New Infosys CEO Salil Parekh sees significant growth opportunities around emerging digital services for the IT outsourcing powerhouse, even as its industry faces competitive challenges at home and abroad.
Parekh, who took over as chief executive of the Bangalore, India-based company earlier this month, pointed to data analytics, IoT, cloud, Software-as-a-Service, digital customer experience, security, artificial intelligence and machine learning as areas that could position Infosys for success down the road.
“These are massive growth opportunities in the sector,” he told Wall Street analysts Friday during the company’s third fiscal quarter earnings call. Parekh added that outsourcing companies need to change how they look at client interaction as the space shifts toward a more “business-driven agenda.”[Related: Infosys Names Capgemini Exec As Next CEO Following Heated Leadership Feud]
When it comes to Parekh’s near-term plans and priorities at Infosys, however, the he didn’t disclose many specifics. He said he’ll take the next three months to look at a “strategic refresh” by evaluating the solution provider’s market opportunities, client relationships, personnel and service offerings while developing a clearer view of the company.
That includes the company’s approach to mergers and acquisitions.
“Given the environment and that we have a very strong balance sheet, we will look at M&A as a very strategic opportunity, but no decisions have been made,” Parekh said. “We’re starting to evaluate that carefully to prioritize that need.”
A 25-year veteran of Capgemini, No. 6 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500, Parekh is just the second outsider to hold the top leadership position at Infosys.
Parekh’s arrival follows a rocky year for the outsourcing juggernaut – one which featured a public governance clash between its co-founder and board of directors, which resulted in the sudden resignation of former CEO Vishal Sikka in August. Sikka wrote in a resignation letter to his employees that “continuous … distractions and negativity” had created an untenable work environment.
Some of those criticisms were attributed to company co-founder and former chairman NR Narayana Murthy, who claimed in recent emails that Infosys’ independent directors felt that Sikka was more CTO material than CEO material.
Later that August, Infosys co-founder and former CEO Nandan Nilekani was named as chairman of the board, which caused the resignations of previous board chairman R Seshasayee, Sikka, and two other directors from the board.