Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will tap new growth opportunities, continue its investments in research and development and partner with the UK government for a scholarship in cyber security, Tata group chairman Cyrus Mistry told shareholders on Friday.
Mistry chaired the annual general meeting of TCS, for the first time after assuming the post last year. While some members showered lavish praise, Mistry also faced some straight questions from shareholders, who asked him why TCS had no woman on its board and on compensation it paid to ex-employees in the US to settle a dispute on unpaid wages. One of them suggested TCS develop solutions for cyber crime. Mistry said he hoped the company would soon take a decision on appointing a woman as director on the board.
He said the decision to pay compensation to ex-TCS employees in the US was taken when Ratan Tata was company chairman. "There is no difference of opinion between me and him (Ratan Tata). The board deliberated and felt it was an appropriate decision (to pay)," he said responding to shareholder queries.
"We will identify new growth opportunities and stay ahead of curve. We will ensure cost discipline and strive to retain profitability," he said. "Our strategy is to understand customer needs. Building long term customer relationship is our strategy," he said.
Mistry added the company was focussed on innovation and urged shareholders to look at the effectiveness of the research rather than budgeted amount. TCS chief executive officer N Chandrasekaran cautioned the business environment was uncertain with continued weakness across markets and currency volatility.
But from a technology view point, there were opportunities and the company would invest in digital technologies and build intellectual property-based programmes.