The coronavirus outbreak may impact the economy, including the IT sector, CP Gurnani, the managing director and CEO of Tech Mahindra, told CNBC-TV18 in an interview on the sidelines of the Nasscom India Leadership Forum 2020.
He revealed that the mood of the tech CEOs was "very positive". “Talking to all the CEOs of the Indian IT industry, you would find that the performance has been good. You will also see that overall the mood of the CEOs is very positive, which considering that many naysayers have been discussing Indian economy in great detail – every positive news helps,” he said.
However, he added that the IT industry will not go unscathed by the coronavirus outbreak. “I do have a word of caution here – this whole coronavirus because it may impact the economy during the year and if it impacts the economy, I cannot say that IT can be isolated completely.
"To what extent and when is a very difficult question because we know that all the governments around the world are putting their might to contain the virus and to be able to fight the virus. Usually with kind of a might, one is very confident that it is just a matter of few more weeks and the virus would be contained and we do have an action plan.
“I have met a few customers who are saying that because this supply chain is getting disturbed both for internal consumption and for external exports, they would have to take shut downs of their plants. Economy is all about circulation and if the circulation stops, it will have an impact.
On the likely extent of the impact, Gurnani said: “My personal assessment is that the impact is going to be very short-term because it is a short-term break. It is, in a way, an accident which was totally unavoidable for any corporate. So I don’t think it is going to last more than a quarter. Lunar New Year of China anyway meant holidays. So I don’t think there will be any impact in the January-February-March quarter. If there is an impact, it will be the Q1 of the next financial year."