CEO of IT research company Offshore Insights Sudin Apte follows developments at Infosys closely. He spoke to Goutam Das. Edited excerpts:
Infosys had a good December quarter. Is it a sign of revival?
We will have to see how the company performs over the next few months. That will tell us whether it will continue to struggle or gain leadership position again. The March quarter is very important for Infosys. That will decide if the company will revive to higher than industry growth.
What do you see as the company's primary headwinds?
Its strategy is good. But it has problems in three areas. One is the ability to grow from $1 million to 5 million and from $5 million to 10 million - which means that incremental business from existing accounts continues to be challenging. The second problem is its internal re-organisation. The third issue is sales and marketing spend. It was not doing enough on that front.
Is there a crisis of leadership?
Earlier, the company had the advantage of charismatic leadership, of people with the capacity to open the boardroom of any global 2000 company. Infosys had this extraordinary advantage over everybody. The brand was very differently recognised in the world. Nandan (Nilekani) had great relationships. The earlier people were very actively connected with the global business leadership. That advantage has faded. It is like any other Indian IT company now.
How has the attrition in senior leadership impacted Infosys?
There is a thought leadership loss when senior people resign, also a loss in client relationships. It happens to everyone and has accelerated in Infosys over the last few quarters. Last quarter, about 7,000 people left Infosys. That is sizeable. This also has an impact. A client will be concerned when he sees a large churn in the team serving him. Infosys needs to restrict that. The company is now taking positive steps like acknowledging the role of associates and promoting them.