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Infosys can regain industry-leader position, says CEO Vishal Sikka

Vishal Sikka, who took over as CEO of Infosys in August, has been tasked with putting the firm back on growth trajectory at par with peers like TCS and HCL Technologies.

twitter-logoPTI | October 10, 2014 | Updated 19:09 IST
Vishal Sikka, CEO, Infosys
Vishal Sikka, CEO, Infosys (Photo: Reuters)

Leveraging next generation technologies like artificial intelligence, software services major Infosys is confident of returning to industry-leading growth and regaining its position as the bellwether of the over $100 billion Indian IT industry.

Vishal Sikka, who took over as CEO of the Bangalore-based firm in August, has been tasked with putting the firm back on the growth trajectory at par with peers like TCS and HCL Technologies.

"Infosys was founded on this notion, the dream, an idea of a next generation services company with a global delivery model and of pioneering things. We believe we can get back to that consistent profitable growth as well as achieve great growth and once again becoming a bellwether of the IT industry," Sikka said.

He added that he looked forward to leading an Infosys that can grow significantly and achieve great profitability.

In the last 70 days since assuming office, Sikka has been engaging actively with partners, customers and employees.

"We, at Infosys, see a tremendous opportunity in this world that we are emerging into. We have to ourselves deal with this duality of on one hand, renewing our existing services and on the other hand, complementing that with new kind of services," he said.

The former SAP board member said the company wants to up the ante on innovation in area of big data, automation, analytics, artificial intelligence etc.

He added that the gap between Infosys and its rivals will not be bridged with practices of the past like merely lowering costs and faster hiring but rather with massive embrace of automation and innovation.

Asked when the company expected to perform at par with industry rate, Sikka said he would stick to the three-year journey that Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy had spoken about.

The nature of the business is such that there is an inherent latency in the adoption and in being able to see the results, he added.

Sikka said Infosys' long-term target was to grow in the 15-18 per cent range, while meaningful revival in the business would be visible within the next two years.

Buoyed by a strong set of numbers, Infosys shares rose by 6.68 per cent to settle at Rs 3,888.95 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

For entire 2014-15 fiscal, the country's second-largest software services firm maintained its revenues guidance of 7-9 per cent growth.

In dollar terms, the NYSE-listed firm's net profits grew 33.4 per cent to $511 million in second quarter of this fiscal from $383 million in the year-ago period.

Revenues rose by 6.5 per cent to $2.2 billion in Q2, from $2.07 billion in the year-ago period.

"Digital transformation is reshaping the business of every one of our clients. We see this as a great opportunity to help them renew the core of their business as well as to expand into new frontiers and are seeing early positive results," Sikka said.

He added that the company's strategy is to apply the same principles to its own business in order to capture this opportunity and accelerate growth.

"We have been able to improve our margins during the quarter and feel confident of sustaining these within a narrow band," Bansal said.

Infosys and its subsidiaries added 49 clients during the quarter.

The company made a gross addition of 14,255 employees (net addition of 4,127) in Q2, taking its total headcount to 1,65,411 as of September 30, 2014.

The company's attrition level was higher at 20.1 per cent during the quarter, compared to 19.5 per cent in the April- June period.

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