Home >Companies >Infosys plans new board for Edgeverve Systems

Bangalore: Infosys Ltd is finalizing a new board for its recently hived-off products and platforms unit, Edgeverve Systems Ltd, even as India’s second largest software services exporter looks to create a road map for more product launches in the next few years from the unit.

“We realized that we needed to fine-tune the operating model. We decided we had to give it an environment in which the R&D (research and development) and engineering of the products and platforms is done attuned to a products and platforms organization which requires its own processes, own culture and, at the same time, we wanted to create something that can connect better with clients," Sanjay Purohit, head of Edgeverve, said on the sidelines of last week’s annual shareholder meeting.

However, he did not specify the number of products and platforms that the company plans to launch.

“Right now we’re incubating our own set of ideas within the Edge suite," he said.

Infosys named former SAP AG products head Vishal Sikka as its first non-founder chief executive last week.

The company last year launched a new sales software platform called TradeEdge, which is a part of its Edge group of products.

Edgeverve also plans to hire more executives and people who have experience in product development, Purohit said.

“Products and platforms requires a different kind of talent," said Purohit. “You require very deep engineering skills which are ideal for a product environment. Some people will come from the existing engineering set-up, while some people we’ll recruit from the market."

The company had already scouted four Indian Institutes of Technology and other engineering college such as the National Institute of Technology, to hire freshers for Edgeverve.

Last year, Infosys had said it would set aside about $100 million to fund and start growth from the products and platforms business, which currently contributes less than 6% to the overall revenue of Infosys.

Purohit did not comment on whether that $100 million had already been invested, or how it had been used.

“Our funding is in line with a five-year business plan that we have drawn," said Purohit, without specifying the amount that had already been invested in the newly-formed subsidiary.

Infosys, meanwhile, is likely to appoint only internal candidates on the new Edgeverve board, at least two people familiar with the developments said. They did not want to be named.

Executives, including finance chief Rajiv Bansal, and head of Americas, Sandeep Dadlani, both of whom were promoted to executive vice-presidents last week after Sikka’s appointment, are being considered for positions on the board alongside existing Edgeverve executives, Purohit and Samson David, the people said.

“The names are still being finalized, but it will be a completely internal board," said one of the people.

Purohit did not comment on the composition of Edgeverve’s board.

Last week, 12 next-generation leaders within Infosys were promoted to executive vice-presidents, including executives such as Manish Tandon, Sanjay Jalona and Srikantan Moorthy. They will form the next layer of leaders below Sikka and chief operating officer U.B. Pravin Rao.

People within Infosys familiar with the developments also said Sikka is working on building his own team and the process is “far from complete". They declined to be named.

Experts and customers interviewed after Sikka’s appointment said the products business might get a fillip, given Sikka’s reputation and background of being a world-class product innovator, but cautioned it would not happen overnight.

“It will likely take a relatively long time (may be 8-10 years) and business model transformation for product, platforms and solutions to be a distinctive differentiator (and only will be so, once it reaches critical mass, say 20-25% of overall revenues)," Viju George and Amit Sharma of JPMorgan India wrote in a note last week.

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