Collective experience of the pandemic will have a significant impact: Nilekani

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Infosys co-founder and non-executive chairman Nandan M Nilekani has said that while nobody can really gauge the absolute outcome of the pandemic, this collective global experience will leave a significant impact on everyone.In an interview to Infy TV, Nilekani said that at a personal level, people are now realising the value of friends, and how important they are to people’s lives. He also pointed out that going forward, a balance would be achieved between functioning from office and working from home. “There will be a new equilibrium there, which has an impact on traffic, on mobility, and on the way cities are designed.”He said he has started appreciating the small things in life, like going for walks, which one usually took for granted.New business modelsOrganisations across the world will now have to re-imagine their business models and the transformation they need to undertake. “A lot of the elements of resilience that we have seen in the last two months, comes out of our underlying infrastructure and resilient live enterprise,” he said.The Indian economy faces several challenges. “It is difficult for the policymakers to put massive stimulus behind it, which will lead to higher fiscal deficit and rating downgrade, and higher borrowing costs,” he said. The global situation is now in India’s favour as all over the world, people are looking at alternatives to China and that should benefit the country. He added that only when a vaccine is found and the entire population is vaccinated, will the world get back to normal.He pointed out how Infosys platforms helped the company sustain its operations. Lex helped 9,000 trainees continue to learn from home when the lockdown disrupted physical training, and Launchpad was employed for remote onboarding of employees through Launchpad, while a platform called Leap was used for client knowledge transfer.“Because of that underlying stuff that we had done, we showed resilience. So, I think, more and more companies are going to say, ‘we don’t want to be caught in a crisis again’, and therefore they’re going to become far more adaptable, agile, and resilient,” noted Nilekani.Tiding over a crisisAccording to him, a few things made it possible for Infosys to navigate this uncertain environment. “One is tremendous leadership. Also, the technological capability for remote working. We had the VPN networks, InfyME apps., so people could quickly get to the app., and so on. So, I think a number of things that Infosys has done over the last several years came in handy,” he said.He said the current crisis has proved more difficult than the previous ones, because it hit the whole world at the same time, and organisations across the world have sought ways to tide through the situation.Infosys was well placed to help its customers consolidate and reduce costs. “They see us as someone stable, long-term, financially, (someone who) has done a very good job in executing on working from home… The second thing is, of course, a massive drive to reduce costs and automate,” he said, adding, “Infosys will see a lot of opportunity from helping companies go back to work safely, as we have done ourselves – whether it’s fever tracking or social distancing, and all the stuff we’re doing in the campus.”“All these things are going to make a big difference,” he said.

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