“He was overworked and extremely exhausted,” said his brother, Mukul Jain. “He told me he hadn’t slept in two to three days because he was helping employees in India, Europe and the U.S. to work from home.”
T.C.S. declined to comment about Mr. Jain’s death. A public relations firm that represents the company said that about 95 percent of T.C.S. employees were now working remotely.
Now India’s outsourcing companies are seeing their results stabilize. Share prices have risen as investors bet that companies looking to trim costs and reduce head count seek their services.
Indeed, companies have resumed looking toward outsourcing companies. In July, Vanguard, the mutual fund company, said it struck a deal with Infosys of India to assume 1,300 back office positions, like record keeping and technology services. Workers would be offered comparable jobs at Infosys, said a spokeswoman for Vanguard, adding that the decision was unrelated to the pandemic or the shifts in the H1-B program.
India’s outsourcing companies face long-term challenges. Cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence could eventually take over some of their tasks. The companies themselves are trying to move up the value chain to do more of the innovative technology work done in Silicon Valley and China.
“Most of the larger Indian I.T. companies haven’t expanded in that direction. They haven’t expanded to semiconductors, e-commerce, gaming and other technologies,” said Nitin Soni, a Singapore-based analyst and senior director at Fitch Ratings, a credit rating firm. “They have stuck to their core strengths, which are all in the realm of automation of organizational stuff.”
But companies rethinking the future of the office could offer them new opportunities.
“If you can get the same or better talent at lower cost, which allows you to do your business 24 hours, then that’s a good value proposition,” said Ajay Gupta, a Mumbai-based partner at global consulting firm Kearney.
Of traditional offices, he added, “even companies within India are saying, ‘We don’t need this rigid infrastructure.’”
Vindu Goel contributed reporting.