Work from Home (WFH) - the backbone of IT companies post-Covid - was not an option for many in flood-affected Chennai due to the unavailability of power and high speed connectivity in many parts of the city and suburbs in the last two days. The city was lashed by incessant rains on Sunday and Monday.

Telecom operators say their staff are working through the day to provide connectivity. However, uprooted trees have made the task difficult.

“Poor city management during the recent rains highlighted business continuity challenges in Chennai. With no power; no Internet; no cellular service; WFH was not possible. As a major GCC and IteS Hub, this raises the question of Chennai’s viability as a ITeS/IT GCC,” Gopal Srinivasan, Chairman, TVS Capital Funds posted in X (Twitter).

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Preethi, working with a SaaS company in Perungudi, would be visiting her office after a year, with no broadband connectivity at home. So is the case with Jagannathan, working in an IT firm in Siruseri.

“We have not been asked to come to office. Some of us are going to office voluntarily as there is no Internet connection,” said Rajan, working with an IT company in Perungalathur.

R Rajiv, CHRO, Ramco Systems Ltd, said, “we do not mandate office attendance, instead, we’ve asked our teams to ensure uninterrupted customer support. This entails a hybrid approach, where some work remotely from home, while others provide support from alternative locations.”

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Some of the large companies have a back-up, with centres in other cities taking care of operations. However, the smaller ones are badly affected, said an official with an IT company.

Meanwhile, many of the IT companies are flooded. A video of the flooded lobby of a large IT park, looking like a swimming pool has been widely circulated. The situation in and around the IT corridor is bad.