Tech services giant Tata Consultancies Services has become the first company in India to hold an annual general meeting via video-conferencing. The company held its 25th AGM on June 11 amid several travel restrictions and social distancing measures in place across the country. Barring some technical snags, the AGM went on smoothly, though the usual banter between TCS management and shareholders was missing.
The TCS AGM, with the company's top management including Chairman N Chandrasekaran and chief executive Rajesh Gopinathan seated at a safe distance from him in a south Mumbai office of TCS, was a marked departure from the jamborees of the past. Some investors even complained about not getting screen time with company management. With technical snags, some suggested the company to use a widely popular but controversial video conferencing app.
Narendra, the third among 27 shareholders who spoke, congratulated the company for having such a meeting and asked a question about the contingency plans which the company has made to help limit the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, which also necessitated the online AGM. As per the TCS data, 1,283 investors logged into the video conferencing. The number was almost equivalent to the past AGMs.
Chairman N Chandrasekaran, in his address, acknowledged the presence of investors like 96-year-old FC Kohli, who he said has not missed a single AGM to date. Meanwhile, on questions related to reports that only 25 per cent of TCS employees will work from office by 2025, Chandrasekaran said the measure to allow work from home was a proactive one considering the coronavirus situation in India. He added though it's not the company's target, it wants to be prepared in case the world moves towards such a direction.
To ensure proper security of the company data under the current circumstances, he said TCS was bringing a change by rewiring security process and using cutting-edge technologies like AI to make the system stronger. During a conference call in April, TCS had said it will ask a vast majority of 75% of its 4.48 lakh employees globally (including 3.5 lakh in India) to work from home, up from the industry average of 20% then. "We don't believe that we need more than 25% of our workforce at our facilities to be 100% productive," TCS's chief operating officer NG Subramaniam had said.
Meanwhile, Chandrasekaran also said that working with clients during this period had been a "learning experience". "The company had a very productive year, engaging with customers in their innovation, growth and transformation initiatives, and winning some of our largest deals till date. However, our response to the events during the last 10 days of FY20 is what I consider to be our most defining accomplishment of the financial year," Chandra said. The meeting was hosted on the National Securities Depository Limited platform.
With PTI inputs