‘These challenges are only in the short-term’

Despite the uncertain macro-economic conditions in the developed West, Infosys is preparing for the long term, with continued investments and a positive hiring outlook, its MD and CEO SD Shibulal told Hindustan Times. Excerpts:

How does the macro-economic environment in the US and Europe appear?

In Europe there is an overhang of the euro break-up and debt ridden countries going bankrupt. In US too, there are concerns such as high unemployment. Further, we are not seeing political will anywhere to take decisions and sort out issues. So, it is not like 2008, when it was a V-shaped recovery where things happened very
fast and also recovered fast.

All these factors are creating uncertainties and lack of confidence and leading to delays in decision-making.

So what lies ahead? Do you see signs of recovery?

We do not expect a rapid recovery this time around for the simple reason that the problems this time are much more national (government-related) whereas in 2008 they were largely organisational. Also we are not seeing any strong political will to resolve these issues.

However, though we expect the problems to continue for longer period of time we expect our clients to adjust to the “new normal” and start taking appropriate decisions.

Are there any problem sectors? Sectors that have maximum impact?

The uncertain environment has adversely affected all the sectors equally.

How will these things reflect in your hiring plans? Do you plan to lower your hiring outlook?

Our hiring plans stay on course because these challenges are only in the short term. We believe that once clients adjust to the new normal they will start taking decisions so we need to be prepared (for this).

For the current fiscal we had earlier given a guidance of hiring around 45,000 and we stick to that. In fact, we expect to hire a total of around 47,000 people by end of this fiscal in March.

How about next year? How many people do you plan to hire next fiscal?

I can talk about the exact hiring numbers for next fiscal only in April. All I can say is that we gave 20,000 campus offers between June and December 2011.


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