Infosys bets on 'lead tech group' comprising 60 engineers for innovations

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Infosys is pictured inside the company's headquarters in Bengaluru | Photo: Reuters
Information technology major Infosys has formed a dedicated unit, “Lead Technology Group” comprising 60 engineers, to provide futuristic solutions that can be used in delivery of services to clients.

This is a departure from the earlier strategy, when innovations were used to strengthen its products and platforms.

Salil Parekh, the chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director of the information technology (IT) major, said: “One of our projects is how an artificial intelligence-driven robot can simplify processes in a manufacturing unit. This is not mass technology like Cloud, but it is still important as it can grow big in the future.”

This group of innovators does not have a revenue target like other business units. But, it is mandatory to come up with solutions that are relevant for clients and can be bundled with service offerings.

“The objective is that the innovations should be used in some client situation. It’s not pure R&D (research and development),” said Parekh. “We are using them more in the services space.”

The CEO said in its products and platforms business, the company was looking at innovating around its existing suite of solutions such as Finacle or Edge in order to make those digital ready.

The new approach is radically different from that of Parekh’s predecessor, Vishal Sikka, who had taken several initiatives to grow Infosys’s products and platforms business.

For instance, Sikka had restructured Infosys Labs — the R&D arm of the IT firm — aligning its more towards platforms and verticals. The company had also acquired application automation programme Panaya and retail e-commerce product Skava for $200 million and $120 million, respectively, when Sikka was at the helm in 2015.

Infosys also built its automation platform Nia — earlier called as Mana — apart from an information platform and its robotic process automation platform, AssistEdge. Given that the firm was focusing more on building products and platforms, analysts had started to wonder if the IT-services major was embarking on transforming itself as a software product company, diluting its focus on the core services business.

To improve its service-delivery capabilities in client geographies, Infosys has set up four technology and innovations hubs in the US in the past two years — in Indianapolis (Indiana), Raleigh (North Carolina), Hartford (Connecticut), and Phoenix (Arizona). The company has also recently set up an innovation hub in Romania and Australia.

Making a strong start this financial year, Infosys reported a 12.4 per cent rise in its June quarter revenues, better than that of its larger rival Tata Consultancy Services after a long time. The IT services firm has also raised its revenue guidance to 8.5-10 per cent for this financial year as against 7.5-9.5 per cent earlier.