Former CEO Vishal Sikka’s strategy will continue to drive Infosys. But what is critical now is execution, says co-founder chairman Nandan Nilekani
Nilekani, who returned to Infosys in August has reviewed Sikka’s strategy of driving a software plus services model that would bring more non-linear revenue, has retained the former SAP executive’s vision.
“Strategy is not powerpoint. It is about how do you translate that on the ground with scale and speed,” said Nilekani.
In the three years at Infosys, Sikka brought in change in the way Infosys employees function by introducing Design Thinking, organising executive leadership courses at Stanford, retraining employees in newer skills such as digital and artificial intelligence. He also brought in Zero distance where engineers remotely demonstrated new projects to clients and Zero Bench where they hunted for projects to execute.
He also automated delivery of services, helping Infosys to improve productivity and reduce hiring of fresh engineers. In the quarter to September, Infosys employee utilisation was at 84.7 per cent, excluding trainees, the highest so far.
“I have come here to look at the future and finally it is about execution and making things happen at scale and that is the real challenge. I would work for 100 per cent of the shareholders. The message is they have accepted my thesis that it is about execution and getting on with it,” Nilekani said. “ Don’t underestimate the value of execution”.
Nilekani pointed that Infosys will increase investments on its products such as Nia and use more open source software to deliver solutions to customers.
Infosys interim managing director and CEO UB Pravin Rao pointed that breaking the strategy and executing it in pieces is critical to achieving the goals that have been set by the board.
“At the highest level there is now no change in the strategy, software plus services is the right thing to go forward. But when you break down into details, there are hundreds of things you need to do. periodically, we step back to look at what is working and what is not,” he said.