Indian business will weather Mumbai storm: IT giants, others

November 27th, 2008 - 8:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Nov 27 (IANS) Indian IT bellwethers and other corporate giants do not believe the terror attack in Mumbai will disrupt business for long or affect foreign direct investment (FDI), even though trade and commerce has been temporarily suspended in the country’s financial capital.”We don’t think such reprehensible (terror) attacks will disrupt business or investment inflows. As in the past, we are confident things will return to normalcy soon. Our business is not impacted. But these incidents are a cause for concern,” Krish Gopalakrishnan, Infosys Technologies Ltd chief executive, told IANS Thursday.

He termed the terror attacks at prominent landmarks in Mumbai - which began Wednesday and continued into Thursday to claim at least 101 lives and injure 285 - as very unfortunate and worrisome, coming as they does in these challenging times.

But Gopalakrishnan said his company’s operations were continuing normally as it does not have a software development facility in Mumbai.

“We have a marketing and sales office in Mumbai. Our employees are safe. We are enhancing security cover in Bangalore and other cities where we operate development centres,” Gopalakrishnan said.

Condemning the attacks, the co-founder of the global software major hoped the government and law enforcing agencies would bring the situation under control soon to dispel fear and panic in Mumbai.

The $4 billion company has development centres in Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune, with over 110,000 employees on its rolls.

Wipro, the country’s third largest software major, said its employees and clients were safe and there was minimal disruption in its operations in this tech hub and in other cities.

“We continue to monitor the situation and step up security cum vigilance across our facilities in India. We condemn the attacks and sympathise with the families of victims or injured in dastardly attacks,” Wipro chief information officer Laxman Badiga said in a statement here.

Though Wipro’s global IT business is run from its Bangalore campus, with development centres in Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune, its consumer and lighting businesses are operated from Mumbai.

John Fowler Ltd managing director S. Vishwanathan said the terror strikes in Mumbai would neither dent the confidence of investors nor derail business activity.

“In the past also, similar terrorists tried to harm the country’s economy and harmony by indulging in such undesirable acts in Mumbai and other major cities such as Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Though they caused temporary setbacks, the confidence continued and FDI flowed,” Vishwanathan asserted.

Expressing shock and dismay over the magnitude of the terror strikes in India’s bustling commercial city, Vishwanathan, who is also president of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) Karnataka chapter, said such senseless acts would not bring the results the terrorists were hoping for.

“Terrorists have to be lucky only once. Whereas all others, including you and me, have to be lucky every time they strike us. The government and the agencies concerned have to give as much priority to internal security as to external and other pressing problems such as infrastructure, education for all, agriculture and healthcare,” Vishwanathan pointed out.

N.N. Upadhyaya, Bangalore Chamber of Commerce & Industry president, hoped the spirit of Mumbaikars would restore normalcy in the terror-hit metropolis by Friday despite business disruption Thursday.

“We have seen how Mumbai bounces back to normal life. Though what has happened since late Wednesday is unprecedented and despicable, we are sure Mumbai citizens will rally behind to defeat the anti-national elements and swing back to work with the spirit of resilience and entrepreneurship,” Upadhyaya noted.

In a related development, Penguin Books India cancelled the late Thursday Mumbai book launch of “Imagining India”, authored by Infosys vice chairman Nandan Nilekani, in view of the terror attack in Mumbai.

“We regret to inform the event has been called off due to the terror incidents in Mumbai. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Mumbai in this hour of crisis,” a Penguin spokesman said.

Among the places targeted by the Mumbai attackers were two well-known hotels, which serve as venues for important business meets, and Nariman House, which houses offices.

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