By BS Reporter
Allaying the apprehensions of some shareholders, information technology major Infosys on Saturday said it had adopted the right strategy in going for "high-quality growth" that would help the company achieve high revenue productivity, despite an uncertain global economic environment.
Addressing investors at the company's 31st annual general meeting (AGM) on Saturday, Infosys Technologies CEO & MD S D Shibulal said the company had to choose between commoditisation and re-defining the industry, "and, we chose to redefine the industry".
The company's AGM this time missed one of its major attractions - the presentation of financials by CFO V Balakrishnan, using popular Bollywood numbers and morphed images of the top management. This was replaced by a powerpoint presentation by Shibulal, sans humour.
The investors, as usual, were seen demanding higher dividends, while some even raised their concerns over the decline in the company's growth rate when compared to other large Indian IT players.
Replying to shareholders' questions, Chairman K V Kamath said: "All concerns raised by shareholders need deep consideration. The company management has taken the pain to explain the strategy. It is not that we have not looked at all options. As our CEO has said, we have chosen high-quality growth, which means high revenue productivity."
Asked if the company's growth strategy was coming at the cost of losing market share, Kamath said: "A paradigm shift is happening in the technology business and, I think, the company has taken appropriate steps to address the new challenges."
"We have announced our new growth strategy - Infosys 3.0 - to address those challenges and enable us to achieve high-quality industry-leading growth," he told shareholders in his maiden address as the chairman of the company.
Kamath said Infosys continued to make focused investments in its organisational capabilities, but, at the same time, it must also align its offerings more closely with the business priorities of its clients.
"Yet, we have done well under the circumstances," he said. In rupee terms, the company's consolidated revenues grew by 22.7 per cent year-on-year and net profit after tax grew by 21.9 per cent year-on-year.
"We have added 172 new clients, taking the total client base to 694 during the year under review," Kamath observed.
He announced a final dividend of Rs 22 per share and a special dividend of Rs 10 per share on account of the 10th year of operations of the company's subsidiary Infosys BPO Ltd.
Infosys had earlier paid Rs 15 per share as interim dividend. The company had ended the year under review with Rs 20,968 crore in cash and cash equivalents, Kamath said.
Infosys had posted 27.4 per cent rise in its fourth-quarter profit but could not meet its own revenue estimates for the quarter. It had also given a lower-than-expected full-year revenue growth guidance of 8-10 per cent, which was below Nasscom's 11-14 per cent estimate for the Indian software services industry in 2012-13.
The absence of the company's co-founder, and now chairman emeritus, N R Narayana Murthy, at the meeting was conspicuous. It was believed, Murthy, who retired from the company's board in August last year, could not attend the meeting because he was travelling.