Infosys CEO SD Shibulal,who has been at the centre of criticism for not putting the tech giant’s $3.7 billion reserve cash to good use ,is now a happy man. In an interview with FE’s PP Thimmaya,Shibulal said the Lodestone acquisition was very much in line with Infosys 3.0 strategy
How do you perceive the acquisition of Lodestone?
It is the right step and in line with our strategic direction. When we are on this course of transformation — with a five to seven-year horizon — we need to take these steps that take us forward. For us,long-term is a series of short-term calls which will allow us to complete Infosys 3.0,which is all about higher value services. The Lodestone acquisition will help us to put two and two and create five.
How do you see the integration taking place?
The Lodestone deal will close in October and in a quarter or two we will close out the integration process. This acquisition is very strong on the cultural alignment front. Both companies believe in common values like being customer focused,creating relevant solutions and caring about the employees.
Will Infosys now look at similar such buyouts?
There is no question of that now. The current buyout is the result of us looking at targets for many years. We will continue to look.
Has Infosys taken a very unconventional approach in downcast environment?
Strategy is all about choices and it is meant for the long term. It is not a meant for a quarter or two. The environment today is definitely different today,impacting our ability to create quick wins. However,we firmly believe this is the choice industry will have to make in addressing the challenges of scalability,commoditisation and creating higher value. The Lodestone acquisition falls within this framework.
Will Infosys look at other areas for acquisition with a larger size?
We have always been looking at the areas of products and platforms,life sciences,public services,consultancy etc. We will continue to do so. We are comfortable about offering up to 10% of our revenue (for an acquisition).
Will Infosys be interested in buying captive organisations?
Acquisitions,for us,are not about creating volumes but creating that shift in value for the company.