Keeping the Lights On In Times of Disruption
How Mindtree ensured Zero Business Disruption for its Communications, Media & Technology clients during the COVID-19 Crisis
The unprecedented spread of COVID-19 has taken the world by storm. Every industry is feeling its eﬀects, with chaos and uncertainty prevailing everywhere. Amidst the mounting toll and indiscriminate spread of the virus, enterprises globally have struggled to keep normal oﬃce spaces operational. They were forced to swiftly move to remote operations, and at the same time, ensure that the bulk of the workforce can productively work from home.
In this report, we will take a look at how Mindtree eﬀectively handled the COVID-19 situation and ensured the safety of its employees while delivering zero business disruption to over 60 communications, media & technology (CMT) client engagements globally.
"As people got locked down globally, networking and telecom ﬁrms experienced surge in bandwidth usage, online educational institutions saw an explosion in online learning, and media especially OTT players saw their audience subscription rise exponentially."
The Mindtree CMT Industry Group, with over 4300 employees, is spread across 29 cities in 11 countries. It works with over 60 clients across North America, UK, Europe, Middle East and Asia Paciﬁc regions. Clients in this industry group range from a very diverse set of industries with very varied requirements and project needs. What’s more, while the whole world went into a lockdown and most industries almost shut down, many communications, media & technology enterprises saw a rapid and an almost unprecedented surge in demand for their products.
As people got locked down globally, networking and telecom ﬁrms experienced surge in bandwidth usage, online educational institutions saw an explosion in online teaching, and media especially OTT players saw their audience subscription rise exponentially.
At the same time, our clients continued to release new products, felt the need to onboard new customers online, automate processes to slash operations costs, upgrade products and platforms in response to rising demand, and serve their customers better.
How it all began
Late last year and earlier this year, when the Coronavirus scare was limited to China, there was little expectation that it would grow to such pandemic proportions. Business went on as usual and in small pockets, there was news emanating about this novel virus that was taking the lives of people. However, as it hit foreign shores in the second half of February, our clients began to worry and their businesses were left scrambling to devise ways to keep their operations running.
By the third week of February, things started to fall out of place as the deadly virus began its march toward the North American continent – Mindtree CMT’s principal geography.
Crisis precipitates & Mindtree CMT’s response
By the end of February, to tackle the problems that arose from the situation, Mindtree CMT (in consultation with the corporate risk team) devised a plan which covered four diﬀerent, but essential areas - health and safety, business continuity, client support, and communications. The primary idea was to ensure that, even though the systems would be changing shortly, everything still functioned without a glitch. This meant that a lot of movement had to be done, and it had to be done very quickly.
By March ﬁrst week, a ‘War Room’ had been set up and a core Crisis Management Team formed. Across geographies, supporting teams were also set up, and shortly afterwards, all internal events / large gatherings were deferred, Project Business Continuation Plan reviews were initiated, and all account teams were instructed to ask clients for work from home approval. Shortly, a COVID-19 awareness page was launched to ensure that all employees were aware of the gravity of the situation, with updates available in a single place.
By March 16, the entirety of our workforce in non-India locations was in remote working mode, while 70% employees in India were also working from home - well before the government-enforced lockdown, which was only a week later. Also, to encourage the idea of social distancing, our cafeterias had just one person per table.
Remote Knowledge Transfer
General guidelines were established for all employees to work from home. Remote Knowledge Transfer during transitions for large and medium engagements was enabled swiftly and smoothly. Quick but detailed planning was done considering all constraints related to COVID situation for remote knowledge acquisition for both Apps and Infra Managed Services transition.
- Remote recruitment and virtual onboarding for new hires helped timely availability of the full team for transition.
- There was a seamless collaboration with the IT teams for hardware delivery to team members within 2 days of request followed by software enablement and expediting the approvals for software installations.
- 100% remote transition was achieved leveraging Mindtree and customer's existing collaboration tools. Pre-read material was provided to team followed by centrally controlled documentation to make knowledge acquisition eﬀective. Questions were collated soon after every session to ensure timely clariﬁcations.
- Governance by involving all key stakeholders to enable the whole remote transition was a key contributor to the smooth functioning of remote Knowledge Transfer.
Chronicled: Mindtree CMT’s Business Continuity Plan
Key pointers that make us proud!
- Time to move from 0% to 95% WFH: 5 Working Days
- Time to move to 99.7% WFH: 9 Working Days
- Special permits & logistical arrangements for Mindtree Minds working on client projects with key device and lab dependencies
- Delivered on-time resource ramp-up using superior remote onboarding for over 400 new Mindtree Minds
- BCP implemented across all service lines such as including product engineering, digital transformation, sustenance, etc. and all industry segments such as hi-tech, media, services, education, real estate IT, healthcare services, and more.
- Regular and transparent communication between delivery and sales teams
By the end of it all, the Mindtree Communications, Media, Technology & Services (CMT) Unit Delivered ‘Zero Disruption Business Continuity’ in 5 Working Days for over 60 Clients by mobilizing Remote Operations for 4300 Minds working across 29 cities and 11 countries
How Mindtree CMT continued to help its clients during the COVID-19 lockdown
Despite the COVID-19-led lockdown, Mindtree’s CMT practice ensured that clients not only face zero business disruption & business-as-usual, but also continue to grow, release products, serve their end customers. In addition to that, Mindtree CMT also enabled certain healthcare, government ﬁrms and humanitarian organizations to step-up in their ﬁght against COVID-19. The response from our clients base has been extremely encouraging, to say the least.