After holding several positions during his seventeen years stint at Infosys, Mohandas Pai, board member, felt it was time to pass the baton to the next rung of leaders. In a candid chat with HT, an emotional Pai said he would miss wearing the Infosys badge and walking across the campus. Excerpts.
Why have you quit the company you groomed all these years?
I feel it is the right time to hand over the baton to the next generation of leaders to make sure that they can take on responsibilities at the right time. I stepped aside as the chief financial officer of the company in 2006 as well. I think this is the right decision at the right time.
There have been rumours about a rift between you and the senior management. Were you denied any role that prompted your resignation?
These are mere rumours. I have not had any aspiration to become the CEO of this company. My goals were very different since the time I joined Infosys. This company has given me everything I have and all the positions I wanted. In fact, I enjoyed all the positions and work assigned to me. I participated significantly in this company’s growth. So there has been no rift. We all work together as a team.
How did the rift issue came up?
The rift issue came up for the simple reason that our results were delayed by more than half an hour. But actually (laughs) the delay happened because we were discussing about the compensation and hikes to be given to employees. The discussion prolonged and we did not realise how time passed.
How do you feel as you leave the company?
I feel devastated. After quitting the company I will not be able to come to my Infosys.
I cannot wear my company badge, come inside and meet all the wonderful people at the Infosys campus. I cannot walk across the company campus. I cannot travel across the world and meet customers and talk to them about the industry. I have been thinking about this and realised that my whole life will be empty. So I needed to start and do something meaningful so that there is some meaning in my life in future. See, I have spent seventeen years at Infosys and it is time for me to do something else.
What are your plans post-Infosys?
I have not finalised any plans at the moment, except that I wish to spend a lot of time on higher education, be on the corporate boards of a couple of companies where I can make some contribution on a systemic basis.