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NEW DELHI: Addressing her first annual general meeting (AGM) as chairperson HCL Technologies Ltd, Roshni Nadar Malhotra on Tuesday said the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way entities operate and as such digital transformation will continue to drive the company's business agenda.

Describing 2019-2020 as a tale of two chapters, she said while in the first three quarters, the company strengthened its core business verticals such as banking and financial services, technology, lifesciences and healthcare, the second chapter was led by the covid-19 pandemic which accelerated digital transformation and led to new ways of working and opportunities.

“Tough time does not last but tough people do, or I would say battle-tested businesses do," she said in her address.

Nadar Malhotra, 38, took over as chairperson on 17 July, as her 75-year-old father Shiv Nadar stepped down from the position, to become the first woman to head a publicly traded Indian software firm.

Addressing shareholders, Nadar Malhotra said because HCL took steps in the early days of the pandemic, it helped the company manage and mitigate the impact on its business operations and those of its clients.

“What was once viewed as 5 to 10 years away, is now possible through focus, ingenuity and innovation," she said.

The pandemic has created new demand for products and services like cybersecurity, e-commerce, digital marketing, and digital experience. For instance, work from home has highlighted the need for ensuring cybersecurity in the last mile between office and home.

“We are very well positioned to capitalise on these opportunities and continue to work tirelessly to deliver best-in-class products, services, and solutions that our clients and stakeholders have come to expect from HCL," she said.

Going forward, the company will continue to invest in enhancing its capabilities, attracting top talent, and innovating for the future as it addresses the challenges and opportunities of a new world order.

“Digital transformation for our clients and within our enterprise will continue to drive our business agenda," she said.

She also highlighted that headcount of employees in HCL’s New Vistas programme, under which the company has set up centres in smaller cities like Lucknow and Madurai, is up 34% from the last fiscal.

Talking about the company’s financial performance, the chairperson said HCL’s Mode 1-2-3 strategy has been the north star in delivering balanced growth and enabled it to perform at the top end of its revenue guidance and exceed the top end of its margin guidance for the year.

In a recent mid-quarter update HCL had said it expects revenues to grow by over 3.5% in the current quarter, higher than the 1.5-2.5% growth it had projected in July. Operating profit margins are now estimated to be about 100 basis points higher than its earlier target.

Nadar Malhotra added that HCL Technologies will continue to invent, innovate and lead to create value and wealth for all stakeholders with a spirit of collaboration.

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