Bank of America (BofA) created around 3,000 additional jobs in India during the pandemic, and the country has eclipsed the world because of its ability to thrive in chaos, a senior official said.
The pandemic offered a chance to take on leadership roles, as there were no business continuity plans (BCPs) prepared for a scenario where the whole world would be locked in, said Kaku Nakhate, country chief of US Financial Institution for India, speaking at an event hosted by CII.
I think in this time of COVID we were able to create around 3,000 jobs in India. We have taken a lot more work in India, Nakhate said, adding that other multinationals have also seen similar job additions.
She cited the surge in retail and small business lending it made in its domestic US market during the pandemic, noting that some of those burdens have entered India.
It can be noted that generally many multinationals deploy staff to India to perform critical back office work on process from India due to cost advantage.
India has eclipsed many other countries Indians can thrive in chaos and I think this is the first time in the world where everyone has had to thrive in chaos processes had to be invented and I think it ‘is where (India shone), said Nakhate.
The bank is said to have 23,000 people working in what it calls global business centers Mumbai, Hyderabad, Gurugram and Chennai, and has also opened an office in GIFT city, to conduct business for its global operations.
Nakhate said the first task after the COVID strike was to create ecosystems capable of supporting interaction with customers, which was followed by strategies to ensure the safety and well-being of employees.
The bank’s global presence gave it a head start because by the time the lockdowns took place in India, it had processes in place on how to operate, she said.
The first fortnight after the lockdown was devoted to its own staff, moving critical systems to homes, and educating large companies about preserving cash, using lines of credit, and building resilience, she declared.
She said India had taken the time to announce the moratorium on loan repayments as well as standards for recognition of non-performing assets, and added that in the face of fears of a downgrade, the bank s ‘is also discussed with the Ministry of Finance, RBI and Sebi.
The RBI’s Targeted Long-Term Repo Operations Facility (TLTRO) was a welcome move and helped revive local debt markets, she added.
Nakhate also appreciated the role private equity funds played in injecting more than $ 47 billion into Indian businesses during the pandemic.
She said boards have started discussing environmental, social and governance (ESG) themes, but they need to do a lot more on diversity and inclusion.
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