gone from being secondary, nice-to-have options to becoming the primary channels, and in some instances, the only channels.

“Schools, colleges and even courts have shifted to an online-only mode. Farmers’ cooperatives are taking online orders and directly delivering fresh produce to city-dwellers. This is the transformation that we had spoken of five years go, when we said that Default is Digital, but even I am still amazed by the scale and speed of the change,” he said.

Chandrasekaran said he believed that the “new world” in which digital channels become mainstream, will offer countries like India a unique opportunity to implement large-scale digital interventions that would provide its citizenry easier access to essential services, while creating millions of new jobs.

TCS CEO and Managing Director Rajesh Gopinathan, in his letter, said the next few months will be very difficult for everyone, individuals and organisations alike.

“We are entering the new fiscal year at a time when all major economies have been brought to a standstill. The impact has been very fast and widespread…On the other hand, the economic downturn is not due to any structural problem in any industry, but due to an externality that has hit the pause button on all economic activity,” he said.

Whenever that externality is removed, an equally quick recovery should follow, he added.

Gopinathan said 90 percent of its 4.48-lakh workforce was enabled to work remotely in a matter of days as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the globe and governments announced lockdowns and movement restrictions to contain the spread.

He added that TCS’ customers are comfortable with its ‘Secure Borderless Workspaces’ (SBWS) model and in fact, want the company to take on more work that others are unable to handle.

“This has given us the confidence to come out with a bold new Vision 25×25. We believe that by 2025, only 25 percent of our associates will need to work out of our facilities at any point of time; and every associate will be able to realise their potential without spending more than 25 percent of their time in a TCS office,” he said.


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