Infosys BPO head and India business unit chief V Balakrishnan resigns, to set up $20M VC fund with Mohandas Pai

Infosys director V Balakrishnan who was the head of Infosys BPO, Finacle and India Business Unit and also served as chairman of Infosys Lodestone, a consulting company which Infosys acquired in September 2012, has put in his papers. His resignation is effective from December 31, 2013.

This is the eighth big exit from Infosys in the last six months since its co-founder NR Narayana Murthy returned at the helm of affairs and comes a day after Subrahmanyam Goparaju, head of Infosys Labs and the Intellectual Property Cell of the firm, quit the firm.

Balakrishnan joined Infosys in 1991 and has previously also served as its CFO. He played a key role in the company's Indian IPO in 1993 as well as its first overseas listing in 1999. He also closely supervised the three sponsored secondary offerings by Infosys, including two public offerings without listing in Japan. Balakrishnan was also a key member of the team which led the company's first acquisition in Australia.

In an interaction with news channel ET Now, Balakrishnan dismissed rumours that he is joining Cognizant and said he plans to set up an early stage investment fund worth Rs 125 crore ($20 million) with former colleague TV Mohandas Pai.

"Bala has been an early adopter and a keen anchor-builder of Infosys. It is difficult to imagine Infosys without Bala’s passion, commitment, and intellect," commented NR Narayana Murthy, executive chairman of Infosys.

Balakrishnan said, "While my heart will always be with Infosys, my mind wants to do something beyond Infosys."

Infosys is the country’s second-largest IT services provider, which reported a series of disappointing quarterly results of late. Narayana Murthy came back in an executive role in June in order to steer back the fortunes of Infosys which has been facing severe competition from players like Cognizant Technologies.

Since then there has a series of top executive movement from the firm in what is believed to be linked with restructuring initiated by Murthy.

Last month, Stephen R Pratt who was the head of utilities and resources for North America resigned. In September, Infosys Head of BPO sales in Australia Kartik Jayaraman and BPO Head Latin America Humberto Andrade had quit the company to join outsourcing major Accenture and Capgemini, respectively.

Prior to that in August, Ashok Vemuri, who was a board member and head of Americas and global head of manufacturing and engineering services at the company, quit to join iGate. In July, Basab Pradhan had quit to join a California-based cloud computing startup Cliqr and Infosys vice-president and financial services head for the Americas, Sudhir Chaturvedi, had put in his papers to join NIIT Technologies as COO.

Meanwhile, Infosys has inducted UB Pravin Rao, a senior executive at the firm, as a whole-time director and also brought in Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shah as an independent member on the board.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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