Infosys Chief Executive Officer S D Shibulal believes he is leaving a much healthier organisation for his successor Vishal Sikka but admits there are several challenges the company needs to overcome. At his last media interaction after announcing Infosys' quarterly earnings, the outgoing CEO talks about the company's business, the challenges it faces, and efforts to overcome them. Excerpts:
What are your thoughts as you move on from the company you co-founded?
Our performance in the last two years was not to our satisfaction. While I cannot predict the future, growth will remain the focus. It is important for us to have industry-standard growth. We have gone through challenging times. And those challenges were not external alone; several were specific to Infosys. Today those challenges are behind us. The Infosys 3.0 transformation is complete and we have renewed our focus on strategic sourcing deals. Infosys today is stronger than it was a few years ago.
Last quarter you had talked of a skill mismatch hurting growth. Does the issue persist?
We have implemented new training in technologies where we are seeing growth. We are training to make sure that our people acquire skills on multiple technologies. The issue is subsiding. None of our issues can be solved in one quarter. We have made a serious effort in moving forward and part of those issues have been sorted out.
Pricing has declined marginally in April-June.
Large outsourcing deals are price sensitive. Price is determined by the market and we have to determine the cost. But across multiple portfolios, clients, geographies and industry verticals, what we are seeing is a stable pricing environment. The decline of 0.4 per cent (in pricing) or so is marginal and these are quarterly variations. It is not secular in nature.
Europe has been doing well, but you saw a decline this quarter...
I would not read too much into it because these are seasonal changes. I would not consider it as a secular trend.
A hallmark of Infosys used to be predictability. Has it returned to the company?
We are more predictable today than we were in the recent past.
I wouldn't say we are as predictable as we were in the distant past; that will take some more time.
Infosys had stopped issuing quarterly revenue guidance. Will you go back to the old practice?
This is a question the new CEO Vishal Sikka can answer.