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COVID-19: We'll come out stronger from this situation, says Infosys CEO

Business Finance

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Infosys is confident of coming out "stronger" in the post-COVID-19 world on the back of strong operating metrics and client focus, even as the situation remains uncertain in the near-term, its CEO Salil Parekh said.

COVID-19 has disrupted businesses globally and impacted operations for Indian IT firms as well. There are concerns in the industry around budget cuts by clients and layoffs, as enterprises grapple with reduced earnings amid lockdowns across various parts of the globe.

Speaking to PTI, Parekh said while there is uncertainty in the near-term, the company is confident of its strengths that will help it navigate this period and emerge stronger from it.

"Last year, we had 9.8 per cent growth and the year before 9 per cent growth. We've had a really extremely successful business over the last couple of years, a very strong operating margin and expansion in earnings per share, USD 9 billion in large deals," he said.

"So all of our metrics, I think already were industry leading. In the near term, there will be some concerns in the business from an overall economic perspective," he added.

Parekh said that as the situation improves, the company is "extremely comfortable that we will emerge stronger".

"We are already having discussions with clients on vendor consolidation, on how they want to look at some captives, a lot of discussions in the cloud, movement on virtualisation, workforce transformation.

"All of those are positives even in this difficult environment. So I am quite confident that given our strengths, we will come out stronger as we come out of this situation," he said.

Responding to a question on how many quarters would bear the brunt of the slowdown, Parekh said there isn't a clear view of when the recovery will happen.

"While I don't have a timeline for how long this is going to take...our objective is given our strengths, we want to make sure we conserve our energy, focus on what clients want to do today, which are areas of vendor consolidation, cloud virtualization, and make sure we come out surviving and strong," he said.

Infosys registered 6.3 per cent rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 4,335 crore for March quarter, but refrained from providing a revenue outlook for FY21, citing uncertainty amid COVID-19 outbreak that is expected to impact its business in the near-term.

Its revenue grew 8 per cent to Rs 23,267 crore in the said quarter.

While the company has frozen hiring, salary hikes and promotions, it has stated that it will honour all the offers already made to freshers and lateral hires.

Parekh took over as Infosys CEO in January 2018 after a year-long acrimony between founders and previous management over corporate governance issues.

Tasked with turning around the company, Parekh had outlined a three-year road map to stabilise and accelerate the company's business.

In October last year, Infosys had received anonymous whistleblower complaints alleging certain unethical practices by the top management, following which it started a probe and roped in external investigators.

In January this year, Infosys said its audit committee found no evidence of financial impropriety or executive misconduct.

Asked if more steps need to be taken to improve transparency at the firm, Parekh said the company is extremely transparent.

"We believe there's extreme transparency and everything that's done is done keeping in mind all of those principles," he said, adding that the management is committed to keep focus on clients, shareholders and employees.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, April 23 2020. 19:46 IST