This Article is From Jan 22, 2015

Vishal Sikka has Brought Lots of Positivity to Infosys: Pravin Rao


Infosys has been called a company in transition for a while now, but the management seems to have moved on. NDTV's Prashant Nair caught up with Infosys chief operating officer Pravin Rao in Davos.

Here is an edited transcript:

Question: You seem to be the common link between the last management team and the new top management team. Is that the right description?

Answer: In a sense, yes. I represent the continuity. I've been with Infosys for 28 years and now we have a new COO in place (so in) some sense I bring the continuity.

Question: What is different with what is happening with Infosys under Mr Sikha and what was earlier?

Answer: I think we have now articulated a new strategy. It's slightly different from the Infosys 3.0 we were talking earlier. Now we are talking about "renew and new". What we are saying is the world around us is impacted by software and changes in software technologies and businesses when we look at our clients, they are renewing their existing systems, processes, landscapes. They're also looking at new ways of engaging with their consumers, customers and so on. It's an opportunity for us. We also need to look internally and renew our existing services, make them much more agile, make them much more efficient through automation, innovation and so on. At the same time, we also need new ways of engaging with our clients with partner's ecosystems and so on. So, there are lots of new ideas and I think in the short span of four to five months since Vishal and the new management, we've seen tremendous amount of positivity from clients.

Question: In a way it's like the new government at the Centre. Or is it going too far in that comparison?

Answer: In some sense yes, Modi is bringing a lot of hope and other things. From an 'Infosysian' perspective, given that we went through some tough times over the last couple of years, I think Vishal is also bringing that positivity and lot of hope and excitement through the organization.

Question: Mr Sikha comes from a US company, worked there many years. Is there a culture difference as well?

Answer: No. He is regarded as a tech visionary. So there is a lot more focus on technology. A lot more focus on agility and he comes from a different background and sometimes when you come from outside, you look at things differently and internally also we are open to change. It's a mix of both.

Question: Infosys guys were always considered the good guys, the nice guys. Is it now more aggressive?

Answer: I would not call it aggressive, but I will say there will be more urgency in the way we do. There will be more agility. We were little bit more conservative in the past. Now we will see little bit more of, I would not call it aggression, but less conservation.

Question: Less conservative also means acquisition?

Answer: We are looking at acquisitions. Earlier, we used to have a $100 million innovation fund. We have expanded it to $500 million. So we are looking at investing in start-ups and helping them. In today's world with technology being at the centre stage, lot of innovation comes from start-ups. So, we feel like we can partner with them. We can help them scale, bundle their offerings and so on.

Question: What's on your agenda at Davos?

Answer: We are participating in a few sessions then we are meeting with few clients. This is a great networking opportunity and lot of world leaders are here and tremendous amount if insights. This is my first time so I'm here for the next five days trying to observe everything apart from meeting with clients. I'm really looking forward to this.