Hyderabad: A study by the Indian School of Business (ISB) has found that south India will face less disruption due to the coronavirus (covid-19) lockdown compared to the rest of the country.
According to the researcher, companies in the peninsular part of the country are better equipped to deal with the prevailing conditions owing to a higher propensity to adopt work-from-home practices or automate work.
The research depended on a survey from 2019 to assess the impact of a lockdown on 100 occupations as defined in the National Classification of Occupations (NCO).
The researchers gave each occupation a: (i) “work from home” (WFH) index to denote an employee’s likelihood of working remotely and (ii) “human proximity” index to denote an employee’s need to physically work with other people.
The occupations were mapped with these two indices. For instance, a computer programmer’s job would have high WFH potential and agricultural labour would be at the lower end.
When researchers mapped the two indices based on location, they found that cities had a higher potential for work from home. Likewise, urban districts were found to be more amenable to the WFH factor.
Shekar Tomar of the ISB faculty of economics and public policy, who was one of the researchers, said, “Not just urban centres such as Hyderabad, Delhi or Bangalore but the entire peninsular south India scored high on WFH home index.”
Commenting on it further, Deepa Mani, a researcher and executive director of a research centre at ISB, said the two indices were used to create a third measure disruption index (DI) to assess the lockdown’s impact on a profession.
“When we say the disruption potential is high at a particular location, it means occupations and jobs there need higher human proximity and/or have lower WFH potential. There are more ‘value-added services’ in India (IT, ITES and other services), which have a higher WFH potential, predominantly based in south India,” she explained.
Even within urban areas, there were variations. In Delhi, for instance, the north-eastern part of the city was found to be facing higher disruption compared to the southern part. This could be explained as north-east Delhi had more labour-intensive manufacturing units.
The researchers felt disruption index data would help policymakers determine fiscal support needed by different sectors.
They added that sectors which are more prone to working from home could be provided with a policy nudge in the form of tax breaks....