“Post pandemic, Infosys will start to come back to pre-Covid level growth of 9.8%.”-Mr.Salil Parekh, MD and CEO of Infosys

Exclusive Interview: Salil Parekh, MD & CEO of Infosys in conversation with Shereen Bhan on CNBC-TV18


Let me start by asking you about the transformation strategy that was put in place when you joined the company almost 3 years back in 2018 in January. The focus then was on winning large deals, on becoming more relevant in the digital space and skilling employees as well as further efforts to localize. Now you have been able to achieve good metrics on each of those parameters that you had set out. So, as you start your fresh year, is there going to be a new strategy, will you do a little bit of the same, will it be something different, are you going to sharpen and refine the current strategy? What should we now expect?

Mr.Salil Parekh:-I think absolutely — we have had many of those areas – digital, reskilling, and focus on what we do with our employees, all of that working well. Our focus today going ahead is continuing with where we are. We close out the third year in March and at that stage we will start to look at what could be the further refinement. What we are really seeing is much more work on digital transformation. As you know, we reported 25 percent growth in digital in the previous quarter and we see that traction continuing. About half our companies now focused on digital. We are seeing more and more work in the cloud space. We launched our own cloud brand ‘Infosys Cobalt’ a few weeks ago. So, that should continue and much more refinement in that direction.

On the digital front, because when you posted your numbers, you did talk about 50 percent of revenues coming from the digital business soon. Can you quantify that for us? What is the timeline that we are looking at?

Mr.Salil Parekh:-Soon means in the next few quarters because we have been growing at this very good pace of 25 percent for some time. Even through this whole crisis environment, with the global economy in a difficult situation, our growth in digital is continued. The focus for many large enterprises is really to adopt digital and drive it through. So, really in the next few quarters, we hope to see us crossing over the 50 percent.

What we are seeing today is a resurgence of cases across the US and Europe when it comes to COVID. Is that a concern? Are you starting to hear nervousness from clients already on the back of that?

Mr.Salil Parekh:-Today we are seeing that the cases are increasing, the model that we build or the scenarios we built had anticipated some of that to come about. Our growth guidance, which is 2-3 percent, bakes in some of that. Of course, if there is an extreme scenario, we have not baked it in, but we do not see that coming today and we don’t see at this stage any nervousness from our clients especially on the digital portfolios.

I want to talk a little bit about what we are now starting to see in a post COVID era – when I spoke with Rajesh Gopinathan he said that we are at the start of a first phase of a multi-year tech transformation cycle. How are you reading that and what is this going to mean structurally for each of your businesses going forward? What is it going to mean in terms of spends as well that you foresee?

Mr.Salil Parekh:-The technology world is really going through a massive change and any large enterprise is leveraging technology for different uses. So, you look at businesses whether in retail, in banking, in insurance, everyone is leveraging technology to make sure that they are connected with their consumers, their customers in a direct way, in a digital way. All of that is a benefit for us and Infosys because the more there is focus on these digital technologies, the more we see growth in the coming years. Once we get beyond the COVID situation, my sense is we will come back to where we were as we entered it. We had a very good growth pace of 9.8 percent; my sense is we will start to come back to that and now this wave has further accelerated.