After MNC puts Kashmir employees on notice, government helps them
The clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir has thrown normal life out of gear. With little connectivity, the lockdown has also affected several businesses. And one MNC decided to pull shutters down on its BPO in the valley, threatening the job of nearly 70 employees. Fortunately, the state government, led by Governor Satya Pal Malik, saved the day. Here's what went down.
AEGIS, a leading global business services provider of customer experience management, ran a BPO office in Srinagar. However, its business took a hit after August 5, when Centre put J&K under strict vigil to deal with any fallout of its massive Kashmir move. A TOI report suggested Vodafone, which is the only client of AEGIS, reduced calls from 1,00,000 per day to merely 10,000.
If living under a lockdown wasn't enough, AEGIS told its 70 employees on Friday that they have been put on notice. As news spread, authorities stepped in. DC Srinagar, Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, immediately intervened, reached out to AEGIS, and announced a bailout offer. As part of the offer, the J&K government will manage the salaries of all employees for a minimum period of three months.
Interestingly, Choudhary is known for promoting the IT sector in the state. When he was the DC of Bandipore, he set up the state's first official BPO. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the facility earlier this year. Not only this, but PM Modi was so impressed with the Bandipore BPO model that he announced that similar BPOs should be started in all districts.
Meanwhile, life is crawling back to normalcy in J&K. Last week, landline services were restored after days of blackout and on Monday schools re-opened in the valley. However, while teachers and staff members showed up, the classrooms were largely empty as students didn't turn up. Parents have been apprehensive after the recent protests. Reportedly, almost all private schools in Srinagar remained shut.