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Indian Firms Fare Better than Global Counterparts Amid COVID-19 Pandemic


Coronavirus pandemic has ravaged business and economies all over the world. However, Indian companies on average have fared “much better” than their counterparts across the world, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a study by Cognizant’s Centre for the Future of Work showed.

The survey conducted across 23 countries and 14 industries and polled nearly 4,000 senior executives revealed that Indian enterprises had embraced adopted new, digital ways of working practices. It is interesting to note that Indian companies (and most Asian businesses for the matter) responded quickly to the pandemic and tend to emerge victorious through pandemic – much faster than their western counterparts.

As per the study, India has the highest revenue from digital channels among APAC countries at 12%, and this is expected to increase to 17 percent by 2023. It also found that Indian companies at 52% are the “most bullish” about adopting digital – also the highest among APAC countries.

Further, most Asian businesses reduced many of their long-term digital projects into the space of weeks and months. The strategy enabled the firm to emerge stronger during the pandemic. Technologies that companies have pinpointed to implement future projects include artificial intelligence (40 percent), sensors or Internet of Things (35%) and big data or analytics (35%).

Also the forces of impact on work they noted were hyper-connectivity (49%), privacy and security concerns (46%) and process process automation (44%).

The study also reveals that just 36% of companies in India experienced slightly negative to a very negative impact on their business performance in 2020. Nonetheless, businesses in APAC and the Middle East have reached a point of clarity regarding the real purpose of digital tools. These companies understood what the human-machine balance of work should be, it said.

“Although the digital revolution is 74 years old, it’s kicking into second gear now. The first phase saw Big Tech giants’ dominance in the West, leading the global digital agenda. The second phase will be marked by AI, automation, analytics and IoT – all of which align with industry and business strengths in the Asia Pacific. The work ahead will be all about striking a balance between machine-driven and human-centric work. Even when machines can do everything, it will still be people who are the ultimate X factor,” Manish Bahl, Assistant Vice President, Center for the Future of Work, Asia Pacific, Cognizant said in a statement.

The survey also stated that human-centric skills would continue to gain prominence. Skills like Decision-making, Analytical, Learning, Strategic Thinking, and Communication will become more critical in 2023.

Moreover, jobs will become more specialized as employees will work faster and require more extraordinary technical expertise. Top three technological companies like AI, Sensors/ IoT, and big data/ analytics are leveraging to augment business processes from some implemented projects to widespread implementation.

Machines will be taking over data-oriented tasks and provide insights for better decision-making. Top three business benefits companies aim at achieving with the augmentation of processes by 2023: decision-making, i.e. more informed, accurate, intelligent, operational efficiency, i.e. cost savings, increased output, improved asset and inventory management, and customer experience, i.e. interaction and personalization, said the survey.

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