Infy To Focus On Retail, Aerospace & Auto

Bangalore | Updated: Nov 5 2003, 05:30am hrs
Infosys Technologies Ltd is focusing its software solutions business increasingly in the retail, aerospace and automobile sectors to complement the traditional area of financial services. Infosys has carved out business units to focus on these new clients, chief executive officer Nandan Nilekani said on Tuesday.

Thats really the big push happening today at Infosys, said Mr Nilekani, who has steered the firm to 25 per cent profit growth after a two-year slowdown during which he took over the reins from co-founder NR Narayana Murthy.

Shares of Infosys were trading at a 32-month high of 5,005 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Tuesday after more than doubling in the past seven months as investors bet on a recovery in the sector. Infosys revenue has grown to $754 million in the year to March from just $68 million in 1998. Boosted by US-led outsourcing, sales are set to top $1.0 billion in 2003/04.

Seen now as a consultancy player, and no longer as a cheap Indian contractor, it faces competition from the likes of Accenture and IBM which are furiously expanding in India to emulate the low-cost edge that Infosys pioneered.

Mr Nilekani said there were signs of revival in technology spending. But more crucial was the continuing trend to boost outsourcing as global giants cut back in-house technology work. Infosys, sitting on a cash chest of $472 million, was in no hurry to make a much-awaited acquisition, as it was already growing sufficiently and sought value for money, he said.

Infosys overhaul has seen the exit of half a dozen high-flyers from its 40-member management council, sparking speculation about poor employee morale and a management crisis. But Mr Nilekani dismissed this as unsurprising in a 20,000-strong company trying to keep its competitive edge. I dont think its a serious problem, he said.(Reuters)