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‘Clients are looking to us to cut costs’

The performance of Infosys may be below par, but in a year of bogies around the world, it is more than par for the course, the company’s head, S Gopalakrishnan told BR Srikanth.

business Updated: Apr 15, 2009 22:23 IST
Hindustan Times

On the company’s performance

In spite of the tough economic environment, we have met the lower end of guidance. Three factors that influenced the performance are decreasing volumes, challenges in pricing and significant movement in currency. We have seen unprecedented volatility in currency in a very short span of time. But we have managed to sustain our margins.

Our clients are impacted by the financial crisis and are looking to us to help them reduce expenses and optimise their businesses. Our global delivery model provides the best option to our clients to reduce costs.

We have a strong balance sheet with about $2 billion (equivalent) in cash reserves.

On acquisition plans

There is a group in the Finance Department that is working on acquisitions. We will pick the right company for the right price. You will see us acquiring only for strategic reasons.

On the Satyam lesson, and the need for better corporate governance

We are glad that the government has acted quickly, and it (Satyam) is behind us. Once in a while, in every industry and in every country, a fraud will be reported. There is no magic way to end frauds. We need a mechanism to check fraud, creating a deterrent and taking action quickly.

Here, the Board has moved very fast and found a new owner. This is very credible for our business environment.

About Satyam's clients, we did say we would not proactively go after them, or take advantage of the situation. Now the situation has changed; some (of their) clients have also met us.

On US President Barack Obama's statement that recovery is in the air

We are waiting to see whether it is really a recovery. Unfortunately, our clients are not saying so. It is only analysts and economists who are talking. We need to wait for signals from our clients.

Forecast for 2010-11

It is for the first time that we have given a single digit guidance for the full year and a negative guidance (dollar terms) for the full year. There is scope for revision. We have given the guidance based on data and facts and so we call it realistic guidance. It is possible that things could change during the year.

Let me tell you that the amount of uncertainty today is unprecedented and is one of the worst we have seen in our life. We hope that we don't see it again. However, the company is strong financially and we have managed well despite the crisis.

First Published: Apr 15, 2009 22:22 IST