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Murthy calls Infosys revival a daunting task

Source : BUSINESS_STANDARD
Last Updated: Sat, Jun 15, 2013 18:40 hrs
Narayana Murthy

Infosys Chairman N R Narayana Murthy, who recently returned from his retirement to ride the tech giant out of tough times, today said the task of rebuilding a "desirable" Infosys would take at least 36 months and there would be some tough decisions resulting in "pain".

In a candid address to the company's shareholders at its 32nd annual general meeting (AGM) here, Murthy sent out a strong message, pledging even to change some of his long-held beliefs' in the larger interest of the firm. "The challenge is daunting and the task tough," he said, adding: "Therefore, rebuilding a desirable Infosys will take at least 36 months, even with a high-quality team and full dedication of every Infoscion."



He did not elaborate on the beliefs he wanted to sacrifice but indicated changes were necessary. "I believe in Sir Winston Churchill's words that perfection requires change, as often as necessary."

Spelling out his strategy for the first time since returning to the firm as executive chairman on June 1, Murthy said rebuilding' the company might require changes at all levels, including introducing flexible' pricing model and building more predictable earnings model.

He acknowledged, in its pursuit of positing itself as a specialist consulting player, Infosys had lost focus on the bread and butter' application development and maintenance business. He committed himself to bringing back the focus on this revenue stream and accelerating progress in other business streams, too.

"The need of the day is to focus on employees - take quick, tough and firm decisions, communicate these with clarity, execute these with speed, imagination and excellence and exceed the expectations of customers and investors," Murthy said.

Despite Murthy's presence at the AGM, the turnout of shareholders, dismayed with Infosys' disappointing earnings figures, remained low. In fact, some even openly opposed Murthy's re-appointment to the company's board, though the resolution was passed with a majority.

"I am against the appointment of Murthy as the chairman. Is it not the inefficiency of the board in finding a suitable person? What will happen after Murthy's present tenure ends? Will you again ask him to continue? In a country of over 1.2 billion people, can't you find a person capable of giving leadership to this company," asked K M Narayana, a shareholder.

Interestingly, the shareholders' concerns at this year's AGM were not limited to dividends and bonuses. Many openly criticised the management and leadership for the company's present state. Infosys' performance, especially in comparison with other IT giants TCS and Cognizant, also came under attack. Some shareholders also sought to know the role of independent directors on the company's board. Besides, concerns were raised on Sebi seeking details from Infosys on the board meeting that decided Murthy's recall.

MURTHY'S PRESCRIPTIONS
  • Enhance the confidence, hope, trust and enthusiasm of employees
  • Strive to enhance the respect of the company among its stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, vendor partners and governments
  • Focus on cost optimisation and elimination of wasteful expenditure
  • Adopt a flexible pricing policy; make the sales force more effective
  • Innovate to improve the quality and productivity of the software development team
  • Focus on building a more predictable earnings model in the medium term

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