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Last Updated : May 21, 2020 09:49 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

TCS looks at saving on visa, travel as remote working model catches up

TCS said use of work visas to a small fraction of what it used to be five years ago, de-risking our business significantly

As remote working becomes a norm, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is looking at lesser dependency on visa and travel as meetings move virtual, say senior company executives.

In the FY20 annual report, Milind Lakkad, Chief Human Resources Officer, TCS, said that with teams working from home, in-person interactions are now replaced with virtual collaboration and has made physical location irrelevant. “This virtualisation blurs the traditional divide between onsite and offshore,” he added.

This would mean that traveling to onsite locations, particularly for initial transitions and knowledge transfer, potentially reducing the visa dependency.

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This comes at the back of TCS’ Vision 25x25 model. TCS expects that by 2025, 25 percent of the workforce will have to work out of office and for not more than 25 percent of the time. This was made possible through its new operating model Secure Borderless Workspaces (SBWS).

SBWS is an agile location agnostic operating model that allows the company to support mission critical operations and transformational projects seamlessly. Currently close to 90 percent of the employees are working from home and TCS is not in a hurry to bring people back to work.

“In the longer term, it is possible that project teams will be seen as part of a virtualised talent cloud and provisioned for in the same way that we provision for compute power or storage today, he added.

In the last few years, the company has brought down the use of work visas by stepping up its localisation efforts. The company has hired close to 20,000 employees in the last five years. For short-term projects, the company has been using subcontractors.

“All this has brought down our use of work visas to a small fraction of what it used to be five years ago, de-risking our business significantly,” Lakkad said. The company has also managed to reduce the need for co-location with greater use of managed services contracting models.

“Looking into the future, as I mentioned earlier, the virtualisation of many activities with SBWS will reduce the need for travel and co-location even further,” he said in the report.

Will it impact deal closures?

V Ramakrishnan, CFO, TCS, it might not impact deal closures for couple of reasons. For one, the company was able to close a large, multi-million dollar deal in end-March, entirely virtually, while both parties were under lockdown. In addition travel restriction has impacted the entire ecosystem and not just TCS.

Ramakrishnan pointed out that the post-pandemic world will see more and more activities that previously involved in-person interactions go virtual, including the sales process.

“Years from now, we will probably look back and wonder at how much time salespersons used to spend on the road,” he added.
First Published on May 21, 2020 08:25 am
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