Beware! 'Pigs on the Wing'

by Abhinna Shreshtha    May 12, 2009

The swine influenza (H1N1) virus may not have spread to India, but its effects are still apparent. PA Krishnan, president (ITO) of MphasiS, was supposed to go on a business trip to the United States next week. "We have now postponed this trip due to a company advisory," he informed us.

Though it may not rank high on any CXO’s ‘Things That Give Me Sleepless Nights’ list, the spread of the swine influenza (H1N1) virus has still caused many companies to caution workers from traveling to affected countries, as well as those employees working in affected areas. Just last week, two techies were detained at Bangalore airport with suspected swine flu symptoms, further adding to the seriousness of the matter.

IT giant HP has issued an internal advisory to its employees asking them to avoid traveling to countries like Mexico and the US if possible. HCL BPO has also sent a communiqu to its employees to spread awareness about the disease and preventive measures.

A spokesperson for 24/7 Customer, a BPO and customer support organization, said that the company has not had any outbreak of swine influenza in their locations worldwide, but they have issued travel advisories to all employees and instructed them to travel only if necessary.

"We have taken steps to inform and educate our employees on the preventive measures in case of an outbreak, across our offices in the U.S, Philippines, Guatemala, and India. We have requested employees to take precautionary measures, report to the HR and seek medical assistance immediately, incase they have any symptoms of the swine flu," he said.

But what about ITeS providers that might need to send specialists onsite to attend to their clients’ problems? It seems most IT companies in India are adopting a ‘wait and watch’ policy for now. This is exemplified by Infosys’ statement that they would ‘work with customers and employees at onsite locations to take the necessary action in the event of a breakout.’

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Cert-In Rises to the Swine Flu Challenge