Infosys mulls geo-business units to rev up revenues

Written by Diksha Dutta | Diksha Dutta | Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 12 2012, 13:55pm hrs
With its business process outsourcing (BPO) arm clocking unprecedented growth, Infosys has identified four emerging geographies India, Asia Pacific (APAC), Latin America and Eastern Europe for its BPO business where it will setup geo-business units to tap local clients.

The country's second-largest software and services company has identified these four sets of emerging economies to set up delivery centres, said Swami Swaminathan, CEO and MD, Infosys BPO. "The local governments of these countries are also showing interest and we are hiring people to head these centres," he said.

Incidentally, the expansion plan comes at a time when the firm is losing key top talent from its BPO business. Infosys BPO has a client base of 130, with a 60% overlap with its parent organisation.

While APAC contributes 15% to the BPO revenues, Europe's share stands at 32% with the rest coming from the US. The newly set up units will help the firm achieve 15-18% growth in the BPO business and double its revenue to $1 billion.

Infosys BPO currently operates in the US, APAC, Australia and Europe with over 21,421 employees and revenues of $494.9 million as of March 31, 2012.

The company has close to 30% of its employees outside the country. At present, the company has six centres in India and 12 outside the country.

The BPO division of the company posted margins of 22%, which are unprecedented in the BPO industry. Swaminathan added that the company is also scouting for inorganic opportunities and acquisitions will be used to bridge service gaps or tap into newer geographies.

Shibulal, the experimenter

Forbes, which lists Infosys among the worlds most innovative companies, has cited the company's co-founder and CEO SD Shibulals example to explain how innovative leaders maintain their edge.

Shibulal, or Shibu as he is known in the informal Infosys style, is one of the seven engineers who launched the company in 1981 by pooling together $250. Forbes calls him an observer and experimenter. In his 30 years at Infosys, Shibulal says there is nothing he has not done.

He was the first sales person, has done account management, launched its internet consulting practice, is a network expert, helped design and launch the company's first ecommerce application. He has also been the head of both delivery and sales. To get a new perspective, Shibulal took a five-year sabbatical to work for another firm, Sun Microsystems.

Hes also a gadget freak. When he buys the latest device, he never uses it as it is. He examines it, takes it apart and refits it to his needs, turning fad into art. Before PDAs were popular, he had assembled his own version with different parts from a RadioShack Store. Thats why at Infosys, where geeks are a dime a dozen, he is revered as a gizmo guru.