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Tech companies talk to hotels to board staff: COVID-19

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Some IT and ITeS companies have had pre-existing bookings at hotel chains as part of their BCP.

Several IT and IT enabled services companies are in talks with hotels to accommodate staff in order to seamlessly implement their business continuity plans.

Hotel chains, however, are currently unable to accede to their requests due to the lockdown restrictions imposed in view of the Covid-19 virus outbreak. 

On April 15, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) allowed companies in the IT and ITeS sector to operate at 50% staff strength. However, hospitality services remain prohibited as per the guidelines, except for hotels, homestays, lodges and motels that cater to stranded tourists, medical and emergency staff, and air and sea crew.

“We have been receiving queries from IT and ITeS companies to accommodate their employees,” said Kerrie Hannaford, VP – Commercial, India and South Asia, at Accor. 

Accor currently has IT and ITeS employees working out of its hotels in Gurugram, Mumbai and Pune, but these rooms were booked prior to the lockdown.

A senior industry executive said his hotel chain had received queries from an IT services major a few days ago but could not agree to the request due to restrictions.

“We are currently not operating in locations where they wanted rooms. It is a very conflicting and confusing situation for us. In some states, the state notifications tell us what to do while the Centre has its own set of notifications,” he said

Another hotel executive said movements were severely restricted immediately after the lockdown and requests from IT companies for pan-India staff transfers could not take off as planned.

TCS, Wipro and HCL did not respond to emails seeking comment till press time Tuesday.

Vineet Verma, executive director, Brigade Hospitality said some MNCs and IT majors have been looking to locate key employees in hotels in Bengaluru, within walking distance of their offices.

Some IT and ITeS companies have had pre-existing bookings at hotel chains as part of their BCP.

“Many IT players have rooms with us. Just before the lockdown, employees of IT companies were staying with us as part of their BCP in locations like Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Chennai. Those employees continue to stay with us,” said Deepika Rao, managing director and CEO at Ginger Hotels.

Brigade’s Verma said hotels could provide the required support and safe environment for IT employees, and the opportunity could emerge as a win-win situation for all in the ecosystem. 

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