Sometime in the middle of July 2012, a mid-level Infosys employee sent an email to media houses listing out the reasons for her frustration over what's going on in the company.
The reason for her angst was a series of pro-Infosys articles, which she felt were hopelessly out of touch with reality. The email mentioned, among other things, a culture of entitlement (as opposed to meritocracy); internal people being bypassed for promotions and getting no increments, while outsiders were being recruited at high salaries; an opaque system wherein the information flow from senior management is virtually non-existent; and a skewed compensation structure wherein sales people were at a huge advantage over their software development counterparts.
The executive, who has since left the company, had requested that she remain unnamed.
The lady is surely feeling vindicated now since her analysis of the Infosys work culture at that time has an uncanny resemblance to what NR Narayana Murthy said recently at the company's annual general meeting.
She was bang on even about the last point.
As Murthy said, entry-level sales people were starting with a 10 to 12 years advantage over entry-level software people.
The extraordinary speech should be a case study of how a company, once known for its path-breaking human resources (HR) practices, allowed things to degenerate.
While the speech pointed out many loopholes in the system and how things have been or are being put back on track, the most significant was Murthy's admission that Infosys did dilute meritocracy and accountability in the last decade.
That's damning for a company which was once at the forefront of India's knowledge economy.
Image: In this March 26, 2014 file photo, young Indian employees of Infosys Technologies are seen walking outside the company's headquarters at Electronic City in Bangalore, India. AP Images
Text: Shyamlal Majumdar, Business Standard