Mindtree's 20th annual general meeting was, in essence, a farewell to founders of the company and a welcome to the Larsen & Toubro (L&T)-led management. Along with existing board members, the meeting also saw L&T CEO & MD SN Subrahmanyan and two directors Jayant Patil and MR Prasanna joining the podium with the current board.
While outgoing Chairman Krishnakumar Natrajan and CEO Rostow Ravanan presented the financial and overall performance of the company over the past year, CEO Subrahmanyan tried to calm investors' nerves on uncertainties around the management change.
Complimenting the first-generation entrepreneurs for creating a billion-dollar revenue business in just 20 years with 40 per cent return on capital, Subrahmanyan laid much stress on L&T's ethos. "Much like Mindtree, L&T was also a venture started by founder managers and has successfully transitioned into a well-respected, high performing and a professionally managed company," he said.
Speaking about L&T's role in the company, he pointed out that the company will provide further impetus to Mindtree's growth by way of board oversight. Connect with a large number of clients will benefit Mindtree's stakeholders, he added.
Meanwhile, Mindtree shareholders got an opportunity to pose questions to the management of both companies on the same platform. Some of the obvious questions - being directed to Subrahmanyan - revolved around the future of the Mindtree.
Shareholders' queries largely focussed on the following: If Mindtree's headquarters will be moved out of Bengaluru? Will there be de-listing of the company or a merger? If L&T objected to special dividends announced by the company?
While L&T's management got a warm applause with many shareholders stating that they are invested in other L&T companies as well, most of them urged L&T to retain and work with the existing management post takeover. Addressing concerns raised by shareholders, Subrahmanyan said, "Some of the questions being asked involve serious matters and require discussion of the board of directors."
He also clarified that there are no plans of delisting Mindtree or moving the headquarters of the company out of Bengaluru. "CEO of Mindtree and its management will run the company just like other technology entities of the group with L&T board oversight," he said.
Setting aside speculations around dividend distribution, he said that L&T was fully supportive of the special dividend of 200 per cent announced to commemorate 20 years of the company. Terming the exit of founders as a personal decision, L&T CEO also said that Mindtree is not being snatched. "It now comes under the bigger tree of L&T and will continue to be called Mindtree."