Amidst concerns over global economic environment, caution is the watchword at India’s second-largest software services firm, Infosys. S ‘Kris’ Gopalakrishnan, CEO and MD Infosys, tells HT that though treading mindfully the company is preparing for the next phase of growth and has robust hiring plans. Excerpts:
You seem to be concerned about the economic uncertainty in US and Europe. Is it really serious or you are being extra-cautious?
Well, even though economic recovery is continuing there are talks of slowdown and a double dip recession at least in some economies. The IT budgets may not have been slashed... there is still an intention to spend the allocated money. But then there is uncertainty about when this spending will be realised. So that’s the nuance about the environment. And in this scenario we want to continue to be cautious.
Where is this concern stronger, the US or Europe?
Clearly in Europe. In the US it is possible that the financial services sector may slowdown a bit for a few weeks.
If the IT budgets are intact why this over concern?
Yes the IT budgets are the same, but two things are a cause for concern. First, will all the allocated money be spent and second even if there is a decision to spend will there be a short-term delay. For instance, if something happens in the environment rather than take a decision today a company might delay it by a couple of weeks. So there may be a short-term fluctuation in the decision-making process. But then we are optimistic in the medium-to-long term. We understand that there is a need to build up capacity. We are not slowing down our recruitment. In fact, we will recruit around 45,000 people in the current fiscal.
The economic scenario is grim in Europe. What will be your long-term strategy in the continent?
Our strategy is to expand, add new clients, broaden our revenue base in Europe. We are investing in France and Germany recruiting local people such that they act as brand ambassadors for our offshore people. Our local hires, apart from addressing language concerns, will also help translate the company’s work from a culture point of view.