InfosysBSE 0.26 % chief executive Vishal Sikka has started personally overseeing about 1,000 customer outsourcing projects, adopting a hands-on approach at a time when India’s second largest software exporter is looking to strengthen ties with top outsourcing customers like Bank of America in a bid to generate more incremental revenues.
A few weeks ago, Sikka got on a call with about 1,000 of the company’s project managers across the globe, spoke about the broader contours of how customer projects could deliver more value and discussed ways to identify high-value work in each of them, two people directly familiar with the matter said on the condition of anonymity.
Sikka has picked these projects as part of a pilot to improve revenue from top customer accounts and is personally monitoring them, even writing codes and architecting solutions wherever needed, one of the persons said. “What Sikka wants to do is raise value of the projects that are being delivered to customers – this is part of his broad ‘New and ReNew’ strategy,” the person said.
In all, Infosys is currently running 23,000 projects. Sikka, since he took over as CEO in August last year, has been attempting to inject new technology solutions into these projects for customers. An Infosys spokeswoman did not respond immediately to an email seeking comment. The company is currently in a so-called silent period ahead of its annual results announcement on April 24.
Sikka is betting that deeper, more meaningful engagements with top clients will translate into more business, at a time when Infosys is chasing large outsourcing deals to script a turnaround in its fortunes and regain industry-level growth rates. He has made an organisationwide push towards design thinking and forced employees to think of creative solutions to solve complex business problems for customers, as part of his vision to make technology the centrepiece of every client engagement.
“From my perspective what I did not expect…what I did not anticipate was the degree to which I find this mindset that we don’t use our imagination, our creativity, we do what we are told,” Sikka has said in an interview with ETin February. With commoditisation of traditional IT services, Sikka wants to focus on delivering more innovative, high-value solutions .
Recent SAP hires such as Abdul Razack and Navin Budhiraja are also playing a significant role, the people cited earlier said. “Sikka is making everyone at Infosys go through design thinking and I think it’s an interesting move – I don’t think it will change much among the 170,000 Infoscions. But at least there is a strong message coming from Infosys that is saying ‘we need to change and we need to reinvent the way we engage with our clients, we need to reinvent the way we deliver value to accounts’ . I think that’s a very good start,” said Fred Giron, vice president and research director at Forrester Research.
Sikka has interacted directly with randomly picked engineers and programmers to get feedback on certain projects, people directly involved with the projects said. Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, said, “Infosys is at a unique inflexion point now, where the company has people who understand traditional business and also have all these new SAP hires.”