First quarter show! Infosys CEO Parekh in action mode after initial watch

Salil Parekh, Infosys
Having spent close to three months at the helm, Salil Parekh, CEO & MD of Infosys has now completely taken over the wheels as he looks forward to bring better operational control driving internal efficiency and leveraging the internal talent more and more, something for which Infosys was known for during its earlier phase. 

Parekh, a former Capgemini top executive, who joined Infosys in January this year, is in complete control of the things and looks to his next big plan which will be in the form of laying out the strategy road-map to drive the company in medium to the long-term, sources close to the development said. In the interim, Parekh is focusing on building a pipeline of leaders internally by centralizing some of the functions under his direct control which can give him better visibility thus enhancing predictability of the business. 

Earlier this month, the company got three senior leaders to report directly to him. These included Nitesh Banga, senior VP and global head of manufacturing and Edge products; Sudip Singh, SVP and head of engineering, and Anand Swaminathan, SVP and global head of communications, media & technology. 

“If you look at these changes, there is actually nothing which has changed at the ground level. Earlier, all the four presidents were direct reportees of the CEO & MD and after the exit of Sandeep Dadlani and Rajesh Krishnamurthy last year, their roles were split internally. Thus, it was only prudent to bring some of these senior leaders who are managing large global responsibilities under the direct control of the CEO,” highly places sources within the company said. 

Dadlani, who was then the president and also head of manufacturing, retail, CPG and logistics resigned in June last year to join global food giant Mars as their Chief Digital Officer. After that, Dadlani’s role was split between long-timer Nitesh Banga who was given the charge of Manufacturing, and Karmesh Vaswani, who was named Global Head for Retail, CPG & Logistics. 

Similarly, after the exit of Rajesh Krishnamurthy, his portfolio that included Consulting, Energy, Utilities and Communication was also split, and Media and Communications moved to Swaminathan in addition to the Hitech business that he was handling at that point of time. Consulting went to Ravi Kumar S, President and Deputy Chief Operating Officer.

“There are certainly a greater deal of focus to groom and empower internal leaders more and more with leadership roles, but the company is also hiring a lot of outsider in senior roles, though not in leadership roles,” sources added.

Parekh has now six direct reportees, including COO UB Pravin Rao, Ravi Kumar (President and Deputy COO), Mohit Joshi, President and Head of Banking, Financial Services & Insurance (BFSI), Healthcare and Life Sciences. 
As a founder-led company till 2014, Infosys was known to be heavily focused on grooming leaders internally and to look out only when there are not enough internal candidates to fill that position. With Parekh at the helm, that culture seems to be back at Infosys.

Meanwhile, the company is in the process of fine-tuning its strategic roadmap under the leadership which will be spelt out in the April-June quarter. However, from focus point of view, there are no significant changes. The focus on skilling the workforce n newer and digital technologies continues, sources added.

During the Q3FY18 earnings press conference in this January, Infosys had said that the company is conducting a review around four dimensions including new market opportunities, client relationships, people and service offering portfolio.

"Over the next three months, I am meeting with several of our clients, employees, partners...working with our leadership team and the Board to test the assumption and the approach and then build a comprehensive view along with four critical elements," Parekh had said. 

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