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Infosys a nursery of tech leaders?

Each time a senior Infosys executive resigns, a start-up is born or another tech company gets a new CEO/COO. Manu P Toms reports. Training ground

business Updated: Sep 23, 2013 03:01 IST
Manu P Toms

Each time a senior Infosys executive resigns, a start-up is born or another tech company gets a new CEO/COO.

In the space of the last three weeks, former board member and head of Americas Ashok Vemuri took over as mid-tier IT company iGate’s CEO, while Infosys BPO’s former COO Ritesh Idnani set up a company, Seamless Health, in the US.

Many top Infoscions are founding and leading companies in India and abroad. Many such as Subhash Dhar and Basab Pradhan, bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, returned to the start-up world. Others such as Sudhir Chaturvedi joined smaller companies at higher positions.

“Many of the start-ups around Koramanagala in Bangalore are set up by former Infosys employees,” said Shriram Subramanian, founder of corporate governance research firm InGovern. He had left Infosys three years ago as head of wealth and asset management consulting. “I know at least 100 mid- to senior-level people who left Infosys in the last 3-4 years... 25-30 of them started something on their own,” he said.

But he does not see anything unique in this. “What will they do otherwise? People who leave a company in early 40s, they should either start something on their own or join another company. They are professionals,” he said.

Challenging business environment where targets become increasingly tough tempt people to look for opportunities elsewhere, according to executive search firms. Two years ago, they say, Wipro was an easy target for poaching senior executives; now it is Infosys. Frozen salaries and slashed bonuses for the last two years are incentives for leaving.

“This year we have placed four senior executives from Infosys in mid-tier IT companies; all in the `3-crore-plus salary bracket,” said Kris Lak­shmikanth, founder CEO & MD, The Head Hunters India. “We are working on four more such mandates... and responses are encouraging.”