Deal pipeline is decent, there is no cause for panic

Written by Debojyoti Ghosh | Debojyoti Ghosh | Anand J | Updated: Nov 15 2012, 09:38am hrs
BG Srinivas, Europe and BFSI head at Infosys, is on a hot seat. BFSI is extremely crucial to its fortunes just like any other IT services firm. Europe, which has been on a downward curve macro-economically, has again come on to the growth track as a revenue source for Infosys geographically. On both these counts, the spotlight is on Srinivas, who is seen as a crucial board member. In an interview with Debojyoti Ghosh and Anand J, Srinivas dwells on the new strategies adopted by his team to tide over the difficulties posed by the slow paced environment. Edited excerpts.

It has been two quarters since you took over the BFSI vertical. How is the segment performing

The segment continues to see challenges. Banks are challenged for growth and the insurance sector is also muted. Capital markets have also seen a major downturn in their business and trading volumes. If you ask me, frankly, there is no good news as far as growth rate is concerned. On top of it, some banks in Europe and US have been slapped with massive fines and new regulations are impacting them. While I do not want to sound all gloomy because the sector is going through many challenges, the good news as far as we are concerned is that we have seen some improvement in Q2 in terms of revenue growth. We have added 14 new clients in the BFSI sector in the quarter.

How is Infosys positioned as far as contract renewals are concerned in the BFSI segment

We have won some of these deals when the consolidation happened. When people talk about renewal deals coming up, it is primarily in the infrastructure vertical. But at the same time even in traditional application, maintenance and development (AMD) there is further room to consolidate and that is happening. Given the current situation that clients are going through, I would say the deal pipeline is decent. I would not say it is very optimistic neither is there any cause for panic.

How is Europe faring for Infosys

Today 22% of our business come from Europe, but consciously in the last 5-10 years we have invested and chosen few countries where we want to focus on. Otherwise our focus will get diluted and it is not good. UK, Germany, France, Switzerland and Nordics are the core markets we are looking at. We will support our clients all across Europe, but in these specific countries we have a clear go to market approach. We have about 6,000 people in Europe and this has scaled up significantly in the last three-four years. We will continue to add more people in line with our business plan and growth. On top of it we have made the Lodestone acquisition. It will give us a jump in the continental market and that is again very strategic.

Would you be a strong contender for the CEOs post along with Ashok Vemuri

Shibu has just taken over. Why are you guys in so much hurry He has powerfully transformed the company in terms of some of the boldest moves made during these challenging times. You have to give him time to execute and we have to give him some space. Everybody is breathing down his neck. There is a lot of depth in leadership at Infosys. Let us not worry about that.

Is Shibulal facing the toughest media and market scrutiny

More than market, it is media. See, the thing is, this industry is going through one of its toughest times. Clearly in terms of what we have done and where we were five years ago, we have transformed. Now we are fighting the big global system integrators head on, winning deals and taking market share. Just because there were couple of challenging quarters, there is so much of intense scrutiny. Your strategies dont take shape in a few months time.