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Infosys is an Indian multinational organization based out of Bangalore, Karnataka. For years it has been known as the poster child of the Indian IT sector. It provides business consulting, outsourcing and technology services to clients in over 30 countries. Infosys has offices in 66 countries and 69 development centers in locations as varied as US, UK, Australia, India, Middle East, Germany , France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Poland etc.
Infosys was co-founded in 1981 by seven ex-employees of Patni Computer Systems, N.R. Narayan Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, N.S. Raghavan, S. Gopalkrishnan, S.D. Shibulal, K. Dinesh and Ashok Arora. With an initial investment of US $250 they operated out of Model Colony, Pune and the company was incorporated as "Infosys Consultants Pvt. Ltd." In 1983, they shifted base to Bangalore after landing their first client, Data Basics Corporation from the United States.
The initials years were far from rosy for Infosys. As beginners the main aim of the founders was to make a strong impact in the American market. With this purpose in mind they entered a joint venture with Kurt Salmon Associates in the US. Goplakrishnan, one of the few having any experience of working in the US , was the face of this venture. Unfortunately the deal went south in 1989 leading Infosys into its very first crisis, and Ashok Arora one of the key members to part ways with the organization.
But from then on Infosys has only looked forward. Since then it has continued to deliver IT solutions to Global 2000 companies. Employing over 150,000 Infoscions (moniker given to an employee of Infosys) of 95 nationalities.
Narayan Murthy served as the CEO of Infosys from its inception in 1981 till 2002 (succeeded by Nandan Nilekani after which he went on to serve as the chairman till 2011. After stepping down in 2011 he became the Chairman Emeritus which he continues to do till date. The organizational structure of Infosys consists of three Management profiles:
This consists of 14 members. Some of the key players are S.Gopalkrishan (Executive Chairman), S.D. Shibulal (CEO and MD), Rajiv Bansal (CFO), Nandita Gujjar (Senior VP) and several others.
Board of directors
Here again there are two groups:
Infosys Members of the group:
Comprising of some members from the Executive Leadership Committee to form a committee of 6 members.
Comprising of 8 independent directors.
Chairman Emeritus: This being Narayan Murthy as discussed earlier.
Infosys' style of functioning comes mainly from Narayan Murthy's guiding principles. He is someone who believes in leadership by example. He is a considered a visionary in the field of business and a role-model to many entrepreneurs. Some of his beliefs are:
Simple living and high thinking: Even after earning millions from his time with Infosys Murthy still lives a simple and practically ascetic life by today's standards.
Under-promising and Over Delivering: he believes that following this simple mantra would enhance and strengthen professional's ties with client, customer, colleagues and society in general.
He is one of the pioneers of ESOPs (Employee Stock Options), as he believed that the industry he belonged is a HR industry. Where people are important, he focused more on Brain ware. He believes that keeping employees motivated was a very important component of the IT industry and thus the ESOPs to evaluate performance and appropriately reward it.
His main strategy of growth was through repeat business. 70% of Infosys' revenues come from repeat business. Customer is king; according to Murthy giving value to customer is paramount and being fair and transparent in your dealings is important. He believes in giving the customer more than they expect. Murthy says that "Growth comes from repeat business, repeat business comes from relationships, and relationships with customers are built on trust and trust is built by delivering quality products".
He believed in putting the good of the public through his work ahead of his own benefits. Even to this day after he has left the post of Chairman, Infosys still continues to give social responsibility top priority. Plenty of rehabilitation drives, donations and literacy programs are conducted.
His practice of these beliefs and corporate governance where the stakeholders values are maximized in an ethical manner, led to Infosys becoming the first Indian company to be listed on the NASDAQ in 1999.
Infosys pioneered the Global delivery Model (GDM) that is basically the execution of a technical project using a team that is dispersed globally and coordinates from their respective locations.
The key drivers of their GDM are:
There are several processes in place to ensure delivery of solutions to multiple locations.
Quality System Documentation (QSD)Â keeps track of Infosys best practices
Body of Knowledge (BOK)Â is a online platform for peers to exchange information that they have gained from their project experiences that can be re-used across projects.
Process Assets helps in the distribution of knowledge across the organization.
Process Databases database put in place so that the software engineering practices of Infosys can be accessed and studied.
Process Capability Baseline (PCB)Â basically tracks the performance of the processed in places. It checks for metrics like productivity of the process.
Tools RepositoryÂ is a central repository that consists of all the tools that have been evaluated.
Infosys believed that top notch quality should be maintained across all facets. This is enforced in the following ways :
Baldridge based assessment
Internal certification made mandatory for employees to ascertain their competence levels.
Organization wide reuse of code and processes.
They have applied for a patent for their Project management tool PROSO
Tools are used to manage and implement projects and processes. These tools have been coded in- house by employees of Infosys. Some examples are IPM the web based integrated project management tool and Process Database which measures the effectiveness and productivity of process in place.
(iv) Knowledge Management helps employees and customers alike evaluate and assess their needs and procure or suggest any solutions accordingly.
Program Management addresses most of the defining factors of the management cycle.
(vi)Risk Mitigation deals with risk identification, prioritization and mitigation.
Change Management Initiatives
In the year of 2009 a HR initiative called iRace was carried out as an exercise in career restructuring and altering the alignment of roles and responsibilities. During the period of 2000-2009, the It industry had been changing rapidly, client needs changed making companys move from technology oriented roles to management oriented roles.
As a result of these changes it was observed in Infosys that many employees who were at the managerial positions lacked the experience required to be there in the first place. This is what led the HR team to come up with the iRace initiative. This meant a considerable amount of restructuring and mapping of roles across its various business functions like Analysis, Design,Software programming, Software Testing and maintenance. This change didn't go down very well with majority of the emlpoyees and this sentiment was clearly and explicitly put across during appraisals and meeting.
The iRace initiative failed to give the employees any clearly defined structure which was badly needed at the time.
Apart from these initiatives Infosys has several other programs that it runs which defines its structure and prevailing organizational culture:
Established in 1999 it supports underprivileged people in Karnataka, over time they now also reach areas in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, and Punjab in a phased manner. Areas that need specific attention like Healthcare, Education, Culture, Destitute Care and Rural Development are identified and tended to.
Infosys' Global Academic Relations team partners with academic and partner institutions and explores opportunities between Infosys and colleges through case studies and student trips. Collaborations have been made in various areas like technology, economic, globalization and research. These extend to conferences, employee hiring drives and publications.
The Infosys Science Foundation
A non-profit trust also set up in 2009 by the management of Infosys. The Infosys Prizeis given out to outstanding achievements of researchers and scientists across categories as varied as Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering and Computer Sciences, Mathematical Sciences and Life Sciences. This was done to celebrate success in the fields of science and research.
It is a global network of laboratories and innovation hubs across the world. Infosys has collaborated with universities like the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Queensland University of Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, IITB-Monash Research Academy, Purdue University, International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore.
Keeping in line with Narayan Murthy's philosophy of being a social human being, Infosys carries out a lot of charitable drives. Keeping to the same spirit the employees of Infosys joined hands together in order to rebuild and rehabilitate villages in areas of North Karnataka that had been severely hit by floods, which displaced millions from their homes and families.
There are also many initiatives in place that ensures that all future employees obtain excellent in house training, consequently become competent professionals and reinforcing the values of quality that Infosys has always espoused.
These are as follows:
E&R : Education and Research This department ensures that employees get the best technical training at the largest corporate university run by Infosys at their Mysore facilities. All trainees undergo the Foundation Program which is reinforced by processes like e-learning, just in time courses, and certification in various technologies.
ILI : The Infosys Leadership Institute through their Global Business Finishing School and their Role Based Training programs Infosys ensures all round development of its trainees. By the time they are through their ILI course they are well equipped to handle technical challenges as well as think analytically and make managerial level decisions as well.
Campus Connect : Infosys recognized the fact that the colleges and educational institutes in India where the main source from where all the IT talent came from. This initiative was undertaken in 2004, where the best practices and management processes were shared by Infosys with educational Institutes in India. Students who underwent this training were well equipped with the technical know-how required for a fresher in the IT industry. Otherwise this sort of knowledge was privy only to those who had the opportunity to work as interns with IT multinationals.