Nilekani’s re-entry can spur Infosys growth: Pai

New Delhi: Infosys’ former chief financial officer (CFO) T V Mohandas Pai has said that founding member and former CEO Nandan Nilekani should come back to the company to “handhold” it out of troubled times.

On Wednesday, Infosys president and member of the board B G Srinivas quit the company, making him the 10th high-profile executive to call it curtains since its co-founder N R Narayana Murthy took over as the executive chairman of the company in June 2013.

Srinivas was one of the contendors for the CEO post, after S D Shibulal retires in January 2015.

“I think Nandan has an obligation as a founder who has done well for himself in the company and the company has given him so much, to come back for the next one or two years, handhold, help Murthy make the transition because he has an uncanny ability to connect with the clients,” Pai told NDTV.

Mohandas Pai is now the chairman of the board of Manipal Global Education Services and had also served as the human resources head at Infosys.

Nilekani is one of the founding members of the Bangalore-based IT giant. He served as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the company from 2002 to 2007. Before taking charge of the company, Nilekani held various posts, including managing director, president, and chief operating officer. In 2007, he stepped down from the CEO’s position for fellow co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan to take over and became the co-chairman of the board of directors.

“He (Nilekani) still has a large stake and for two years come and handhold and help the next CEO rebuild everything else, that’ll be fabulous, that’s why I said that that’s required because NRN (Murthy) coming back doesn’t seem to have worked in the way that it should have worked,” Pai said.

Nilekani and his wife together hold close to 3 per cent shares of Infosys. In 2009, Nilekani left Infosys to take charge of the UPA-government’s ambitious Aadhaar project at the invitation of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He also contested from the Bangalore South constituency on a Congress ticket in the recently concluded general elections and lost to BJP’s candidate.

India’s second largest software services firm is grappling with high attrition level as compared to its peers. In the quarter ended March 31, Infosys reported an attrition rate of 18.7%, the highest level among its peers.

The company, once a bellwether for the IT outsourcing industry, has been underperforming its rivals in recent years

 

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