Unsolicited advice for Mr. Narayana Murthy

6 06 2013

Change Ahead

When the news of Mr. Narayana Murthy and his team that included Mr. Rohan Murthy being back at Infosys at an executive position

broke out, it took the media, shareholders, stock exchange and critics by surprise who welcomed the decision. But for the loyal employees of Infy, the ex-employees for whom Infy was their first love and those who still idealises Mr. Murthy, this did not come as a surprise since they knew for a long time that this was the final and only possible hope for Infosys to gain back its long lost glory.

Only a few media and critics came out with their opinions on what Infosys should do next which mostly included strategic suggestions like renewed focus on sales, client relations, using cash reserve etc. Here I have put down a few quick fixes from a  and smaller tactical points which focuses on human resource, the real work horses of Infy. These are the thirteen points that has built over the years through interactions with ex-colleagues at all levels within Infy in no order of priority.

  1. Do something drastically different very soon.
    There are millions who have become highly impatient expecting things to improve when the management changed repeatedly over time. Your being back at Infosys is a hope for these millions that things would start improving. A quick decision at this point will not only help build up confidence, but also prove that Infosys as a company is not afraid to change.
  2. Bring in transparency in employee communications
    Make sure that employees get to hear the news first before it’s released to media. One small step in building up trust between employees and management.
  3. Question HR hiring.
    Let’s face the truth. When talented and experienced employees left in thousands due to bad HR policies like iRace and post era, hiring was in progress aggressively so that attrition rate is at its minimal in the annual report. This process gave birth to Infy jokes like “Trespasses will be hired!”. Some of these bad hires not only had poor English communication, but also did not possess even basic excel skills. These lateral hires were paid more than expats for years until their rating came out and were eventually expelled from the company. Facing the true attrition rate and a high level investigation into bad hiring will eventually increase the quality of new hires.
  4. Provide a stage to question rating feedback.
    Provide a stage for the employee to question his performance rating and make sure that his/her opinions are taken seriously and corrected if necessary. This will not only ensure that ratings are not given based on manager’s personal relations, but also this would bring in more transparency during future rating and feedback cycle.
  5. Cut down operational cost.
    Way back when the employee strength was only 10k, a 20% bench strength meant that only about 2k employees were idle. But when the company has grown to 150k employees and with bench strength increasing to over 40%, maintaining such a vast resource pool only eats into profits. Those currently on bench may not be the ideal candidate for this exercise, but those who has a constant poor record of not delivering should fit this category. Eventually increase revenue per employee.
  6. Scrap iRace & bring in meritocracy based promotions
    The current promotion criteria based on iRace policy clearly states how many years an employee should work in a particular position until he gets promoted. A mere average performance and seniority guarantees promotion. Scrap the policy, bring in meritocracy and demote if necessary.
  7. Compensate loyal employees appropriately
    Spend money in compensating existing employees based on loyalty and performance. It’s better to hold on to current top employees who knows the culture well than bringing in new laterals at a higher rate.
  8. Infosys is not a government company
    The company has lost its image of being a honeypot of talent for young engineers and its seen more as a government organization where decisions take time and change is never heard of. Take quick and drastic decisions when necessary and maintain transparency within employees and shareholders.
  9. Remove 9.15hrs per day criteria
    Cutting leaves of employees who don’t stay within campus for at least 9.15hrs only helps in heating the chairs and increasing electricity bills. Make it clear that doing quality work on time is more important than slogging for 9.15hrs. Reward those who work faster & smarter and provide assistance to those who don’t.
  10. Change the dress code.
    Personally I always wondered why casuals were allowed on Friday’s and not on other working days. Were there no client visits on Fridays? At least relaxing the tie on Monday and Tuesdays will definitely be welcomed by the employees.
  11. Trust the employees
    Overtime when Infosys is left with the truly loyal and talented employees, take minor steps to increase trust. Stopping checking of baggage everytime employees enter and exit the campus would be a good place to start.
  12. Create a culture of entrepreneurship
    Create and promote the culture for talented engineers to get together and work on personal projects when on bench. Provide courses on new technologies for employees on bench to nurture talent and prepare them for future challenges.
  13. Finally, its perfectly ok to go back on statements
    A part of the press is busy pointing out that you have gone back on your own policies of retirement age and family business. H. M. Warne of Warner Brothers in 1927 said “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” Imagine where they would be today if they had clinched on to the statement. In today’s rapidly changing environment, it’s perfectly ok for predictions to go wrong. It’s more important to adapt to current needs even if that required going back on past statements. In a firefighting situation, almost everyone works best with a team they already know; hence there is no harm in bringing in Mr. Rohan Murthy and team who has excellent credentials and whom you are comfortable with. The need of the hour required someone as capable as you to come out of retirement and like there cannot be another Steve Jobs, there is no other NR Narayana Murthy.

Great Indian Developer Summit- Live!

20 05 2008

Great Indian Developer SummitI am here at IISC, Bangalore for the Great Indian Developer Summit at Bangalore. I will be attending .net tracks on 19th-20th and Web track on 21st May. But alas, I have missed 19th track due to a project meeting. WIll have to go thourgh the DVD given out at the end of 3rd day to see the sessions that happened yesterday.

Anyway, currently I am in the main hall attending the track- “Increasing Developer Prodcutivity” by Erik Doernenburg. For more details log on to http://www.developersummit.com.

Podworks.in: June 9th & 10th

10 05 2007


PodWorks.in is a 2-day workshop styled unconference dedicated to the sharing of knowledge around new / social media (audio and video podcasting, blogging, more. It’s a successor to the extremely successful BlogCamp.in that was held in September 9 & 10.

India’s Biggest Event on Audio & Video Podcasting

Date: June 9 & 10 (Saturday & Sunday)

Venue: Tidel Park Auditorium, Chennai.

Cost: Rs.200

PodWorks promises to bring the best of the podcasting/blogging/new media community together to learn, share, experience, and grow. How do we know it’ll be the best? Because *YOU* will be there.

No one at PodWorks is simply an attendee; all are participants. Making PodWorks an amazing experience is the responsibility of all of us!

You do NOT need to be a podcaster to attend a PodWorks. If you’re interested in podcasting, if you’re a listener, a blogger, a musician, an internet enthusiast, or just someone curious about podcasting and new media, then please join us — and bring a friend or colleague.

End of the first Mobile Monday, Chennai and PodWorks.in

9 05 2007

PodWorks.inFinally the events ended with a half an hour delay at 2:00pm due to the delayed start. After which we had lunch at Triffanys which was quite good. The event was a grand success and each and every one of us enjoyed it. I had slept at 2:00am on the day and woke up at 6:00am to arrive at the event a bit early. Due to that I was almost dropping dead and forgot about the meeting for Podworks.in (The next event in plan from The Knowledge Foundation) at Cafe Coffee Day at 3:00pm. 😦 I remembered about the meeting when I was almost about to reach my home at Tambaram. Too bad I missed it.

Proto.in 2007 Summer Edition – Nominations Begin (Press Release)

2 05 2007

Proto.inThe widely anticipated Nomination process for Proto.in 2007 summer edition is
officially open. If you are a Technology start-up, be it in the initial stages, seed
funded or planning to go IPO, we are accepting nominations from all across
Asia. Proto.in is not just about funding your start-up, rather creating Mindshare
for your Products among your clients, potential partners, with industry
specialists, veteran entrepreneurs and the mainstream media. The last date for
nominations is June 05th 2007.

 About Proto.in

 Proto.in is about giving entrepreneurs a platform to express their visions and showcase their imagination, with a working prototype, for the world to see. It’s about increasing partnership, collaboration and mindshare among a
distinguished, qualified and well-connected audience. Proto.in provides a unique platform for promising startup talent to communicate their creativity and innovation potential. As a meeting place for the smartest entrepreneurs,
venture capitalists and professionals, Proto.in stands true to its mantra “Create, Contribute, Collaborate.”

 A Look back at the First Edition

 During the first edition, Twenty seven companies, selected from more than one hundred nominations that came in, presented their vision and demonstrated their products to an audience which consisted of VCs, potential partners,
clients and in some case even have courted potential acquirers.  There were about ten companies which presented during Proto which are courted by three VC firms on average. There were more than a handful of companies that were struggling to get clients and have signed up clients – either with someone who came for the event or with someone outside who
heard about the company after Proto, have managed to establish a network of fellow and like-minded entrepreneurs, and gain valuable feedback on the business and product roadmap as they presented.

Second Edition – What’s in store?

We have widened our horizon and are looking at companies from across Asia. We are bringing in companies from countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China to enable cross-border collaboration in technology and
perspectives. The confirmations from the camp of Venture capitalists have come in hard and
fast from Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, Clearstone Ventures, Canaan Partners, NEA-Indo US Ventures, Gabriel Ventures, Mentor Partners, Venture east ,Silicon Valley Bank, Plus Ventures, Matrix Partners, FootPrint Ventures,
Bluerun Ventures apart from other Angel investors and Private Equity Firms. International and Indian Organizations supporting Entrepreneurship and technological innovations such as IAMAI, TiE, TeNeT, ASES, TeDD, Malaysia IDA,
Singapore have come forward and extended their support for Proto.in India, as a whole has yet to define its place in this global economy. Are we a country which is emerging with values and strength to challenge the nations as
a whole? This is a time in history, as the youth are empowered, and entrepreneurial activities are on the rise, that we dare to make those definitions.


If you are a journalist wanting to know more about the success stories of Proto.in First Edition or coming across proto.in for the first time and planning to cover the coming edition extensively, reach the below mentioned :

 Ravi Shankar                                                                          Sudhir Syal

+91-9444923443                                                          +91-9884010255

ravi [at] proto [dot] in                                      Sudhir [at] proto [dot] in


11 02 2007

Wikicamp Logo

Its back and its ROCKING….

 The Knowledge Foundation is doing it again. After the success of Barcamp, Blogcamp and Proto.in, we are back with Wikicamp. This too is an unconference being conducted at Tidel Park on 25th Feb 2007. So those of you interested to attend, do check out http://wikicamp.in. Register yourself soon because we are running out of seats. And dont complain the logo looks awful, that bcoz I designed it in Microsoft Expression Designer. 😉 I think I need not tell much, since all the details you need is put up at the site mentioned.

Parikrama Presents Superhero

27 09 2006


I just stumbled upon this link hosted at Microsoft website.

Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect, Bill Gates, launched the next generation of integrated computing platform – Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, and BizTalk Server 2006 in India on December 9, 2005. Joining in the celebration is the Indian Rock band – Parikrama with a rock song just for our Indian developers. Called `Superhero’ the song is about the life of a programmer. Download now, and Get Ready to Rock!

Lo-Fi (MP3)          [96 kbits, 2.64MB]
Lo-Fi  (WMA)         [96 kbits, 2.7MB]
Hi-Fi (MP3)          [160 kbits, 4.38MB]
Hi-Fi (WMA)          [160 kbits, 4.49MB]
Very Hi-Fi (MP3)    [320 kbits, 8.72MB]
View Lyrics Here