Posts Tagged ‘Infosys’

Infosys to make second startup investment in air quality detector company

February 24th, 2015

InfosysBSE 0.94 % is about to make its second startup investment this year, in a firm that makes air quality detectors as India’s second-biggest software company doubles down on identifying nextgeneration technologies under the new CEO Vishal Sikka.Outsourcing1

“There is a small company we are investing in that makes an air quality detector that you can just drop in stores, in hospitals, in mines and it detects air quality and it is connected to the cloud and you can stream the data,” Sikka said in an interview last week.

He declined to identify the startup by name but observed that it specialises in the area of the Internet of Things – an emerging network of computing and non-computing devices talking to each other and creating chunks of data that can be converted into business insights and new revenue streams.

The deal is expected to close by April. “The world around us is fundamentally being reshaped by software, and IT companies are not serving IT needs. So investing in these companies is essential,” Sikka said. Earlier this year, Infosys made its first startup investment, tapping into the newly established $500 million fund, in a Dream-Works spin-off. Infosys bought a minority stake in the startup for around $15 million (Rs 90 crore).

The latest investment also aligns with the new strategy being pushed by Sikka, which bets on big data and artificial intelligence among the ideas that could potentially become big revenue earners.

James Mawson, founder of magazine Global Corporate Venturing, said companies such as Infosys are finding good response from startups in the Silicon Valley.

“Most Silicon Valley startups and investors and corporations and governments would love to work more with Infosys etc. (because) India carries fewer geopolitical risks than, say, China,” Mawson said.

And apart from tapping into the next technology disruption, there’s money to be made too.

“Most academic literature shows companies that have some corporate venture backing are more likely to exit at higher valuations and benefit the corporate ventures that do it well,” he said.

Wipro, Infosys, TCS have all understood that “linear” growth models for outsourcing no longer holds for the future, hence, they need to look at “exponential” growth models through innovation, said Martin Haemmig, a global expert on corporate venturing.


Emirates Islamic Bank to use Infosys product

January 21st, 2015

Dubai-based Sharia-compliant Emirates Islamic Bank has selected Finacle banking software product of Indian IT bellwether Infosys for its operations across the Gulf region.Outsourcing49

“Finacle will enable the Islamic bank to serve its customers with greater efficiency, manage its operations more effectively and meet reporting and compliance obligations,” the software major said in a statement here Tuesday.

With Finacle, the bank will also be able to create a range of products and services that are compliant with the stringent Sharia business rules and accounting rules.

“Our solution will also ensure transparency of accounting and profit-sharing along with operational risk control,” the statement said.

According to Michael Reh, Infosys vice president and global head of Finacle, Islamic banks have shown strong growth over the years with global potential for expansion.

“To leverage this opportunity, Islamic banks need a robust and flexible technology backbone which can empower them to innovate faster and deliver personalised banking experiences,” Reh said.

The IT outsourcing firm hopes the partnership would act as a model deployment for banks offering Islamic banking services.


IT stocks advance on positive jobs data in US

January 9th, 2015

Outsourcing41Key benchmark indices held firm in early afternoon trade. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex remained past the psychological 27,000 level which it had attained in early trade. The Sensex was currently up 291.11 points or 1.08% at 27,199.93. The market breadth indicating the overall health of the market was strong with almost three gainers for every loser on BSE.

IT stocks advanced on positive jobs data from US. Infosys dropped amid volatility ahead of its Q3 December 2014 results tomorrow, 9 January 2015.

Foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth a net Rs 1073.18 crore yesterday, 7 January 2015, as per provisional data.

In overseas markets, Asian equity markets were higher today, 8 January 2015 as the fall in oil prices and concerns over Greece’s potential departure from the euro zone abated, while a positive finish on Wall Street overnight lifted trading sentiment.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged higher against the dollar.

Brent crude futures recovered from the lowest level since April 2009 as investors weighed whether crude’s selloff was excessive amid signs of improving demand in the US.

At 12:15 IST, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 291.11 points or 1.08% at 27,199.93. The index surged 341.06 points at the day’s high of 27,249.88 in early trade, its highest level since 6 January 2015. The index rose 193.12 points at the day’s low of 27,101.94 in morning trade.

The CNX Nifty was up 94.90 points or 1.17% at 8,197. The index hit a high of 8,209.85 in intraday trade, its highest level since 6 January 2015. The index hit a low of 8,167.30 in intraday trade.

The BSE Mid-Cap index was up 164.53 points or 1.61% at 10,399.08. The BSE Small-Cap index was up 199.37 points or 1.81% at 11,188.36. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth indicating the overall health of the market was strong with almost three gainers for every loser. On BSE, 1,870 shares advanced and 627 shares declined. A total of 83 shares were unchanged.

IT stocks advanced on positive jobs data in United States. Tech Mahindra (up 1.15%), Oracle Financial Services Software (up 0.97%), CMC (up 0.89%), TCS (up 0.76%), MindTree (up 0.71%), Wipro (up 0.53%), MphasiS (up 0.13%), and HCL Technologies (up 0.06%) edged higher.

United States is the world’s biggest outsourcing market for Indian IT firms.

Infosys fell 0.1% at Rs 1,962.85. The stock hit a high of Rs 1,996.85 and a low of Rs 1,951. Due to cross currency headwinds, analysts expects Infosys’ management to prune the company’s revenue growth guidance in dollar terms for the year ending 31 March 2015 (FY 2015) when the company announces its Q3 December 2014 results tomorrow, 9 January 2015. The IT major is widely expected to prune its FY 2015 dollar revenue growth to 7%-8%, from 7%-9%.

At the time of announcement of Q2 September 2014 results, Infosys had on 10 October 2014 retained its earlier guidance of 7% to 9% growth in revenue in dollar terms for FY 2015. At that time, the company had raised its revenue growth guidance in rupee terms due to rupee depreciation. The company had raised the revenue growth guidance for FY 2015 in rupee terms to 6.7%-8.7% from earlier 5.6%-7.6% at that time. The revised guidance was based on rupee dollar conversion rate of 61.

Bharat Electronics fell 1.77% at Rs 3,160. The stock hit a high of Rs 3,265 and a low of Rs 3,154.05. The company during market hours today, 8 January 2015 said it has inaugurated its modernised BEL Software Technology Centre (BSTC) of Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics yesterday, 7 January 2015. BSTC is a part of the Central Development & Engineering Group of BEL-Bengaluru and is the software development centre of BEL, the company said in a statement.

On the macro front, data to be released in near future is expected to show industrial production growth remaining muted in November 2014 and consumer price inflation accelerating in December 2014. Industrial production is seen rising 1.6% in November 2014, as per the median estimate of a poll of economists carried out by Capital Market. The government will unveil industrial production data for November 2014 after trading hours on Monday, 12 January 2015. Industrial production had witnessed a surprise contraction of 4.2% in October 2014.

The rate of inflation based on the consumer price index (CPI) is seen accelerating to 5.4% in December 2014 from 4.4% in November 2014, as per the median estimate of a poll of economists carried out by Capital Market. The government will release the data on CPI inflation for December 2014 after trading hours on Monday, 12 January 2015.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) aims to limit consumer-price gains to 8% by January 2015 and 6% by January 2016. Over the longer term, the RBI aims to limit consumer-price gains to 4%, within a 2% band.

The rate of inflation based the wholesale price index (WPI) is projected at 0.5% for December 2014, as per the median estimate of a poll of economist carried out by Capital Market. WPI inflation stood at zero in November 2014. The government will release data on WPI for December 2014 at 12 noon on 14 January 2015.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged higher against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 62.9675, compared with its close of 63.18 during the previous trading session.

Brent crude futures recovered from the lowest level since April 2009 as investors weighed whether crude’s selloff was excessive amid signs of improving demand in the US. Brent for February settlement was up 30 cents at $51.45 a barrel. The contract had advanced 5 cents to settle at $51.15 a barrel during the previous trading session.

Asian equity markets were higher today, 8 January 2015 as the fall in oil prices and concerns over Greece’s potential departure the euro zone abated, while a positive finish on Wall Street overnight lifted trading sentiment. Key indices in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and Indonesia were up 0.24% to 1.67%. In China, the Shanghai Composite was off 1.36%.

Trading in US index futures indicated that the Dow could gain 129 points at the opening bell today, 8 January 2015. US stocks surged yesterday, 7 January 2015, with the S&P 500 rebounding from a five-session dive, as US crude stopped a four-day skid and Germany left the door open to discussing options with Greece’s next government on its debt. Federal Reserve policymakers said they could begin raising interest rates before inflation starts to pick up, according to minutes of their meeting on 17 and 18 December 2014. However, the Fed officials added that “they would want to be reasonably confident that inflation will move back” toward the Fed’s annual 2% target “over time”.

US private sector employment gains accelerated in December as employers added 241,000 jobs, Automatic Data Processing Inc. reported yesterday, 7 January 2015. ADP revised November’s gain to 227,000 from a prior estimate of 208,000.

The US Labor Department reports monthly payroll data for December 2014 tomorrow, 9 January 2015.

In Europe, the uncertainties over the status of Greece including its possible exit from the eurozone are likely to persist until the early election in the country later this month. Greece is set to hold snap elections on 25 January 2015 after it failed to elect a new president in a third round of voting late last year. The Greek leftist opposition party Syriza leads opinion polls ahead of national elections on 25 January 2015. Syriza has demanded debt relief from the eurozone and promised to roll back the austerity and reform measures that the country has undertaken in exchange for the international bailout that the government negotiated in 2012.


Infosys Expands its CSR Activities With Infosys Foundation, USA

December 31st, 2014

Outsourcing34Infosys today announced that it would expand its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in the Americas through its philanthropic arm, the Infosys Foundation, USA. It would focus on making quality computer science education widely and easily accessible across communities in the Americas. The company also announced the appointment of Mrs. Sudha Murty, Mrs. Vandana Sikka and Mr. Sandeep Dadlani as the trustees of Infosys Foundation, USA. The initial outlay for Infosys Foundation, USA would be USD 5 Million per annum.

Commenting on the expansion of CSR activities in the Americas, Mrs. Sudha Murty, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation, said, “I am delighted at the expansion of our CSR initiatives in the Americas. Infosys Foundation has always supported the cause of promoting quality education and empowering individuals. I am confident that we will leverage Infosys Foundation’s experience in India of imparting technical education to enhance employability.”

Mrs. Vandana Sikka, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation, USA, said: “Every day we see how computing technology is reshaping the world around us. Computing literacy is becoming increasingly important for an average person to be more productive and valuable to the economy, while purposefully contributing to our future. Through Infosys Foundation, USA, we want to ensure that lack of resources, prior skills and STEM proficiency are no longer barriers for individuals in the Americas seeking to advance their computing skills. From enabling computer education in K-12, to supporting research in computer science and empowering adults with IT training that enhances their employability, we will help bring computing literacy to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.”

In India, Infosys Foundation supports several programs aimed at alleviating hunger, promoting education, improving health, assisting rural development, supporting arts and helping the destitute. For the fiscal year 2015, Infosys Foundation plans to deploy approximately USD 40 Million towards these initiatives in India.


Wipro spending $200 million on building next generation platforms

December 16th, 2014

Wipro is spending more than $200 million annually on building next generation platforms that focus on disruptive technologies including cognitive technologies, automation and machine-to-machine learning as the country’s third-largest software firm seeks to edge out competition in winning large deals. Outsourcing10

Over the past two years, the company has ploughed $400 million in developing about ten intelligent solutions, some of which it has started using internally and a few it is using for customers, said a senior executive. “Wipro has significantly stepped up its funding of the R&D projects in the last couple of years,” said chief technology officer RK Sanjiv.

“This is to not just ensure that we become the next generation services firm of future, but also to be future-ready for our customers,” said Sanjiv, declining to put a number. But he said the company invests more than the industry average in these initiatives.

This focus on building intelligent platforms coincides with the stint of Rishad Premji, son of chairman Azim Premji, as head of strategy, making some believe the younger Premji could be potentially driving this change at the Bengaluru based company.

Incidentally, it was Azim Premji who brought Tata Consultancy Services veteran Satishchandra Doreswamy, now chief business operations officer at Wipro, in 2011 to help transform the company by putting together a team of engineers to focus on these technological platforms. Wipro’s thrust on building internal intellectual property-led platforms comes at a time when cross-town rival Infosys, under new chief executive Vishal Sikka, too is aggressively talking about building platforms.

Homegrown technology companies invest on an average 2-3% of revenue on building platforms. Wipro’s revenue for the fiscal through March 2014 was $6.7 billion, and if it invests more than the industry average, it is putting in $200 million every year in new solutions.

Wipro is now a team of “hundreds of engineers and research scien tists”, according to Sanjiv. His mandate is to focus on three key themes: cognitive technology, machine-to-machine learning and in building smart devices.

According to some experts, information technology companies are investing internally in building these solutions because of the desire to win large outsourcing deals as every customer is looking to its IT vendor to bring in more valuegeneration business rather than merely maintaining the back-end technology infrastructure.

Doreswamy last month told ET that Wipro’s energy and utilities vertical managed to bag its $1.2 billion, 10-year outsourcing deal with Canadian utilities firm ATCO on account of the “transformational benefits” it could help offer.

“(Two other) examples of Wipro’s solutions are Base and Fixomatic suite of tools,” said Tom Reuner of London-based IT research firm Ovum. “The direction of this journey is to protect margins by automating low-level tasks while hiring and retaining talent for value-creating activities.”

Reuner and other experts said the focus of software exporters on intelligent solutions is also driven by their desire to increase revenue without increasing headcount.

In September, ET reported about Wipro’s plans to start with its most ambitious reorganization exercise, under which it aims to become a leaner 1,00,000-strong company from the current levels of 1,52,000 in three years.

The company plans to do this without resorting to mass layoffs but by “selectively filling” in roles of executives who leave.

As Wipro seeks to embrace automation and artificial intelligence, the company can do away with engineers who are currently doing basic-level repetitive work. Already, Wipro has started using, internally, a cognitive platform for its help desk system, thereby simplifying work process for employees. One other intelligent technology platform which the company has started work on for its retail clients is “Wipro Sight.”


Wipro, Infosys outpacing each other to meet demands in unfavourable global environment

December 9th, 2014

Battling to regain lost glory, Wipro and Infosys are stepping up their age-old rivalry, this time to out-innovate each other as the two Bengaluru-based software exporters invest in disruptive technologies pegged to artificial intelligence and design thinking to bring greater efficiencies for themselves and their customers.Outsourcing11

Infosys Chief Executive Vishal Sikka, at an analyst event in Pune on Thursday, said some of his company’s rivals were imitating it and went as far as labeling their moves proverbially as “imitation is the best form of flattery”. While he did not name any rival, for veteran watchers of Bengaluru’s software scene, the company he was referring to was clear: cross-town rival Wipro, which, on its part, claims to be investing “heavily” since 2012 in building data analytics and other next-generation platforms to help customers in the retail and healthcare space to improve their businesses.

In the past few years, both Infosys and Wipro have lost quite a bit of their sheen as they struggled to adjust with changing customer demand in an uncertain global business environment, leaving Mumbai-based bigger rival Tata Consultancy Services record phenomenal numbers since 2011. The original posterboys of India’s IT sector are trying cover the ground lost – by investing in technologies that can shake up the industry by disrupting the existing order and processes that are customer-focused – and their initiatives pit them against each other more than ever in the past.

The unfazed response of Wipro to Sikka’s comments was a testimony to the increased rivalry between the two. “I can say that we have a competitive edge,” said Satishchandra Doreswamy, chief business operations officer at Wipro. “We have been investing heavily in building the next-generation platforms for over two years with a focus on AAA (automation, artificial intelligence and analytics).

Platforms such as ServiceNXT, CloudCLM have started delivering value for some of key clients,” said Doreswamy, who was hired by Chairman Azim Premji three years ago to help transform Wipro by bringing in some of these advanced technologies. Although Doreswamy declined to quantify the impact of these disruptive technologies in Wipro’s growth, he said the range of productivity improvement differed from client to client. The former TCS veteran also said Wipro had over the last 24 months seen a “20-30% efficiency improvement” in the application development, maintenance and infrastructure management space.

Sikka, ever since he took the role of the first non-founder CEO at Infosys on August 1, has outlined a strategy of “building a new Infosys” by making fresh investments in bringing machineto-machine and automation platforms to the company’s traditional approach of delivering outsourcing services to customers. Sikka, who earlier this week completed four months at the company, said in Thursday’s analyst meet that he would share more details of what it was doing in this area in April next year.

For now, Infosys is training its software engineers on design thinking – a creative and systematic approach to problem-solving by placing the user at the centre of the experience – and is also in the process of launching an online training module on artificial intelligence for its employees. Doreswamy said Wipro has already brought in the customercentric approach and its overall net promoter score – a tool to gauge customer loyalty – has improved 30 percentage points.

Some experts, including Tom Reuner of London-based IT research firm Ovum said some of the next-generation service-delivery methods are still in nascent state and IT outsourcers are coy to talk in public as the full impact is still not fully understood. “(Nonetheless) Indian providers are at the forefront of this development as part of their push on nonlinear models,” said Reuner.

“Providers like TCS or Wipro have invested significantly in proprietary tools. The key to a broader adoption of robotic process is to build out robust cognitive engines (RPA) and artificial intelligence. These will be the conduit to moving RPA to the core of service delivery backbones.” Doreswamy said the immediate target for the company remains to adopt these disruptive technologies for at least 50% of customers. He declined to share further details.

Both companies are also looking to engage with startups to get access to new technologies. Wipro, after making minority investments last year in data analytics firm Opera Solutions and machine-to-machine learning-focused Axeda – although it exited Axeda this year – is setting up a corporate venture arm to be spearheaded by Rishad Premji that will initially invest up to $100 million (Rs 619 crore) in startups. Infosys too has set aside $100 million and is actively scouting the San Francisco Bay Area to find potential startups which could help the company with the missing innovation strand.

The focus of both companies is to win back the lost glory as rivals TCS and Nasdaq-listed Cognizant consistently outpaced them, and the industry, in revenue growth. Infosys, which was once the bellwether of the country’s information technology and commanded a premium in pricing compared with rivals, has been struggling to expand revenue in the last three years – it reported below-industry growth numbers for two years and was even forced to call founder Narayana Murthy back from retirement to steer the company last year.

In the last one year, Infosys even conceded to the fact of bidding for projects at prices which the company would not have done a few years earlier. Wipro has also been reporting disappointing growth numbers. Since the appointed TK Kurien as the CEO in January 2011, Wipro’s sequential quarterly revenue growth rate has not crossed 3% since the September 2012 quarter, making analyst Viju George of JP Morgan call Wipro’s situation as “a Curate’s egg”: good in parts but it must get multiple engines firing in tandem for it to qualify as a secular pick.


Infosys Plunges on Promoters’ Share Sale News: Where is a Hundred Billion Dollar to be Invested?

December 8th, 2014

Infosys Ltd saw its shares fall 4% on Monday on news that its co-founders are set to sell shares worth almost $1.1billion.Outsourcing11

The sale, said to involve four of its co-founders and their families, are to offer 32.6 million shares in the IT outsourcing firm for a fixed price of ₹1,988 ($32) each, a 4% discount to Friday’s close.

Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, S.D.Shibulal and K.Dinesh, have been named as those offloading the shares.

Deutsche Bank is the sole book runner for the issue and the books were covered just after launch, according to IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication.

As of September 2014, the founders and their families hold about 16% of shares outstanding.

Infosys launched a 1:1 bonus share issue earlier this month. The shares being offloaded could be the the pre-bonus equity stake.

In June, Vishal Sikka was chosen as the tech major’s CEO, breaking a trend of the founding members heading the organisation for more than three decades. The last few years had seen the company flounder, while its counterparts did roaring business.

Founder-Members Investment Profile

Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures has a strategic partnership with global retail giant, Amazon, for its India business. Murthy is also known to invest in various realty projects across the country. His other interests include FMCG and education.

Shibulal’s family office, Innovations Investment Management (IIM), manages investments in hospitality, property management, project management, investment portfolio management, plantations, farms and education. The company also owns an 800-apartment block in Seattle, USA.

Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini together are worth ₹7,700 crore, with 80% of it tied to their combined ownership of 2.75% in Infosys Ltd. They are well known philantrophists.

K.Dinesh, who resigned from the board in 2011, has been devoting his time to social work in the areas of health care, education and governance.

At the time of reporting, information on what the promoters seek to do with the funds is unavailable.


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