This is how TCS worked on war footing just after demonetisation and changed back-end systems for its clients RBI, SBI, etc overnight

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Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a sudden announcement of demonetisation on Nov 08, executives at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) immediately got to work to change the back-end banking systems.

Ten people in TCS were on a conference call to discuss a plan on how to they will ensure that their banking customers, such as RBI, SBI, etc, will be able to comply with the cash ban announcement.

TCS executives worked on a war footing to change the back-end systems of the banks and remove all hurdles that could occur as country's 80% of the currency got invalid overnight.

"The first thing we did on the conference call was to make a list of the top-five priorities that had to go into work right away. Then we had to put some work we were doing with the banks on hold, to make everyone focus on changing the back-end systems to put in things like withdrawal limits,” Ravi Viswanathan, president of TCS' Growth Markets business, told ET.

"Making it configurable has helped because the withdrawal amounts have changed a few times over the past few weeks. But when the marriage withdrawal limit was announced, that required more effort because that change was not configurable,” Viswanathan added.

TCS brought 100 additional employees to make the changes swiftly.

According to Viswanathan, TCS registered 1,000 person days of work in just the first 10-15 days post demonetisation.
To make it easier for bank heads to understand how much money was flowing into their accounts and how much was leaving, TCS created a mobile app that pulled in the data from the core-banking systems.

"Now they can see on an hourly, daily basis exactly what is happening with the money in their system. We could have done physical reports, but we thought we should make this digital,” Viswanathan told ET.

"No bank could have been prepared for this. And, unlike foreign banks, banks in India are yet to adopt a high level of automation. Some of the smaller banks do not have very sophisticated online banking systems. Even depositing notes in ATMs is a concern because the machines are old and there are concerns about security,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, CEO of IT consultancy Greyhound Research.

(Image: Reuters)
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