'We have done fairly well in a difficult environment'

Infosys chief executive officer SD Shibulal said the hiring plan of the company for the year does not change although the software exporter revised downwards its revenue guidance for the year in a difficult global environment. Excerpts from an interview.

What has led to the lower than expected performance?
We have done fairly well in a difficult environment. Guidance perspective, if we eliminate the currency impact of $13 million and onetime reversal of $15 million we took, we would have been right in the middle of guidance. Our pricing declined by 3.7%. This is also reflected in our revenue guidance for the full year.

You have revised the guidance downwards. Does it change your hiring plans too?
Hiring plan is not changed. We said we will hire 35,000 people and we will hire 35,000. From gross addition perspective nothing has changed. Net addition is a reflection of attrition; many people are going for higher education.

With strong cash reserves, many analysts believe you should look at acquisitions to enhance your capabilities. What is your take?
Acquisitions are very strategic to us. We are continuing to look at them. Our top priorities are product and platform, Europe, consulting and system integration which can give us large opportunities. Life sciences, public service and sustainability are other priorities.

What is your expansion strategy in terms of geography as well as clients?
We continue to focus on Europe, India and China for expansion. As far as clients, we added 51 this quarter. In 5-7 years, 2,000 clients could be a good number.

Your main market US is becoming increasingly protectionist. Many companies want to shift 90% of work back to home country.
This is the scenario in which you have to deliver highest value to your clients. In the last seven to eight months we have been in transformation phase which involves co-creation with clients with an innovation frame of mind.

As long as you can you can participate clients' eco system all over the world we would be fine. We have to participate in all the areas of their spend and be relevant to their activities. I clearly believe when the environment stabilises we will come out ahead.


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