As the coronavirus epidemic continues to impact businesses around the world, ride-hailing giant Uber has said it is expecting some slowdown in the mobility business. Uber chief Dara Khosrowshahi reportedly said that the ride-hailing business will be impacted as people stop leaving their homes and opt to work from home due to the coronavirus outbreak. But he said that Uber Eats will probably actually benefit from the quarantine-like situation.
Khosrowshahi said that given the diversity of Uber’s business and lack of dependence on supply chains, the company is well-positioned to handle the spread of the virus and should bounce back quickly. “Our airport business has slowed down a little bit … but nothing that’s alarming and nothing that we can’t adjust to,” Khosrowshahi said.
In India, the impact of coronavirus is being felt by companies in the past week. Just last night, a positive case of the virus was highlighted in Paytm’s office, after an employee came back from a vacation in Italy. As a result, the company has asked all its employees to work from home until the offices are sanitised.
The work from home recommendations has increasingly gained ground across the country and the world. From global tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Twitter etc to Indian businesses like Zoho, GOQii etc are opting to let employees work from home due to the outbreak. Many organisations have strictly limited foreign travel for employees as well as international conferences that might expose them to people from abroad.
Further, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has asked the government to relax norms for a month to allow work-from-home for technology and back-office employees as a measure to deal with the spread of Covid-19 virus in India.
The industry body will host emergency meetings this week to determine the industry’s preparedness to deal with the fallout of the pandemic, which has affected business and travel.
In terms of preparing and supporting the change of travel plans, OTA platform ixigo has announced a full refund policy all flight bookings to China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Spain, Singapore, South Korea and Japan.
Further, OTA platform MakeMyTrip also said that it has seen a slowdown in outbound travel bookings since the outbreak. It is offering full refunds to travellers in impacted regions.
The disease caused by the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China, has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). “COVID-19 is still affecting people in China with some outbreaks in other countries. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others,” says the World Health Organisation.