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Infosys says environment still challenging

Infosys says environment still challenging
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First Published: Tue, Sep 15 2009. 07 54 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Sep 15 2009. 07 54 PM IST
Mysore: Infosys Technologies Ltd, India’s second-ranked software exporter, said the business environment is challenging and clients are cautious in spending, although pressure for price cuts has eased.
Hopes of a pick-up in demand for outsourcing, which had been hit by the global downturn, increased after major Indian IT firms including Infosys beat street estimates in their April-June earnings and announced some large deals in the recent months.
But Infosys officials said on Tuesday that decision making by clients continued to be slow.
“The situation is still quite challenging,” chief operating officer S.D. Shibulal told reporters at the southern Indian city.
“If you look at our customers, they are not really seeing any increase on their revenue side. And because they are not seeing any increase on their revenue side, they will continue to be concerned.”
The head of Nasscom, India’s leading IT industry lobby, said signs of recovery in the United States were yet to translate into real business growth for outsourcing firms, though a pick-up was expected in the second half of the year.
Infosys chief executive S. Gopalakrishnan said he expected technology spending by the company’s clients to be flat in 2010 from the previous year.
Ahead of the news, shares in the company valued at about $27 billion, closed up 0.9%, underperforming a 1.5% rise in the benchmark index.
The company’s shares have doubled so far in 2009, outperforming a 70% rise in the broader market.
Large deals, yet to come
Infosys has forecast its first annual revenue fall for the year to March 2010 on demand for fee cuts by its overseas clients.
Most negotiations with clients on price cuts was over and the company was not seeing a second round of such talks, Shibulal said, but large deal flows were yet to resume.
“Overall, deals above $500 million which used to be there before the downturn, they have not reappeared in significant manner,” he said.
Infosys and local rivals Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro last month won IT services contracts from oil and gas major BP Plc.
Shibulal said Infosys’ share of the contract was worth $116 million over five years.
The company, which employs more than 100,000 people, is not seeing any reason to accelerate hiring at this point of time due to the uncertain business environment, Shibulal said.
“We are very honestly over-hired,” he said.
“There is a very slight blip of activity, but there is nothing to tell me it (a recovery) is secular in nature.”
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First Published: Tue, Sep 15 2009. 07 54 PM IST
More Topics: Infosys | Software | Outsourcing | IT | SD Shibulal |