'India is still a small market but whatever we do, we do it with full focus'
For the country's second largest IT services player Infosys, Q1 FY22 numbers were among the best in a decade.
The company has managed to deliver industry leading growth while capturing the demand driven by cloud and digital transformation.
Salil Parekh, CEO and MD of Infosys, in an interview to Shivani Shinde, talks about the next phase of growth, sustaining the growth momentum and challenges in the Indian market.
Last three years were all about getting Infosys to stability and getting large deals momentum back. What is the focus for the next three years?
The key element going ahead is how we work as 'One Infosys' and make sure that we are doing things that support the client in their digital transformation.
The direction is driven by our client relevance.
This consists of two things. One, there is an extreme push towards automation that we are seeing and we are putting those processes in place for our clients to take care of their entire enterprises' tech activity and give them a razor sharp focus.
Infosys is leading in bringing this automation to clients.
Two, clients are also looking at taking benefits from the efficiencies driven by automation to drive digital transformation as they want to connect with customers, employees and the entire ecosystem, and they are looking beyond cost.
This is happening across industries.
All of this is being enabled by Cloud and last year we launched Cobalt.
It is an industry leading cloud capability platform across public-private cloud, hybrid, SaaS, industries, infrastructure players.
We have got 200 industry specific template within Cobalt and over 20,000 accelerators for clients to use.
The test of all this is not only market share gain but a growth of 14-16 per cent, that is industry leading.
What do these changes for clients mean for Infosys?
To build something like Cobalt, we have had to bring everything together.
I believe One Infosys will bring in more such innovations. There will be more of such thinking and innovations from Infosys.
During the last three to four quarters, demand for digital transformation has been phenomenal. Can this be sustained and how are you making sure that Infosys is able to harness this growth?
Tech is becoming pervasive. Today what we are seeing is not just a wave, but now everything is becoming tech driven.
We are in a very early cycle of this digital wave from a worldwide perspective.
Take any statistics, the percentage of work being done digitally is growing but it is yet to gain significance.
That gives a lot of traction for medium and long-term growth perspective.
For Infosys particularly, the way we can keep current with clients is to keep coming up with innovative platforms like Cobalt.
We are building something similar in data analytics, we are strong in AI, automation etc.
Innovation will be key to benefit multifold from this tech growth.
How significant will be M&A when Infosys is creating platforms such as Cobalt?
It will be a combination. Internally we built a digital pentagon that maps market spaces in the digital business.
We will be seeing more asset acquisitions. But the key is not just acquisition.
We need to integrate these into Infosys and make sure all the elements of the company come together to create what clients want.
With Cobalt we have managed to bring all the dispersed aspects together coherently and that is why we are seeing some of our success.
How much of a concern is the current demand-supply mismatch?
We have been increasing fresher hiring from campuses.
We were able to add 8,000 people in Q1 because we have a very attractive proposition for those joining Infosys.
It is not a concern and we are working towards it.
With work from anywhere, do you see the need for sending employees onsite or to other geographies coming down significantly?
The aspirations of a new college graduate are very different.
They want projects that involve new tech, or from newer industries and also tech that excite them.
We fortunately have all of this. Also we have teams across the globe which are mixed.
Yes, we are doing recruitments in these geographies but there is opportunity for several of them to get international exposure.
How significant is India as a market for Infosys and how soon would the IT portal issue be resolved?
We are extremely proud of the work we are doing in India.
It has been a combination of central, and state government and private enterprise.
India is still a small market but whatever we do, we do it with full focus.
The potential in India is enormous, because of the way the country is moving towards digitisation.
The IT project had some points that needed attention at the start and several of these issues have been attended to.
We are working collaboratively with the IT department as well as the CA associations and others.
Many of the issues have been addressed and my feeling is that the inputs have been provided and things are progressing well.
Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/Rediff.com