New Delhi, May 14 -- Like most employees in corporate India, Deepak Pandit was eagerly awaiting his appraisal in March. Pandit, 31, who works with a multinational, had been told he'd get a promotion and an increment. Then covid-19 hit India, and a nationwide lockdown was announced. He's got neither a promotion nor a raise and has instead taken a pay cut. He's disappointed, but not resentful.

"With everything closed, the company hasn't earned any revenue for weeks. Even after the lockdown is lifted, we won't be able to meet this year's targets," says Gurugram-based Pandit, a mid-level manager who has taken a 10% pay cut. He says he consoles himself by reflecting on the fact that others in the industry are in a similar predicament or worse...