What Kerala is doing for continuity of business in times of Covid

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Updated: Jun 16, 2020 2:33 AM

With a view to ensuring continuity of business for companies, primarily software firms, post-Covid -19 the state is looking to create at least 100 co-working spaces across 5,000 sq ft out of capacity lying idle due to the lull in tourism.

“Tenders to acquire the buildings as co-working spaces will get rolling from next fortnight,” M Sivasankar, principal secretary, IT, said, adding WNH facilities should be live from October.

Kerala is mulling the use of houseboats, resorts and hotel rooms as work-near-home (WNH) facilities. With a view to ensuring continuity of business for companies, primarily software firms, post-Covid -19 the state is looking to create at least 100 co-working spaces across 5,000 sq ft out of capacity lying idle due to the lull in tourism.

“Tenders to acquire the buildings as co-working spaces will get rolling from next fortnight,” M Sivasankar, principal secretary, IT, said, adding WNH facilities should be live from October.

The co-working spaces, including those created from buildings lying unused, would be set up near employee’s homes so that there is less of a risk to their health and productivity is maximised.

“Work-near-home facility for employees could take care of problems like poor internet connectivity and power failure that IT firms face because their employees are working out of their homes,” PM Sasi, CEO of Kerala Government-owned IT parks, explained. K-Fon, the state’s high-speed internet project, is also expected to go live by December.

The state’s IT industry is excited because co-working spaces would save them rents and other overheads. A study by GTech – an outfit of heads of IT and ITES firms in Kerala — notes that the disruption to the economy could trim Kerala’s IT revenues by about Rs 4,500 crore. It estimates that Kerala IT would see loss of 26,000 direct jobs and 80,000 indirect jobs.

“Once the Covid-19 situation starts to ease and businesses resume, our primary markets of US, Europe and the GCC will look to a significantly higher order of outsourcing to India,” Alexander Varghese, GTech Chairman and COO, UST Global, said.

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