As the clock was ticking three, the huge convention centre at Infosys headquarters in Electronics City in suburban Bangalore today was starting to draw unusual crowds, not an everyday scene. By 3.30, the hall that can accommodate about 5,000 was packed. Employees from all Infosys' centres across India were also simultaneously hooked-on to a webcast.
The reason? N R Narayana Murthy was addressing them for the first time since taking charge of the beleaguered city-based company as the executive chairman. And Murthy did not disappoint them. Speaking at the town hall, he conveyed the decision of the company to give them an across the board wage hike, something most employees were not anticipating so soon to happen, given the declining growth in the last few quarters. The announcement, however, came with some riders.
"Underperformance will not be tolerated," Murthy said, according to an employee who attended the town hall. "All of us will have to work hard together to make Infosys grow."
During his almost 1.15-hour extempore speech, Murthy discussed the early days of Infosys and how he and other co-founders and colleagues managed to take it to the next phase. He also underscored on the need of "discipline" for the success of any organisation or person. He said the company would have to focus on 'large deals' to get back to its old growth rate.
At the same time, Murthy also attended to a volley of questions relating to his coming back, future plans and strategy. Interestingly, at least three of the questions were related to the role of his son Rohan Murty in the company. Murthy addressed those quite patiently.
"He said he brought Rohan to work with him at the chairman's office since he was comfortable working with him post his retirement. He said the presence of Rohan and a few other colleagues from his Catamaran Venture Fund will make him more efficient'," said one of the employees working at Infosys's Electronics City campus.
To a query on the possibility of Rohan taking up a leadership role at Infosys, Murthy replied in the negative. "Rohan will not hold any leadership role," Murthy told the employees.