It’s been a little over five months since Mukesh Aghi & Vivek Chopra were brought to head L&T Infotech as chief executives and members of the board. Aghi heads the services business and Chopra is responsible for growing the industry segment. In an interview with Shivani Shinde, they talk on the way ahead. Edited excerpts:
Despite being an almost $1-bn company, L&T Infotech has not been too visibile.
Aghi: Infotech has been very quiet about its success. It has been growing well, with blue-chip customers across the globe. We have been brought in to take this story to the next level and also talk about the successes. I also think we need to leverage our parent brand. It’s a phenomenal brand.
Chopra: From Mr Naik’s (chairman) and the board’s perspective, there have been questions on how strategic is L&T Infotech in the group’s road map. That is largely because there has been no leadership to anchor the growth. Sudip (Banerjee, ex-CEO) left almost 24 months back. The board also took time to find the right talent, finding people with a global perspective. This also shows how strategic Infotech is to the group.
What will be your key focus?
Chopra: We have to focus on building the basic things. We started with hiring the right team. We have hired people in Europe and the US. The good part is we have been able to attract people from the competition as well.
We have started to sign a bunch of new customers.
We have started to get our brand visibility in the market. Industry advisors have started to take notice of us.
It is still early days for us. We also want to make L&T Infotech a tier-1 company. That does not mean we want to be a TCS or an Infosys but be number one in the quality of work we do. And, we want to do that based on the strong employees we have, strong customers and our partners and stakeholders. I think we do have it in us to be that and in the next 12-18 months, we will be on road to achieve that.
Why the need to have two leaders and dividing the business into two units?
Aghi: Our focus is to drive a closer relationship at the C level. When you have two people driving that, your coverage is twice. We also bring a network of relationships on a global scale.
IPO and acquisitions have always kept L&T Infotech in the news. Your comment?
Aghi: I cannot comment on the IPO aspect. That’s the board to decide. Our growth is going to be both organic and inorganic. But in the immediate time period, our focus is going to be to build a team and drive growth organically.
Any targets Mr Naik has set for you?
Chopra: He wants this business to grow faster than the industry average and to create a brand as good as L&T. The best aspect is that we have got his and the board’s unilateral backing to take this company to the next level.