nfosys has won the GLOBAL MAKE( most admired knowledge enterprise award for 3 years – 2002- 2004,in a row and is in the MAKE Hall of fame. The following article was published in Forbes Magazine , July 2015. Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka On The End Of India's 'IT Miracle' This story appears in the July 2015 issue of Forbes Asia. Comment Now Follow Comments By the early 2000s Infosys had grabbed leadership of India’s competitive outsourcing sector, winning plaudits from the likes of FORBES ASIA and a roaring stock-market valuation. Its founding group figured among India’s richest. In recent years, however, even as revenues and staff count continued to grow, the company seemed to lose it’s mojo–as well as 17% of its market cap since the peak in December 2010. With customers and top talent exiting, Infosys a year ago turned to Vishal Sikka, an executive board member of Germany’s SAP, to be its first nonfounder CEO. Sikka, 48, grew up and went to school in India, then got his engineering degree at Syracuse University in the U.S. and added a Ph.D. in artificial 3 | P a g e G r o u p A s s i g n m e n t 2 0 1 5 ; e p m 5 5 3 0 C . D ’ C R U Z intelligence at Stanford. He ultimately joined SAP in 2002 and became the software giant’s chief technologist in 2007. An effervescent personality, he is acting to restore Infosys’ brio while living (traveling, mostly) away from the firm’s Bangalore headquarters. He spoke to FORBES ASIA recently on one of his monthly visits to the Electronics City suburban campus. Edited excerpts: What brought you to Infosys at this point? The ball started rolling the day I quit SAP. I got a call from a search firm about Infosys. It was an iconic company when I was growing up, but all I had been seeing was bad news. Initially, I wasn’t clear how it was going to work. I live in California, and Infosys is based in Bangalore. But I was quickly convinced. There were three reasons for my joining. One was my deep connection with Kamath [former Infosys chairman and BRICS bank president K.V. Kamath]. Then there was the Infosys culture that [Narayana] Murthy had built, an education-driven culture. When we met, Murthy gave me a puzzle. It was a matrix involving several rows and columns. I was able to solve it. I was impressed that the chairman of Infosys was so deeply grounded in reality. There was also a third reason–the opportunity to do something back home in India. What were the challenges you were confronted with? Senior leaders were leaving; the company was facing growth challenges and attrition. But I knew of and expected all this. What was a surprise, however, was the fact that so many processes around go-tomarket and sales were not in place. When you work in a large Western multinational, you take these things for granted. Infosys had been a standard-bearer in the early days–it was such a differentiated company that nobody thought to build something. The fact that you were Infosys was reason enough for customers to buy your services. Several years later, however, things had turned much more competitive. Our rivals had created great sales and marketing machines. The second shock was encountering the feeling that we are inferior to others. Wait–at the great Infosys, a mind-set like that? What’s an example? As an IT services firm we are not supposed to innovate; we just do what others tell us to. That thinking makes me angry and disturbed, and I’m determined to change that. We don’t realize that everything around us is built by us or companies like ours. Every airplane we fly in has a lot of software and hardware designed by Indian engineers. It’s the same with the cellphones we use. We do extraordinarily distinguished things for the world. But I kept hearing from customers, you are not proactive; you don’t participate in our innovation journey; you don’t help us make things better. On the plus side, a pleasant surprise is our education infrastructure. At Infosys we can train 15,000 employees at one time. There can be no parallel in the world. Since I’ve joined, we’ve trained 10,000 employees in design thinking. [That's to bring in creativity.] Being able to do that gives a company such extraordinary power; it shows the willingness to change. Ours is a young company and the positive energy is incredible–employees have taken 20,000 selfies with me since I joined. Is this the end of India’s “IT miracle” as we know it? It is dead; it is over. There’s no doubt in my mind that the old model is no longer relevant. Things are very competitive. The advantages of geolocalization are available to everybody. Automation is a big thing–it is extremely easy to be disintermediated. What is the new model for Infosys? The theme is “Renew and New.” We want to renew and improve the way we do things. We have folded in Lodestone [a Zurich consultancy acquired in 2012] and deeply integrated that into the company. That team has 100 very distinguished senior people, and each has been allocated 2 of our top 200 customers. They will colead with the sales team, and the combination will bring the company to the client in a more holistic way. A central team led by a brilliant design thinker will weigh in on every proposal we make. That team has helped us bag five major wins in the last few weeks. I find the whole system of RFPs [requests for proposal, seeking bids] bizarre. It’s like saying you don’t know who you should give the business to.