Overcoming the COVID-19 challenge with grit

Friday, 2 April 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • How WNS weathered the crisis with resilience and innovation 

A year ago, with WHO declaring COVID-19 as a pandemic, the entire world came to a near standstill. 

In the words of WNS Group CEO Keshav Murugesh, “No one could have imagined the devastating impact and change the pandemic would have on human lives and business. It would be pretentious to say we were ready for a crisis of this size, scale and complexity. No business, and not even governments were ready! But what emerged strongly through this trying phase, and continues, as the crisis is far from over… is the spirit with which we have been able to help our clients recover and rebound, despite the crisis!”

Like every responsible organisation across the globe, WNS was faced with three unprecedented challenges. One was to ensure employee safety and health. Two, to maintain business continuity amidst the lock-downs imposed in each of the countries we operated from. And three, to reimagine BPM operations overnight to embrace a robust and sustainable work-from-home model.

In vaulting the challenges to swiftly move from the restore and recovery phases, and move into a growth trajectory, the organisation has set admirable standards. Within 24 hours of WHO naming COVID-19 a pandemic, their team moved into action to set in motion a robust pandemic response strategy. A very strong BCP (business continuity planning) was upped to a powerful PCP (Pandemic Continuity Planning).

An effective and holistic WFH (work from home) strategy was created with its attendant imperatives of asset procurement and distribution, and security features. An even closer collaboration with clients ensured that their businesses were not impacted operationally or financially – and also to co-create journeys of growth with them. Above all, an inclusive, seamless, and engaging HR strategy was designed to manage their people’s physical and emotional well-being, learning, skilling and high performance.

At WNS Sri Lanka, the team went above and beyond the call of duty to bounce to 100% BAU activity in no time. As WNS Sri Lanka Managing Director Dinesh Wickremanayake said, “I am extremely proud of the team that worked tirelessly to build a sustainable business model demonstrating our ability to adapt, reimagine and reinvent with resilience in the face of extreme challenge.”


When times are tough, raise client-centricity levels

Even before the lockdown was announced, WNS rolled out measures to enable their clients to deftly navigate through the COVID-19 turbulence, and swiftly surge to normalcy. Leveraging this momentum, they catapulted their clients into a future growth mode with reimagined business models and future-ready talent.

Going forward, WNS’  bold approach to raise client-centricity to higher levels encompasses the following areas:

  • Service delivery to deliver predictable outcomes amidst unpredictable business variability
  • Next-gen technology to move performance beyond productivity to eliminate work and exceptions
  • Future-proofed pandemic continuity planning for a world where anything can happen
  • Impregnable cyber-security that allows business to dare big


Talent skilling for an unprecedented future ahead

Placing people at the core of their business is a strong WNS commitment. Even as adaptive HR measures and employee engagement took top priority during the transition, the organisation moved into top gear in the areas of future-ready skilling. 

Amelia, an AI-powered HR chatbot, raised awareness about COVID-19 with timely dissemination of information and personalised responses to queries from employees. GLINT, a full-stack AI-led digital learning and knowledge platform, offers employees an individualised learning experience through tailored modules mapped to WNS’ specific business needs. It uses the power of AI to aggregate, create and curate, transfer and apply learning. Learning on GLINT is further supported by a business intelligence (BI) engine that provides insights on learner behavior and preferences


Fulfilling responsibility to society

As a socially responsible organisation, WNS continued to serve the community through the pandemic and beyond. They donated more than Rs. 5.8 million ($ 30,000) to the ‘ITUKAMA’ COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund.

Reflecting on the importance of community support, Wickremanayake stated: “WNS is committed to supporting the Government and is willing to work closely with healthcare authorities and security forces for providing any support required.” 

Additionally, WNS employees have also launched a program to donate dry ration supplies to families in need through WCF, the global CSR arm of WNS.  

With a current strength of more than 1,000 professionals, WNS Sri Lanka provides a wide range of services (finance and accounting, consulting, professional and legal) to leading global organisations. As the largest Bussiness Process Management service provider in Sri Lanka, it continues to create new job opportunities and showcase the nation’s capabilities to the world. It has been recognised as one of the Top 10 Employers in Sri Lanka in the Finance & Accounting (F&A) talent space, and is closely affiliated with F&A certification bodies such as CIMA (Platinum Partnership).