Mysore: Chief executive officer of Infosys Technologies Ltd, S. Gopalakrishnan, spoke to Mint after the firm declared its result for the December quarter. Edited excerpts:
More confident: Gopalakrishnan says the indication right now is that even though the budgets could be flat, offshore spending will increase. Infosys Technologies is continuing to hire more people, he added. Hemant Mishra/Mint
Does the confidence you indicate signal a return to the 30% growth period for the Indian IT sector?
Definitely, the worst is behind. Growth has come back and there is confidence.
What will the growth rate be?
We will have to wait and see. Nasscom had indicated that 12-20% is possible.
What are the drivers for growth in the BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) business?
One is mergers and acquisitions. The IT changes due to regulatory changes (and) risk management as most companies have to rebuild their risk platforms.
The other (driver) is focusing more on Asia. In fact, some of the banks have actually increased their investment in Asia by almost 100%. That requires new IT infrastructure.
Companies are looking at new technologies such as cloud computing and server virtualization. So, there are multiple drivers for growth. Because of the downturn, they actually had held back on some of these investments; now they are more confident on the economy, they are starting to spend.
Will Indian players benefit from this?
Yes. The indication right now is that even though the budgets could be flat, offshore spending will increase. That is clearly a trend we are seeing.
Is the industry, and Infosys, ready with the talent pool when more business comes in?
We are continuing to add people. On the resource side, yes, medium-to-long term I do have some concern. But in the short term, the concerns are not there.
You recently introduced the iRACE programme, under which an employee would need more years to get a promotion. What has been the response?
Our projects are becoming more complex. Clients want more value addition. They are giving some of their mission critical programmes to us so they want depth in the technical and industry knowledge of the people.
By accelerating the movement to managerial roles, what we missed out was the depth in technology. We are creating multiple options. Everybody need not go to the managerial career; now one can opt to become an architect or a domain consultant.
There are multiple opportunities for growth. What this programme did was to clarify the different career paths for employees.
Your cash reserve has increased to $3 billion (Rs1,362 crore). Will you spend on acquisitions?
Acquisitions definitely is one (part) of the strategy for growth. But we don’t want to be forced into an acquisition, which means the valuation should be right, and the company we plan (to buy should) want to be acquired.