Bangalore-based Infosys Technologies has come back from the latest of the several challenges it has faced in its three decades as a pioneer in India’s information technology boom. Chief Operating Officer S.D.Shibulal, widely seen as the next CEO, spoke to Hindustan Times on the new focus areas as it plots the next growth phase. Excerpts.
Europe’s economy seems to be recovering. Have you missed a chance in not making a timely acquisition?
We are investing heavily in continental Europe. We have now recruited a country manager in Germany, and in France. We are going to the next phase of growth where we really need to be a lot more local in each of the countries.
Growth will be mostly organic. You know we already look for acquisitions, but the challenge is to find the right one. People acquisition is always tough.
What are the capabilities you are looking for in acquisitions?
You know deep domain capabilities in the local markets which is specific to the local market. Consulting we now have, but we would like to get scale. I would think these are the two most important things, and third is of course the language capability.
How do you see the US market now because it is getting difficult, with the visa fees going up and al that?
If you look at microeconomic indicators, there are enough reasons to be worried. Because you have unemployment. Occasionally you hear this talks about double-dip (recession).
It is disappointing that the visa fees have gone up. In terms of overall cost, it will have about $4 to 6 million impact to us. I do not think it is in the current fiscal year, it will be in the next fiscal year, approximately.
Your attrition rate was unusually high (with staff exits).
We came off a very unusual period (downturn). People would have normally gone through attrition but waited because the environment was not great. So, because of that we believe the attrition went up. Close to 900 people left for higher education.