India's call centers kept answering the phones Monday and Tuesday, as 680 million people in the country's northern and eastern provinces faced a crippling power outage, the largest ever electrical blackout in world history.
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Call centers for foreign companies, as well as major hospitals and airports, were able to switch from the main electrical grid to backup gas and diesel generators.
"Operations at Wipro’s facilities across India continued as normal," Hariprasad Hegde, global operations head for outsourcing company Wipro Technologies, told FoxNews.com. "Wipro facilities have a strong backup infrastructure and contingency plans to deal with such eventualities."
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As the estimated 350,000 Indians who work in the country's call centers continued working, medical clinics, small businesses, and roughly one-tenth of the world's population, were left in the dark.
Those who can afford to use backup generators routinely will, while the country's small businesses suffer. According the Indian government's Planning Commission, power outages cut India's growth rate by 1.2% each year. Even in the best of circumstances, roughly one-third of India's population of 1.2 billion lacks access to electricity.
Analysts have little doubt as to what caused the outages. India's outdated electric grids cannot keep up with the power needs of its rapidly growing population -- especially during the sweltering summer months.
"Failure of the power grid on a scale such as this on consecutive days should be a matter of grave concern. This has had an impact on all sectors of the economy including industry, which would have to bear considerable losses due to production stoppage," R.V. Kanoria, president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said in a statement. "This situation is a grim reminder of the humongous task we have on our hands in improving the infrastructure facilities in the country."
For now, only time will tell if India's infrastructural shortcomings will inhibit its long-term growth. Do you think India's small businesses can find a way to compete, despite the country's antiquated power systems?
This story originally published on Mashable here.
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