Infosys CEO S. D. Shibulal continues to be “cautiously optimistic,” the term he has used in the past to describe the prospects for the company. Despite the improved forecast for the current year, he says it will take some more time before “large deal wins” result in sustainable growth. Shortly after the announcement of the results of the second quarter, he spoke to this correspondent. Excerpts:
How would you characterise the last quarters, especially in comparison to Infosys’ performance in the last two years when you have missed your own revenue forecasts?
In the last five quarters, we have grown in every single quarter. We have grown by an average of 3.6 per cent in the last five quarters.
How much is this to do with the rupee’s slide in the last quarter?
Our growth has nothing to do with the rupee. The growth I just mentioned all pertain to dollar-denominated growth. But if you ask me where this growth is coming from, I would say that in the past we faced a bit of turbulence — I am not saying its completely over — but our objective of remaining relevant to clients is bearing results in terms of growth and profitability.
You spoke about the large deals that you need to win. Where are you on the endeavour?
It has started yielding results, but not enough yet. We won about $1 billion worth of large deals in the second-half of last year, which are yielding results now. We have won again, but those will yield results later on.
The deep client focus, the benefits of the Lodestone acquisition, creating new kinds of solutions and winning large outsourcing deals have all contributed to growth.
Look at it this way: For a company with revenues of $8 billion, large deals worth $2 billion will yield returns of 10 per cent in the first year, and 20 per cent in the second year. We have to recognise that the additional revenue stream of $200 million is not much for a company of that size.
This is the reason why I say that we have to win a lot more to create the growth momentum.
Is the business environment there to deliver the large deals you are looking for?
The environment has improved. The deal pipeline is pretty good. But the market is very price-sensitive and competitive. But our momentum now is better than what it was 2-3 years ago.