In the last tech meltdown of 2001, Infosys Technolgoies Ltd was the first company which called the thing early and right when its then CEO (and current mentor) N R Narayana Murthy had prescinetly said the road ahead was foggy and not clear. So when in a chat with his nephew Jerry (Jaithirth) Rao of Citi and Mphasis fame says the current global economic meltdown is going to be the mother of all recessions and probably much worser than what people initially anticipated, people do sit up and take notice. Murthy was speaking on day 2 of Nasscom’s India Leadership Forum taking place in Mumbai.
Jerry pointed out that Indian IT’s senior executives might have to follow the example of Cisco’s John Chambers who in the last recession took a salary of $1 for a couple of years (the reward was all in stock options). It would remain to be seen whether any Indian CEO’s or senior management officials would really do a Chambers kind of an act. Murthy in spite of being an ardent growth oriented capitalist indicated that, given the Indian reality, where safety nets are absent, that sharing pain through salary cuts was more acceptable than firing people. Infy has usually been a trendsetter for the Indian IT sector, so others might just pick its cue and while salary cuts might happen may not be jobs being chopped. Do you support jobs being chopped so performers can be rewarded or would an across the board salary cut be more acceptable?