Soaring shareholder wealth, a bitter boardroom tussle, the resignation of a chief executive officer and the return of two founders at the helm after retirement. Infosys Ltd., India’s second-largest software services provider, has seen it all in the last 25 years.
This June 14, the day the stock listed 25 years ago, BloombergQuint speaks to investment banker Vallabh Bhanshali, one of the men responsible for taking Infosys public, about his views on the company, the board and the founders.
Here are the highlights from the interview:
On Intervention By Founders
Founders will not be there long enough. So, the company has to learn. The company has enough and more of their [promoters’] legacy to build on. I hope Nandan [Nilekani] is there long enough to rule out any such need for further intervention.Vallabh Bhanshali, Chairman, Enam Securities
On Innovation By Infosys
Infosys has benefited from having a set of extraordinary people at the same time: the founders, Mohandas Pai and people like them. Therefore, their innovation shone brightly for the lack of it in other places. But it can still happen.Vallabh Bhanshali, Chairman, Enam Securities
On Guidances Given By Infosys
If the management does not have an objective which it pursues, then it has to be opportunistic. Then you say everyone is a visionary in retrospect. Infosys wanted to set something different. [Giving a guidance] continues to be possible for those who have that kind of confidence, sacrifice at heart and the modesty to go wrong and admit it.Vallabh Bhanshali, Chairman, Enam Securities
On Values At Infosys
There was a sense of egalitarianism, in the sense that the promoter-founders didn’t treat themselves as a super class. They were treated as employees. They didn’t take super salaries. The sense of egalitarianism led to the kind of decision-making and succession planning which happened at Infosys. Only when history will be written will we see the value of the experiment that Infosys attempted.Vallabh Bhanshali, Chairman, Enam Securities