Today it is the country’s largest software exporter,but nearly a decade ago many investors evaluated TCS with Infosys as the benchmark and even Tata Group chief Ratan Tata had applauded the competitor’s governance and transparency,says a new book.
At the time of the company’s initial public offering in 2004 investors even perceived that “TCS was living in the past”,reminisces company’s former CEO S Ramadorai.
“There was a very visible perception amongst the investment community,for instance that Infosys was the company of the future and TCS was living in the past,” says
Ramadorai in his book that chronicles the journey of TCS. Infosys,which got listed in Indian markets way back in 1995 is the country’s second largest software exporter now. During roadshows for the company’s IPO — which happened in August 2004 — lots of good things were said about its competitor and one of the roadshows was flagged off by Ratan Tata in Singapore,the book recollects.
“Inevitably,perhaps on the roadshow we were always being compared and evaluated against Infosys and a lot of complimentary things were said about Infosys,” says the book,’The TCS story… and beyond’.
Ramadorai,who served as TCS CEO between 1996 and 2009,recalls that Ratan Tata had written a letter to Infosys management saying,”I must tell you that I felt so proud that here is an Indian company which is considered a benchmark in governance and transparency”.
Although TCS and Infosys were competitors,to hear good things in international forum about an Indian company “made us very happy”,says Ramdorai.
Presenting many little known facts related to the TCS,the book says that in mid-1990s,the company was less known than many of its competitors.
“We also realised that if we did not speak about ourselves,no one else would,certainly not our competitors. In the absence of our voice in the media,the industry and the press portrayed Infosys as a pioneer of the offshore outsourcing concept,which was actually not true,” the book says.