Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, based in the US but founded by Indians and substantially functioning from India, will join Standard & Poor's S&P 500 index, a global benchmark of stocks, after close of trading on Thursday, marking a key milestone in the growth of India’s information technology services industry.
Cognizant, founded by former McKinsey consultant Kumar Mahadeva, will replace Alberto-Culver Co in reaching the new milestone after it entered technology-heavy Nasdaq 100 index in 2004. Cognizant offers its clients a host of services ranging from software maintenance to complex product development and consulting.
It is incorporated in Teaneck, New Jersey, but nearly 75 per cent of the company’s workforce is located in India. Out of the total of 35,000 employees globally, nearly 27,000 are based in India.
Infosys recently announced a fresh round of conversion of domestic shares into American Depository Shares (ADS) on the Nasdaq in an attempt which is expected to bring it into the Nasdaq 100 league by increasing the financial value of its floating shares in the US. At a market capitalisation of more than $11 billion, Cognizant will join corporations such as 3M, AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing, Chevron, Cisco, General Electric, IBM, Walt Disney, Yahoo and eBay on the S&P Index. Cognizant's President & Managing Director R Chandrasekaran said: “This recognition is a testament to our single minded passion to make our customers' business stronger."
Unlike the NASDAQ 100 Index, where the entry is primarily on the basis of market capitalisation, the listing on the S&P 500 index is decided on additional parameters including liquidity, a public float of at least 50 per cent of the stock, industry classification and financial viability.