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Vishal Sikka takes over as new CEO of Infosys, lays out vision

01 August, 2014

Vishal Sikka took over as the new chief executive of IT services major Infosys Ltd on Friday and laid down plans to transform the troubled tech company by working with the startup community, further strengthening intellectual property, products and platforms and also finding new software opportunities with clients.

In his first letter addressed to the 1.5 lakh plus employees of the company, Sikka said, “The task before us now is to lay out the way forward. We must continually get better at everything that we do today without disrupting the foundation that has got us to where we are.”

“We must then quickly augment this by going after software opportunities with clients – to create next-generation, intelligent solutions. We will work with the startup community – amplifying their reach and accelerating their roadmaps – to achieve this,” he said.

The company had announced in April last year that it is planning to float a $100 million innovation fund for the startup community to focus on ideas, products and platforms. However, it has not publicly announced any investments as part of this fund yet.

Large IT firms have been looking at the bustling startup community as future clients for their SMB offerings and to build relationship as they grow larger. Focus on startups also helps large IT firms such as Infosys be in close touch with innovation and disruptive technologies.

“We will further reinforce our focus on intellectual property, products and platforms, to drive new scale and new economics. By laying greater emphasis on improving our ability to learn and to identify opportunities of the future, we will build a sustainable business,” he further added.

The Bangalore-headquartered company has been focusing on IP-related products, platforms and solutions (PPS) business as part of its proposed ‘Infosys 3.0’ strategy, which is mainly aimed at widening the focus and looking to move higher in the value chain.

Sikka, who is the former board member of German software behemoth SAP, replaced co-founder S D Shibulal and is the first non-founder CEO of Infosys, once seen as a bellwether for Indian IT sector.

The firm, which has been led by its co-founders who took turns to become its chief executive since it was founded around three decades ago, has been facing pressure from other faster growing peers over the recent past. Its arch rival TCS is now valued more than two times Infosys.

In the last one year, the company saw over a dozen top level exits after executive chairman and founder NR Narayana Murthy returned to the company in June last year in order to steer back the fortune of Infosys.

Referring to the founders Sikka said the firm is going to continue to foster their ideas and ideals and be obsessive about performance.

“I will personally drive this agenda. With the generous support I have from the board, the executive team and you, this journey is going to be awesome for us all,” he said.

Shares of the company Friday closed at Rs 3,340.35 per share, down 0.75 per cent from their previous close on the BSE in a weak Mumbai market.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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Vishal Sikka takes over as new CEO of Infosys, lays out vision

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