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Bringing Infosys board and founders under one roof ‘doable’: Ravi Venkatesan says

LiveMint logoLiveMint 25-07-2017 PTI

Bengaluru: Infosys co-chairman Ravi Venkatesan on Tuesday said his priority is to get promoters and management working together as “one Infosys” and not operating in different pockets. The comments assumed significance in the wake of a recent public spat between some promoters and the top management of India’s second largest IT firm with a turnover of over $10 billion.

Venkatesan said that bringing promoters and management together is “doable” and he spends four to five days in a week on this despite being only a non-executive co-chairman. “I agree, there is a lot of work to do... I tell people, I am a non-executive co-chairman, but when I think about this task of getting everybody working as one... I spend four to five days in a week,” he said.

Venkatesan was replying to a query that there must be a lot of work left for him to achieve the goal of “one Infosys”. “If you ask about my priority, I would say it is getting people working together -promoters and management as one, not (as) different pockets, but working together, under one roof as ‘one Infosys’,” he said. If the company can create this spirit and feeling of oneness, everything will fall in place, Venkatesan said.

Asked how big is the task to bring the board and the founders together, Venkatesan said, “I don’t know how to measure oneness, but a lot of it is still left ... Yes, but it is doable.” Asked if his quest to meet the goal of “one Infosys” will get hampered and cause alarm to CEO Vishal Sikka by founder N R Narayana Murthy’s comment on regretting quitting the company in 2014, Venkatesan said it won’t lead to fresh set of challenges, for he is still incredibly passionate about Infosys and the company takes his positive suggestions on board. “Just because you have differences of views on compensation and other sundry issues, that doesn’t change the fundamentals.

So, when a man like that speaks, we obviously pay a lot of attention to it and try and see what is the merit in the idea and embrace it. So, I would not put too much stock on these comments, but the question should be better addressed to him directly,” he said.

Murthy, in an interview to a news channel had regretted having quit the company in 2014, without paying heed to his co-founders who insisted him to stay. Murthy has been vocal by raising the issue of corporate governance, questioning the package given to Rajiv Bansal and the pay hike of top executive personnel including Sikka.

Venkatesan said Sikka was Murthy’s pick and he drove a lot of positive changes in the first two years of his stint by talking about various new things but stressing mainly on employees’ innovative skills. “Sikka has completed three years, but for the first couple of years I think things were quite good. After all, Vishal was hired by Murthyji. He was his pick. Vishal drove a lot of positive changes. He said we must show - even Indians can innovate and every employee has to innovate. So, these ideas were appreciated by employees, clients, and also by Murthy, I believe,” he said.

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