India: India’s largest software exporter and a global leader in IT services, consulting & business solutions, TCS, saw overwhelming participation for its first virtual annual general meeting. AGMs this year will be held remotely due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Employees working from home during the nationwide lockdown was not a cost-saving measure for TCS and, in fact, added to expenses, said Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran, pointing out that the IT services provider had already signed long-term leases for its offices, as reported by ET.
“It is not being done for cost reasons. In fact, TCS has long term leases, so currently it is all investment and more expenses,” Chandrasekaran told shareholders at Tata Consultancy Services annual general meeting, the first virtual gathering of stakeholders by any Indian corporation.
While the TCS AGM at the Birla Mathoshri auditorium in Mumbai generally sees 500-600 people attending, the virtual meeting on Thursday (11 June 2020) saw more than 1300 shareholders log in from cities such as Coimbatore and Kolkata.
“This (work from home arrangement) is something that has happened suddenly and TCS has not seen it as a temporary measure. TCS has not responded to it (COVID-19) as a stop-gap arrangement. TCS can only see and gauge what the trend is going to be. So, we are seeing this as a trend and are making significant investments,” N Chandrasekaran said.
Talking about the businesses and industries globally making an accelerated shift to digital, he said, “The emergence of Covid-19 has resulted in many sectors adopting digital channels This is the transformation that we had spoken of five years ago when we said that ‘Default is Digital’. Our response to the events during the last 10 days of FY 2020 is what I consider to be our most defining accomplishment of FY 2020.”
N Chandrasekaran is Chairman of the Board of Tata Sons, the holding company and promoter of more than 100 Tata operating companies with aggregate annual revenues of more than US $100 billion. He joined the Board of Tata Sons in October 2016 and was further appointed Chairman in January 2017.