Archive | June, 2013

Robert Scoble interviews Aaron Levie (CEO, BOX) : Video

20 Jun

 

I had never heard of BOX, much less about Aaron Levie. But after seeing this, I am a fan of Aaron. His energy, his humour, his wit is commendable!

Besides this is a very informative video of how to business in the online/cloud computing space!

 

 

Project Loon by Google X Labs – Balloon powered Internet Access

15 Jun

This is fascinating and really EXTRA-ORDINARY!

 

D8 Conference : Interview with Steve Jobs(video)

14 Jun

 

Wonder why I didn’t see this before!! This is Steve Jobs at his best and unlike his expected brilliance at his various Keynotes here is spontaneous and you could see the charm, his arrogance(at times), his shrewdness, his sharpness, his charisma, his genius, his conviction, his clarity of thoughts and RDF(Reality Distortion Field) magic happening!

I bow to you Steve Jobs…you have changed the rules, the way we live, the way we use our mobile phones, the way we do computing!

You will always be missed!

Truly Disrupting and CRAZY Technology – Umoove!

10 Jun

 

 

Using your eyes/head to scroll that too with adjustable speed, zoom-in/out as you go near the device and farther from it, immersive gaming experience….this eye-tracking technology is mind-blowing! Seeing such change-the-world ideas, I am proud to love technology so much!

Hope Apple incorporates some of this in the near near future!

 

1st June 2013 : Return of N.R. Narayan Murthy(NRM) to Infosys

8 Jun

NARAYANA_MURTHY_jpg_974f

It has finally happened! NRM has been called back to Infosys to revive what he built over two decades after the other Founders were unable to arrest the slide and its flagging fortunes over the past 18-24 months. Now to be fair the slide started to happen once S Gopalakrishnan(or Kris as he is fondly called) departed and by tradition the next Founder – S.D.Shibulal took the helms of this IT behemoth.

NRM return to Infosys is indeed breaking news, very significant and quite interesting!

As much as I was surprised, I am happy to see he being back. In-fact even NRM has expressed surprised that he was being called back! Desperate times call for desperate measures. This reminds me of Apple and how they called back Steve Jobs and as they say rest is history. But let us not get carried away! 🙂

High profile companies are always in the news and when a company like Infosys – which has always been the poster boy of the Stock Market – doesn’t do well consistently over many quarters, its even more in the news. Many people became instant millionaires in 1998 when Infosys stock got listed. Infosys headed the IT revolution which engulfed India in the 2000’s. Infosys virtually changed the economy, gave employment to thousands, gave disposable income to the middle class which led to burst of spending thereby creating growth and momentum for everyone. And Infosys did this for a long long time, almost 10-12 years. And then things started going downhill. This is what media thrives on!

Once NRM resigned as CEO, Nandan Nilekani took place and carried forward the growth  like never before, for Infosys. No wonder he was personally called by PM – Manmohan Singh to start the UIDAI  initiative for 100 million Indians!

Once Nandan left for larger endeavors, Kris took place and though he did carry forward, he was nowhere close to what Nandan/NRM. As Kris term started to end, the Infosys shine begin to fade off. And when S.D. Shibulal took place, things started to slide…unprecedentedly.

Usually Infosys has a solid track record of beating street expectations every single quarter. Its guidance (revenue estimates) is always higher than what the   market predicts. But since Shibulal became the CEO, its the street expectations which has always beaten Infosys. Its guidance are even lower than what the market predicts..on a consistent basis!

The reason why Infosys has been in the news in a negative way is not because its not doing well. It is because its the ONLY company among the top 5 IT giants which is not doing well. So if all are doing well, definitely market is not as bad as Infosys keeps saying it is. It may be bad for Infosys but not for others. And therein lies the crux of the issue.

For the first time in a long long time, Cognizant who was not even considered among the big IT companies, recently overtook Infosys to be the #2 in terms of revenue. TCS continues to be #1. And FYI when Infosys stock is down 20%, Cognizant stock went up by close to 40% in the last 2 years!

Clearly the plan Infosys 3.0 which Shibulal mentioned once he took over is not working. Whether its a problem in strategy, or in culture or in the management or all the three, this needs to be fix ASAP before the damage becomes irreversible. Even KV Kamath who is known for making ICICI the biggest private sector bank and the first “outsider” to be a part of Infosys when he took over NRM’s role in 2011 couldn’t do much as Infosys is clearly not better since he took over.

Now once this news was broken that NRM is coming back, media went berserk and different theories started to circle in all news medium. Some said its a good step, some said not very good, some said that KV Kamath was feeling the heat and it was his initiative to even think of calling back NRM, many have expressed disappointment that company rules(NRM bringing his son Rohan apparently to make him more effective, and retirement age being scaled up to let NRM come back) have been changed for this recent development. Good thing about opinion is that everyone is entitled to it, the bad thing is that everyone has one! Including me and hence you are able to read this post! 🙂

The way I see it, its definitely is a good step though it has regressive overtones to it. Firstly it clearly highlights lack of leadership in the management of Infosys which were unable to sustain once leaders started to step down as is tradition. It also reveals lack of succession planning to make sure that the behemoth which Infosys is continues to sustain its leadership among the IT companies and continues to be bellwether stock it used to be.

I am also disappointed of the tenure of KV Kamath considering his dazzling track record in the banking sector and his overall capabilities as known from media. The only time I vaguely heard from him was when the Quarterly results were out and more recently his take on NRM coming back.

Many have blamed the tradition of founders being progressed to CEO positions which limits who can lead. I agree. If they throw open the CEO position and hire an outsider, a lot will change in Infosys and a lot of those changes will be positive. Ownership, be it family/founders should always be clearly demarcated from who professionally runs the company in the interest of all involved and if its a listed company the accountability increases manifold. Culture is definitely one problem at Infosys. As good a brand Infosys is, I have always heard that working there is not all that attractive.

On the issue of increasing the retirement age, well yes technically these rules should be binding to one and all but if a future of a company is at risk in the largest interest its best to change the rules if mutually accepted to all involved. On bringing his son Rohan as an executive assistant, I really don’t see the fuss in it. Its not that he is now part of the board or in the top management. Its been long time since NRM was involved in the day-to-day running and since he is been working with his son(Catamaran Ventures) for sometime, if he feels his son will add value and make him more efficient, so be it.

Top most priority is to arrest the slide and get Infosys on the growth path which is used to be it. Of-course all this within the ethics/values of Infosys and as mandated by the govt.

To conclude, I am happy that NRM is coming back. If it benefits all including its shareholders/investors, why not!

 

Anirudh

Disclaimer : I don’t own a single Infosys stock!

 

%d bloggers like this: