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Infosys invests $15 mn in DreamWorks' spin-off

Infosys CEO & MD Vishal Sikka says company to achieve industry-leading growth in 18-24 months

Bibhu Ranjan Mishra  |  Bengaluru 

Vishal Sikka
Vishal Sikka (Photographer: Saggere Radhakrishna)

Infosys Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Vishal Sikka on Wednesday confirmed it made its first investment in the start-up space by putting $15 million (close to Rs 94 crore) in a spin-off of DreamWorks Animation.

This is Infosys’s first investment from $500 million innovation fund it had set up last year.

Sources said the spin-off, a joint venture company, was yet to be named. But Sikka said Infosys is the only investor in the company. California-based DreamWorks Animation is a Nasdaq-listed animation studio which develops animation films. In January, Business Standard had reported Infosys is set to make its first investment in the start-up space in a spin-off company of DreamWorks Animation.

“They (the spin-off of DreamWorks) have recently brought their amazing animation technology to industries like retail and so on. So we are the only investor in this company,” Sikka said at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference held at San Francisco on Tuesday.

After taking the helm at Infosys in August last year, Sikka, a former top executive at German enterprise software maker SAP, is looking at multiple ways to engage with the software start-up ecosystem across the world. Last month, he announced expanding the innovation fund by five-fold to $500 million almost half of which will be invested in innovative start-ups in India, he announced subsequently. “We will do things of that nature and we think the information technology needs of the world require a different type of mindset for startups. More and more the innovations that businesses are looking for are going to come from start-up companies,” he added during the Goldman Sachs event. On acquisition strategy, Sikka reiterated Infosys was interested in acquiring innovative but smaller having great technologies which it could help to brring to a scale.

Other than the merger and acquisitions and start-up investments, Sikka said the company is also putting in investments to strengthen the internal systems and processes.

“We believe that certain investments are necessary internally in our internal IT systems and processes to do better knowledge management, to enable more agility as well as recruiting new categories of talents,” he added.

Industry leading growth

In reply to a specific query, Sikka said that Infosys is on track to achieve the ‘industry leading growth in the next 18-24 months time. He however said that a detailed plan would be unveiled in April this year when the company announces the financial numbers of FY15.

Speaking about the realignment that happened in the company last week, the Infosys CEO said the move was basically to defragment certain verticals, business lines and offerings to bring in more focus.

As a part of this, the company had separated delivery from sales and created it as a horizontal unit under the leadership of Ravi Kumar S who was previously heading Insurance, Cards and Payments at Infosys. Besides, the consulting units which were fragmented following the Lodestone acquisition were merged as one with Sanjay Purohit as its head. Purohit was previously heading the horizontal products and platform subsidiary, Edgeverve.

Similarly, the company had also merged its two product business — Finacle and Edgeverve — as a single unit called Infosys Products. Michael Reh who was earlier heading Finacle will head the new unit. All these changes will be effective from April 1.

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First Published: Thu, February 12 2015. 00:47 IST