Information technology (IT), business process outsourcing (BPO) and other industrial units in Pune beefed up security in the wake of the blast that killed 10 people on Saturday.
Pune and its surroundings house 700 IT and BPO units, which employ more than 3 lakh people. Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Chakan have 12,000 manufacturing units. Pune’s IT sector generated Rs 15,000 crore in revenues from software exports last year.
Infosys, which has a large facility at Rajiv Gandhi IT park near Pune, enhanced security the day after the blast. “Infosys raised security levels at all its offices across India,” said an Infosys spokesperson on e-mail.
After 26/11, the police had been conducting security drills on IT campuses.
The Mahratta Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture Industries (MCCIA) passed on to its members norms issued by the police. “The police sent us guidelines about vigilance, suspicious activities and mock drills,” said MCCIA director-general Anant Sardeshmukh.
When asked whether business would suffer because of the blast, he said the business community has learnt its lesson after the November 26, 2008, terror attack in Mumbai and would ensure there is no negative impact.
Zensar, an IT firm, is stepping up checks on visitors before allowing them on its premises. Ganesh Natarajan, vice-chairman and CEO, said: “We just completed our annual customer meet with over 70 CEOs and senior executives… nobody believes Pune will face a negative perception [because of the blast]. This is a national, not a local issue.”
“Terror is now a way of life; we have to get used to it,” said a senior official of an automobile major in Pune. Bajaj, India’s second-largest two-wheeler manufacturer, echoed the view. “We had tightened security after 26/11,” said S. Sridhar, CEO (two-wheelers), Bajaj. “We don’t need to do anything more.”
“Our Pune operations were not hit. We… have increased security arrangements across facilities in India,” said Laxman Badiga, chief information officer, Wipro. An official of a leading realty player said: “We have increased screening; only guests and authorised persons are allowed into our premises.”
— Inputs by Gaurav Choudhury