Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka. The EdgeVerve business, which includes Infosys’s core banking platform Finacle, accounted for $143.1 million, or 5.4%, of Infosys’s $2.65 billion revenue in the June quarter. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka. The EdgeVerve business, which includes Infosys’s core banking platform Finacle, accounted for $143.1 million, or 5.4%, of Infosys’s $2.65 billion revenue in the June quarter. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Infosys sees another senior-level exit, in fresh blow to Vishal Sikka

Anirban Dey, global head and chief business officer of Edge products at EdgeVerve, resigned last week, in the fourth senior-level exit at Infosys in past 40 days

Bengaluru: A top executive at Infosys Ltd’s products and platforms unit EdgeVerve has quit, three executives familiar with the development said. This is the fourth senior-level exit in 40 days at India’s second-largest software services exporter.

Anirban Dey, global head and chief business officer of the Edge line of products at EdgeVerve, resigned last week and is serving his notice period, the executives cited above said on the condition of anonymity.

Dey, who joined Infosys in March 2015 was heading sales, marketing, services and operations for EdgeVerve products. The EdgeVerve business, which includes its core banking platform Finacle, accounted for $143.1 million or 5.4% of Infosys’s $2.65 billion revenue for the quarter ended June 2017.

Separately, Infosys has also named M&A head Deepak Padaki, also the company’s chief risk officer, as director on the board of Edgeverve, as per the company’s website.

“We do not comment on exits or appointments other than those of Key Management Personnel," said an Infosys spokeswoman in an email to Mint.Dey did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Dey’s exit comes barely four months after Infosys named San Francisco-based technology executive Pervinder Johar as chief executive (CEO) of EdgeVerve. Dey was formerly the managing director of SAP Labs India, the research and development arm of the German software maker, and was one of at least 16 executives who were hired from SAP SE at the rank of associate vice-president and above since Vishal Sikka took over as CEO in August 2014.

Worryingly for Infosys, since March last year, at least 10 of these executives have quit. Earlier this month, Yusuf Bashir, managing director of Infosys’s $500-million Innovation Fund, and Ritika Suri, head of mergers and acquisitions, put in their papers.

In June, Infosys’s Americas’ head Sandeep Dadlani, who was overseeing close to one-third of the company’s annual business, or about $3.5 billion of its total annual revenue, too decided to leave the company.

In an interview to PTI earlier in July, Infosys co-chairman Ravi Venkatesan had said he was hopeful that CEO Vishal Sikka would help orchestrate a turnaround in the company’s fortunes and not think of leaving Infosys because of losing high-profile talent.

“Well, I very much hope that it is the former (that Sikka will turn things around), not the latter (that he will turn his back on Infosys due to losing top executives)," Venkatesan told PTI.

For Infosys, like its other rival homegrown IT outsourcing companies, the products and platforms business represents a crucial opportunity and according to experts, the company can’t afford to lose key talent in these new digital businesses, amid a commoditization of its traditional outsourcing business, which is increasingly seen as a low-margin business.

For this reason, all top outsourcing firms are looking to increase their share of non-linear revenues (which de-links revenue growth from headcount addition).

Companies plan to increase the share of non-linear business by offering more automation and artificial intelligence platforms and products.

Over the past two years, these new businesses have proved to be crucial areas of growth for Infosys, with the company generating close to $1 billion of incremental revenue from its digital business—which is nearly half of the $2 billion of incremental revenue that Infosys has generated during that period.

“Investing and integrating innovative technologies and the need to monetize IP (intellectual property) is needed if Infosys and other India-centric vendors do not want to face a ‘race to the bottom’ scenario," said Bozhidar Hristov, an analyst at US-based technology research firm TBRI. “However, these are hurdles to overcome as competing on price remains in the core of their DNA and seamless execution remains a challenge, resulting in influx results, executive exodus and stakeholders’ gloom."

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