Infosys' 33rd annual general meeting (AGM) on Saturday seems the last with N R Narayana Murthy, founder of the Bangalore-based company, in the chair. This is also true for the rest of the co-founders, S Gopalakrishnan and S D Shibulal.
Given a farewell by shareholders in an emotionally choked environment at the company's 30th AGM three years earlier, he had to return to Infosys following a crisis call by the company. His return in June last year had given a lot of relief to the shareholders, hit by the declining stock value in the wake of uncertainty about its future. In the trading session since that announcement), the company's stock zoomed close to five per cent and by nearly 30 per cent over the next three months.
A few shareholders say Murthy should perhaps have stayed back for some more time, till the new chief executive officer (CEO) gets accustomed to the new work environment. However, most of them also think his exit won't have much impact with a professional CEO on the board.
"We, as investors, are quite confident that (Vishal) Sikka (the new CEO) will enable the company to grow ahead of competition like TCS and HCL Tech," said Pawan Dharnidharka, a shareholder of Infosys based in Mumbai.
At the 32nd AGM on June 15 last year, Murthy had given a clear road map including the short, medium and long-term action he had initiated to contain the declining market share and profitability, and to enhance revenue.
He had sought 36 months to put through this well-articulated strategy.
Murthy is expected to detail the shareholders on the progress till date of his initiatives. He is also expected to outline the strategy the new CEO might put in place to take forward his unfinished agenda.
On Thursday, after announcing the new CEO, Murthy had said he'd tried to fulfill the obligations the board of directors had given him and, thus, had no hesitation now to leave the company. "When the board requested me to come back last year, they gave me two mandates - to assist them in finding an excellent successor to Shibulal and to create a strong foundation or future growth. I believe that, by and large, I have fulfilled both these obligations," he said.
At the 30th AGM on June 11, 2011, supposed to be his last one in the company, following his retirement, Murthy was given a rousing farewell. It turned into a farewell party, with shareholders showering praise on Murthy's contributions in building Infosys. Saturday's AGM is expected to see a repetition of such scenes.