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Nurturing tomorrow's talent

How does talent strategy ensure growth?

To address the twin challenges of commoditization and scalability that we face today, an innovative adoption of technology is required. In a knowledge-based industry, the main ingredients for success include technological skill, domain knowledge and an innovative, problem-solving mindset. Therefore, talent plays a significant role in making a corporation adept at engaging with clients and skilled at responding to rapid changes. It is an integral part of our strategy to ensure growth.

Talent is our biggest asset and talent strategy is important, to acquire and manage this asset effectively. A recent study by McKinsey and Co. found that companies with a well-defined talent strategy grow faster than their peers. As superior growth is the biggest target of an organization, talent strategy naturally becomes a key component of the business strategy of enterprises. Our talent strategy is aligned to our business strategy.

What is the relevance of talent strategy in Infosys 3.0?

Our mission for Infosys 3.0 is to become strategic partners to our clients. To  do this, we need to partner with them on their technology spend and deliver tangible business value. Talent strategy is critical to deliver this promise. We  leverage local talent for client engagement which can strengthen and sustain deep client relationships. Our glocal talent strategy ensures we hire employees with superior domain, technology and product development skills so they can deliver tangible business value.

As we expand into newer markets, how do we address the 'be local to be global' challenge?

We are a global company and intend to globalize our workforce more. To gain an advantage in global talent markets, we are creating awareness about our brand. This helps in marketing our services and products in the geographies we operate in, and in turn attract the brightest talent.

We are doing this through close interaction with educational institutions, industry associations and local talent market in different geographies. We also run an extremely successful Campus Connect program, to collaborate with educational institutions and help scale their curricula to meet industry demands. To date, this program has reached out to over 600 educational institutions in India, China, Mexico and Malaysia.

What are the imperatives of a global workforce and what are the inclusion policies that we need to embrace?

Being a globally respected corporation, diversity and inclusivity are part of our DNA. Our employee strength, as at March 31, 2012, was 1,49,994 and comprises employees from 85 nationalities. To create a global workforce for tomorrow, it is important to adopt diversity as a key strategy. Equal opportunities are being created for everyone to excel and contribute, irrespective of gender, race or age. Special provisions are also being made to accommodate those who are differently abled.

Every year, we receive interns from across the world, and many of them conduct Cultural Immersion programs for us. These programs help Infoscions understand cultural nuances from around the world and aids them when they travel on work to various countries.

How do we nurture tomorrow's talent?

We nurture tomorrow's talent by understanding its nature, being sensitive to generational differences and creating a brand image that is in consonance with the aspirations of our target talent group. We recruit and nurture talent through a well-balanced approach of building capacity and capability. Capacity creation is about having world-class infrastructure to attract talent and instill pride in them. Nurturing talent is also about retaining talent. Capability creation involves training our talent pool continuously, so that they are armed to meet tomorrow's challenges, technological or otherwise. We spend around US $180 million every year on training.

Is there a mindset shift required for the making of an Infoscion 3.0?

Delivering business value while delivering our products and services is the mindset shift required for an Infoscion 3.0. The Infoscion 3.0 should possess a combination of technology and domain skills along with the ability to innovate and should be a culturally sensitive and socially aware individual.

What are the challenges that will arise due to government regulations across nations and how should corporations like us deal with these?

First, we will adhere to our stated value system of following the rules and regulations of every country in which we operate. A combination of compliance and sensitivity to local laws and customs while keeping our core values intact is what we will use to tap the global talent pool. We operate in various markets and we believe that it is imperative to contribute to the local societal needs such as high-value employment generation and knowledge enhancement. As a socially responsible organization, we aim to contribute to the larger community development in all the locations where we operate. Legislations have a tendency to push towards leveling, while the top talent everywhere wants recognition and incentives. Corporations like us must strike a balance between the two.

Does the changing demography of the future workforce pose a challenge to the Management?

We must remember that the future workforce would be younger, smarter and more tech savvy than the earlier generation. The challenge for the Management would be to understand and reach out to this workforce. New technology concepts such as social networking, collaborative workbenches and crowdsourcing along with a flexible work environment are some of the things that every management would require to adopt and use in innovative ways to attract and retain talent.

Srinath Batni

Director and Head of Delivery Excellence

The Infoscion 3.0 should possess a combination of technology and domain skills along with the ability to innovate, and should be a culturally sensitive and socially aware individual.

Our glocal talent strategy

Franz-Josef Schuermann

Country Head, Infosys Germany

"Combining the Global Delivery Model (GDM) with our local talent strategy has aided in accelerating growth and innovation insourcing."

Many of the developed economies such as Germany, U.S., U.K. and France suffer from a substantial shortage of young engineering and IT professionals. Therefore, leading companies in the Consulting and IT services segment have to win over the local Generation Y population to ensure sustainable business globally.

Germany is one of the global investment areas of Infosys. It is the fourth largest economy in the world with an export quota of 42%. Companies such as Daimler, Volkswagen, or ThyssenKrupp are dependent on service providers with global delivery models to overcome the national talent shortage and to strengthen their technology leadership and innovative force. Outsourcing and offshoring have thus turned into 'Innovation Insourcing'.

Tomorrow's Talent is at the heart of our strategy to address the local needs of a market with a global outlook. For markets like Germany, it is vital for us to create a strong local workforce. During the last two years, we have recruited a local management-consulting workforce in Germany that has deep experience in working with the biggest companies in their most important transformational programs. Currently, we are building further local delivery capabilities in a larger number of process and technology domains.

The Consulting and IT services for the German market require rigorous focus. It has been a significant challenge for us to build a brand as an employer of choice as well as to attract top talent. Potential employees can choose between employers and markets, and the local 'Gen Y' is not afraid of demanding a strong private and business balance, top social benefits and an outstanding work environment.

From fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2012, our revenue in Germany has doubled. We have added some of the largest and most innovative German companies to our list of clients. Our new office in Frankfurt is attractive to employees and also a visible sign of our commitment to the local market.

During the last two years we have seen some extraordinary growth. The aim is to grow even further and make us one of the top 10 Consulting and IT Services providers in Germany. Nurturing tomorrow's demanding talent, who have the power of demographics on their side and are well connected through social networking, is the key to scaling up in our local market.