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Directing the new journey of transformation

Nandan M. Nilekani, Co-founder and Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, Infosys, in conversation with Mehak Chawla

Highlights

  • Companies will now have to reimagine their business models and the transformation they need to undertake, says Nandan M. Nilekani, Co-founder and Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, Infosys
  • "…More and more companies are going to say, we don't want to be caught again with a crisis, the next business crisis, and therefore they're going to become far more adaptable, agile, and resilient,” notes Nilekani.
  • Nilekani also praises the collaborative ecosystem getting created among companies.

As people across the world navigate their way through the new world environment created by Covid-19, leaders too are putting their thoughts to what has transpired. This list of leaders includes Nandan M. Nilekani, Co-founder and Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, Infosys. He believes that while nobody can really gauge the absolute outcome, this collective global experience will leave a significant impact on everyone.

In a conversation with Mehak Chawla, Infosys, Nilekani shares his thoughts on a range of topics, including the macro environment, the IT Services industry, as well as his own experiences.

At a personal level, Nilekani believes that people are now realizing the value of friends, and how important they are to people’s lives. He also indicates that going forward, there is going to be a balance between functioning from office and working from home.

“There will be a new equilibrium there, which has an impact on traffic, on mobility, and on the way cities are designed,” he says.

The technology advocate suggests this change in design is true for organizations across the world as well. He notes that they will now have to reimagine their business models and the transformation they need to undertake, while praising the steps undertaken by Infosys to stay relevant and demonstrate resilience when faced with the COVID-19 crisis.

“A lot of the elements of resilience that we have seen in the last two months comes out of our underlying infrastructure and resilient live enterprise,” he says, talking about Infosys platforms such as Lex, which helped 9000 trainees continue to learn from home as lockdowns disrupted physical training, remote onboarding of employees through Launchpad, and the ability to do client knowledge transfer using platforms like Leap.

“Because of that underlying stuff that we had done, we showed resilience. So, I think, more and more companies are going to say, we don't want to be caught again with a crisis, the next business crisis, and therefore they're going to become far more adaptable, agile, and resilient,” notes Nilekani.

According to Nilekani, a few things made it possible for Infosys to navigate this uncertain environment. “One is tremendous leadership. And, also because we had built the technology capability for remote working. We had the VPN networks, we had InfyME apps., so people could quickly get to the app., and so on. So, I think number of things that Infosys has done over the last several years, became very handy,” he says.

Calling this crisis as one that’s more difficult than the previous ones, because it hit the whole world at the same time, and organizations across the world seek ways to tide through the environment, Infosys, says Nilekani, is well slated to help its customers to consolidate, as well as reduce costs.

“They see us as someone stable, long term, financially, (someone who) has done a very good job in executing on working from home… The second thing is of course, a massive drive to reduce costs and automate,” he says, adding, “Infosys will see a lot of opportunity from helping companies go back to work safely, as we have done ourselves - whether it's fever tracking, or social distancing, and all the stuff we're doing in the campus.”

“All these things are going to make a big difference,” he says.

Nilekani also praises the collaborative ecosystem getting created among companies, while sharing examples of partnerships between companies such as Apple and Google, and Glaxo and Sanofi.

And, as we wrap up our video interview, which would otherwise have taken place in the scenic Infosys campus, Nilekani mentions that he is glad that he has started appreciating the small things in life.

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