Will the trend of remote worker migration, with workers moving to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities where the cost of living is lower, affect megacities in your region?
JJ: Worker migration has already happened in China. Due to the high cost of living in the original Tier 1 cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen), more workers, especially those with children, are relocating in search of better and less stressful living environments. This is driving the emergence of the “new” Tier 1 cities like Hangzhou, Chengdu, Nanjing, Wuhan, and others with their attractive environments, fast-growing economies, and lower property prices. These cities are introducing financial and housing policies to attract new talent, and consequently, many internet giants and big companies have opened offices.
KP: We saw a massive reverse migration of workers in India during the lockdown. However, with the gradual easing of restrictions and vaccines on the horizon, we have seen a sizable return of the workforce. Still, the ability to work from home, plus the lower costs of setting up a business, real estate, and hiring, plus the good amount of IT/ITeS sector presence, means Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, which are already some of the fastest-growing cities in the region, and smaller towns will likely become hiring hot spots for white-collar jobs.
What are the top sustainable impact challenges facing your regions, and what is HP doing to help?
TC: We’ve run campaigns in Australia and New Zealand to highlight the dangers of ocean-bound plastics, and in Singapore, we conducted one of the largest e-waste recycling campaigns. In Indonesia, we partnered with Project STOP, which is aimed at reducing the volume of ocean-bound plastics while providing employment for low-income families. By December 2022, it is expected to expand to more than 450,000 people across 55 villages, with 90 tons of plastic bottles collected annually.
KP: While large organizations and well-funded educational institutes have been able to switch to digital, it has not been the same for many small businesses, workers, and students. Tech companies like HP can step in with tools and solutions that equip students, educators, and workers. The HP CLAP (Continued Learning Access Project) is a mobile van equipped with HP devices and learning content that visits underserved students in remote communities.