Nandan Nilekani: The man who makes things happen at Infosys

"When you are going through a lot of external issues and simultaneously re-engineering your firm, there is bound to be some amount of noise. After the boom, people no longer invested in technology as an act of faith. They started focusing on reliability, return on investment, and value for money, which is exactly what we deliver."

Nilekani explains, "We have shown robust organic growth. From $68mn in 1998, we will be approaching a billion dollars in revenue this year (2004). We will look at acquisitions but at the same time we are doing all the right things to grow the firm organically."

According to Nilekani, "Using Microsoft technologies we can deliver what clients want most - competitive advantage. Our two companies agree that by bringing together complementary assets and skills our clients will benefit from a unique experience of the combined expertise."

Nilekani is confident that, "At Infosys we have been able to broaden and deepen our client relationships. We have very high quality global marques names as our clients. In each of these we are working with more people across the firm, meeting customers at a much higher level, participating more and more in their business, thinking and contributing technology solutions. That's the big thing that is happening."

Smart Achievements

Global presence: acquired Expert Information Services for $25mn, established China subsidiary for $5mn, improved presence in France by adding new clients, set up disaster recovery center in Mauritius, Progeon set up unit in the Czech Republic

Launched global consulting business by investing $20mn to start a new consulting subsidiary headquartered in Fremont, USA

Developed new products such as Item Data Integrity, Radio Frequency Identification, improved Finacle to become one of the world's most scalable open systems based core banking solution

Strategic partnerships: tied up with Microsoft to deliver a portfolio of solutions and services globally, tied up with Smart Internet Technology Cooperative Research Centre, won a $50mn order from Australian Telstra Corp

Carried out a successful ADR listing on the Nasdaq, offering $294mn which was oversubscribed

Announced an unprecedented bonus issue of three shares for every one held, a special dividend of Rs100 per share and an annual dividend of Rs15 per share. Crossed $0.5bn in revenues by 2002 and crossed $1bn in revenues by 2004. Has posted a 31% rise in profits last year despite IT sector slow growth

Restructured the company from geographical business units into fully integrated vertical industry groups called IBUs in banking and capital markets, insurance and healthcare, automative and aerospace, and retail distribution


Soon after taking over as CEO back in 2002, after careful discussions with his top team, Nilekani started implementing a derisking strategy that aimed to reduce the company's dependence on any specific client, domain or project. It also set the agenda for business expansion into Europe and other parts of the world in an effort to reduce dependence on the USA. To date Infosys has operations in thirty countries, and recently has made a number of moves to increase international presence, both through organic growth and through acquisitions.

Australia was a new area for growth. As part of its global aspirations, in December 2003 Infosys acquired Australian IT major, Expert Information Services for $29.9mn. It had a base of 400 IT professionals on its roster and was a leading solutions supplier to the government, finance, telecom and retail sectors. The approach to China was different. Instead of acquisitions, Nilekani discussed the options with his team and a collective decision was reached to invest $5mn in setting up a subsidiary to establish presence in the area. In 2003 they went ahead and set up a new development center at the Shanghai Pudong Software Park in China.

Meanwhile business growth is also coming from increasing the number of active clients across the board and hiking the average revenue per client. Increasing the breadth of services to each client reduces the per unit cost of selling and increases Infosys' share of the customer's wallet. By offering niche services and by adding consulting, package software and application outsourcing to its range of offerings, over the last few years Infosys has increased the addressable market by over three times.

Also there are a slew of new products that have been launched in the market. Infosys already has core competency in banking solutions with its Finacle suite covering Finacle Core Banking, Finacle eChannels, Finacle eCorporate, Finacle CRM and Finacle Treasury.

Infosys has the distinction of being one of the first Indian companies to list in America. And Nilekani is well aware about the significance of this in terms of brand awareness and recall. To take it to the next step Nilekani turned his attention to listing on the NASDAQ. Infosys successfully attempted an ADR issue in July 2003 at $49 per ADS on the Nasdaq, at a $10 premium over closing price on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The total size of the offering was $294mn.

The intent is to go to the next level to become a mainstream stock -- widely held, liquid, covered and mentioned in the same breath as local firms. Recently this was followed up by another successful ADR issue that raised over $1bn.

From India, Coimbatore
Considering your interesting posts on diverse subjects, We should also have a post such as
M.PEER MOHAMED SARDHAR:The man who makes things happen at citehr.
I particularly liked the posts on Bosses, concentration and the recent one on reading among many others.
Talking of Nilekani, he is humble also. He admitted to Vir Sanghvi in an interview that his success was more a case of being the right person at the right place at the right time.

From India, New Delhi
Dear Md.Sardhar , It is a wonderful piece of article . Many thanks for sharing . Would request you to kindly share more such motivating articles . With Warm Regards, Tusher Mumbai
From India, Mumbai

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