IT city bounces back to normalcy

By : |April 14, 2006 0

BANGALORE: The unprecedented violence and arson here that followed the death of matinee idol Dr Rajkumar had adversely affected the IT and BPO companies.

Eight persons, including a policeman, were killed and nearly 200 others injured in the violence that ensued during the thespian’s funeral procession on Thursday. The city limped back to normalcy on Friday and it is business as usual today.

Almost all IT and BPO employees left their offices early on Wednesday evening after the news of Rajkumar’s death was flashed. As a security measure, almost all companied declared April 12 a holiday.

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The usually busy arterial roads of Bangalore such as Airport Road and Hosur Road wore a deserted look with people preferring to stay indoors to avoid the rampaging mobs that vandalized property and burnt vehicles. BPO workers in the city found it difficult to find transport to reach their offices on Thursday. As a result, most companies relied on centers in other Indian cities to manage the calls.


Besides loss of productivity due to the shutdown, some companies in the vicinity of Dr Rajkumar’s home in Sadashivnagar such as Microsoft Research, Aditi Technologies and Talisma suffered damages as vandals picked them up to target their ire.

“The glass on the façade of the building were broken. Extra security was deployed after the incident,” said a source close to Microsoft Research.

However, companies are confident of fixing the lost days by working on Saturdays. It was business as usual for Infosys, which declared its Q4 results on April 14th.

Commenting on the extent of loss to the industry, BV Naidu, director, STPI, said that a day’s loss of productivity meant a loss of Rs 170 crore worth of IT work.

“Karnataka’s software business is worth Rs 37,000 crore and if you take account of 235 working days, the loss suffered is around Rs 170 crore ($40 million).”

However both he and Shankarlinge Gowda, the state’s IT secretary, stressed that the loss was covered up by companies, which made up for the lost days over the weekend. In addition, with Friday being a holiday on account of Good Friday, Vishu and the Tamil New year, the week is considered “dull” by industry standards.

The economic loss apart, Naidu is concerned about the incident affecting Bangalore’s ‘IT hub’ brand. “More than the monetary loss, even a small incident such as this gets reflected in the global media, which is not a good thing for the city,” he said.

In the past, such a tense situation occurred in Bangalore in 2000 when forest brigand Veerappan kidnapped
Rajkumar.

Clicked a picture or two of Bangalore burning, and want it to be made public? Send it to
sigia@ciol.com

(Photos courtesy: Narendra PR)

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