Infosys' next chairman will be a non-founding member: Nandan Nilekani
Infosys, India's second-largest IT services company, will have a non-founding chairman, said Nandan Nilekani, chairman and co-founder of the firm. Nilekani joined other co-founders Narayana Murthy and Kris Gopalakrishnan at the IT major's 40th-anniversary celebrations to speak candidly about Infosys, its future, past, and other things relevant. During the conversation, Murthy praised Nilekani and Salil Parekh, the current CEO, for reviving the company's future.
Why does this story matter?
- Nilekani's second tenure at Infosys has been a very fruitful one. The duo of him and Parekh oversaw a revival that increased the company's revenue from Rs. 68,481 crore in FY17 to Rs. 1.24 trillion in FY22.
- It is unclear when Nilekani will step down from his post. Whenever he does, Parekh seems like the best option to lead Infosys in the future.
Nilekani returned to Infosys at a tumultuous time
Nilekani returned to the helm of Infosys after co-chairs R. Seshasayee and Ravi Venkatesan quit the board along with the company's first non-founding CEO Vishal Sikka abruptly. At the event, he said, "I am the last joker left and the challenge is a little more acute. I am handing over the post of the chairman to a non-founder."
Infosys' first non-founder management experiment was a failure
After Murthy left the company in 2014, the reigns of the company were handed over to a non-founder management and board. The experiment, however, didn't turn out as expected. The three volatile years ended with Sikka's resignation, as information about his and Murthy's conflict became public. As the company found itself at crossroads, several institutional investors jumped in and forced Nilekani to return.
No Plan B in case of failure: Nilekani
Nilekani said that if the next experiment doesn't work, "there is no Plan B." "If I hand it over to somebody and it doesn't work. I can't come back at 75 and I don't think any of the founders want to come back. We are all mortals. We don't know whether we will be attending the 50 years celebrations," he added.
Decision to not keep next-gen of Infosys founders wrong
Nilekani's comments followed Murthy's admission that he was wrong in not allowing the next generation of promoters out of Infosys. Earlier, Murthy was of the opinion that no family member of an Infosys founder should work at Infosys. "I was completely wrong. I was depriving this organization of legitimate talent. I take back whatever I said," Murthy said.
Nilekani said 'too much money is a curse' for start-ups
Start-up funding has slowed down considerably in India. Nilekani expressed his take on the funding winter. The Infosys chairman said that many young entrepreneurs impress him with their ambition, strategic thing, and understanding of business. However, he asked, "do these guys have the stamina to play the long game?" "That's what worries me because too much money is a curse," he added.