Indus Towers Ltd., India’s largest telecom tower company, stood to be significantly impacted when it was advised to operate with a minimal number of employees working from its offices across the country as part of a nationwide lockdown in March 2020 to contain the spread of the Novel Coronavirus.
Keeping employees safe, and customers connected
The telecom tower company has been a powerful enabler in India’s communication revolution, touching 600 million people every day, multiple times a day. Three out of every five calls in India are made through an Indus site. The company provides passive telecom infrastructure and is an enabler of essential services. It therefore became vital for it to enable remote working for its employees to manage tower operations in 15 circle locations across India and maintain business continuity in a safe and secure environment.
TCS has been supporting Indus Towers’ business operations as a strategic IT partner for more than 10 years, and thanks to this long association has a deep understanding of the company’s business landscape and customers. It knew that business continuity was imperative for Indus Towers as this directly related to end users staying connected to their family, friends, work, and other basic essential services. Any disruption in services would have meant more distress for end users in the already stressful time of the pandemic. It would have also resulted in revenue losses and dented Indus Towers’ reputation in the market.
Moving to ‘work from home’ in 48 hours
The TCS team got to the task of enabling ‘work from home’ for the 6,000 employees and associates who worked out of circle locations and the Indus partner ecosystem across the country.
Putting its contextual knowledge to use, the team explored business continuity options with the telecom tower major and created a detailed risk assessment for all feasible options with the IT, Security and Business teams. TCS’ Business and IT teams worked in coordination with Indus Towers’ Circle HR, Admin and Corporate IT teams to ensure there was no impact on business-as-usual operations. The team prepared the runbook (a compilation of administrator procedures and operations), including demonstration and testing, as well as packaging and shipping desktops to associates’ homes in a record two days, thus ensuring zero disruption to end users.
The management of Indus Towers acknowledged the effort that went into making the sudden transition seamless. Its CIO Vinod Krishnan said, “The success of our WFH initiative is an outcome of the TCS team’s hard work, close cooperation with circle admin teams under the able guidance of the circle HR teams. The TCS team has worked beyond reasonable hours and at a personal risk to themselves to support our business. I can confidently say that I have seen very few projects of this magnitude be delivered in this short a duration and that too under these difficult circumstances!”