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Rediff.com  » Business » Is Basab Pradhan a victim of Infosys' revival plan?

Is Basab Pradhan a victim of Infosys' revival plan?

July 12, 2013 09:32 IST

Is Basab Pradhan a victim of Infosys' revival plan?

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Basab Pradhan brought in some changes to the company's sales strategy, like chasing smaller deals, though his efforts could only meet with limited success.

Basab Pradhan had announced his re-entry into Infosys by posting a couple of lines on microblogging platform Twitter in 2011.

Quite similarly, he tweeted two lines to make known his departure from the company last Wednesday. It is perhaps rare for a senior corporate executive to announce his resignation on Twitter. 

Industry experts view this as strange, especially for a company like Infosys which is known to abide by the highest standards of corporate governance. 

The company could well have asked Pradhan to withhold the announcement for another two days until the "silence period" in the run up to the quarterly results had ended.

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Image: Basab Pradhan.


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What made Pradhan, who was heading the global sales and marketing of the Bangalore-based company, to make his decision public in such tearing hurry? There are multiple theories doing the rounds.

According to industry insiders, Pradhan's exit could just be a curtain raiser to more changes.

In his first address to the shareholders at the company's 32nd annual general meeting, Infosys executive chairman N R Narayana Murthy had given an indication that in order to bring the company back into shape, he may have to take some "tough decisions resulting in pain". 

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Image: Narayana Murthy.
Photographs: Reuters

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Is Basab Pradhan a victim of Infosys' revival plan?

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With Pradhan's exit, Murthy may have sent a signal to people down the ladder on the changes to come.

People familiar with Infosys's leadership structure also say that Pradhan, although hand-picked by CEO & MD S D Shibulal himself, was not given a free hand. His challenges were especially daunting in the current Infosys structure that allows for significant overlapping of roles.

"After Narayana Murthy's return, it looks like the reshuffle has begun and the first person to fall is Pradhan. It also looks like the company may have eliminated the global sales head position which had almost become redundant because of the verticalised structure at Infosys," says Kris Lakshmikanth, founder CEO of executive search firm Headhunters India. 

"There could be elimination of some more layers and positions," he adds.

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Image: S D Shibulal.
Photographs: Reuters

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Is Basab Pradhan a victim of Infosys' revival plan?

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Pradhan, an IIM-Ahmedabad and IIT-Kanpur alumnus, first joined Infosys in1994. He was fairly successful in driving sales for Infosys in his first stint when the company's revenues grew from $400 million to $2 billion.

In June 2011, when Pradhan rejoined Infosys, many believed he would emerge as a dark horse in the race to become the company's next CEO.

He also brought in some changes to the company's sales strategy, like chasing smaller deals, though his efforts could only meet with limited success.


Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

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