London, UK, February 09 2006
Availability of global talent is emerging as the single most important factor for the long term sustainability of organizations. This opinion was voiced by global business leaders in a debate organized by Infosys Technologies at The World Economic Forum 2006. The leaders called for increased dialogue between public, private, academia and the community to prepare students for a multi-cultural and adaptable working environment. The group also deliberated on topics such as the rapidly globalizing world and the role India and China play.
Participants in the debate included David Arkless, Manpower Inc, Suzanne Johnson, Goldman Sachs, Professor Jagdish Bhagwati, Columbia University, Tom Glocer, Reuters, Juan Somavia, International Labor Organization and Nandan Nilekani, Infosys Technologies. The discussion was moderated by Tim Sebastian, ex - Hard Talk presenter, BBC.
"The world is in flux and it is impossible to forecast where a skills shortage will arise," commented Professor Jagdish Bhagwati, Columbia University. "We need to do a better job of getting each stakeholder deeply involved to have a sense as to where society is going."
There was a strong acceptance that globalization is here and India and China are at the centre. Although these economies have doubled the global resource pool, competition has increased globally for jobs and significant investment is required to ensure high quality supply for the knowledge economy. Nandan Nilekani, CEO, Infosys stated, "In high growth economies companies have to take on the responsibility to invest in the education system and to provide long term training initiatives, as the external market is not delivering the right skills at the pace of change."
Some of the other challenges highlighted included the ageing population in the west. "We have the issue of skill versus will, where the US in particular has to raise its game," commented Suzanne Johnson, Goldman Sachs. "We therefore have to find and develop best-in-class talent from wherever it is in the world."
David Arkless, Manpower commented, "The problem is we don't have the right people, in the right place at the right time. Take Germany for example. It has the highest unemployment since World War II, yet last year there were more than one million jobs vacancies in the country, because the population has not been reskilled in the right areas."
Juan Somavia, International Labour Organisation commented, "We have to recognise that the one skill people will need in the future is adaptability - not only to be skilled and reskilled but also to appreciate a multi-cultural environment. A one culture vision is not going to survive."
In response to the challenges, all participants agreed increased dialogue was required. Arkless commented, "It is about putting the pieces of the jigsaw together. We have to increase dialogue between governments, private sector, academia, and even local community to make this happen."
Johnson pointed out, "We must make changes at primary and secondary levels and move back to a world where the private sector has incentives for training and developing individuals."
Tom Glocer, CEO Reuters commented, "The greatest challenge is achieving a balance between short and long-term strategies. This is difficult when you have specific skills requirement today. However, a short-term perspective will not develop the structure or initiatives of the future."
Nandan Nilekani, CEO, President and Managing Director, Infosys commented, "Global talent is definitely becoming one of the most dynamic discussions of the Forum. It certainly reinforced my point of view - talent and leadership planning are the key requirements for any organisation with a long-term vision. In fact talent must be aligned with a company's future business strategy if it is ever going to be meaningful."
Tim Sebastian, ex-BBC summarised, "The discussion has identified that numerous stakeholders have a role to play and we don't have all the answers today to solve the global talent deficit. All participants have agreed dialogue must continue to take place to continue to drive momentum behind this issue and identify ongoing opportunities to ultimately lead to some level of action."
Infosys, a world leader in consulting and information technology services, partners with Global 2000 companies to provide business consulting, systems integration, application development and product engineering services. Through these services, Infosys enables its clients to fully exploit technology for business transformation. Clients leverage Infosys' Global Delivery Model to achieve higher quality, rapid time-to-market and cost-effective solutions. Infosys has over 49,000 employees in over 30 offices worldwide. For more information, visit www.infosys.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding the success of our investments, risks and uncertainties regarding fluctuations in earnings, our ability to manage growth, intense competition in IT, business process outsourcing and consulting services including those factors which may affect our cost advantage, wage increases in India, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-time frame contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, industry segment concentration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks or system failures, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies in which Infosys has made strategic investments, withdrawal of governmental fiscal incentives, political instability and regional conflicts, legal restrictions on raising capital or acquiring companies outside India, and unauthorized use of our intellectual property and general economic conditions affecting our industry. Additional risks that could affect our future operating results are more fully described in our United States Securities and Exchange Commission filings including our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005 our report on Form 6-K for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2005 filed on July 28, 2005 and our report on Form 6-K for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2005 filed on October 21, 2005. .These filings are available at www.sec.gov. We may, from time to time, make additional written and oral forward-looking statements, including statements contained in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and our reports to shareholders. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that may be made from time to time by or on behalf of the Company.
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