He, however, added that the Bengaluru-based firm under the leadership of CEO Salil Parekh had dramatically reinvented itself over the last three years and was prepared to capitalise on the shifts in technology adoption due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
“There is an excellent stable management in place. The board continues to be reconstituted. The first set of strategic choices have been made and implemented. but as we look at the pandemic, as we look at the future, there is going to be a massive shift in the way the world will implement technologies,” Nilekani told analysts.
“I will stay as long as required to complete my job”.
Nilekani returned to a non-executive role at Infosys in August 2017 as the company faced corporate governance challenges that led to the exit of former CEO Vishal Sikka.
He brought in former Capgemini executive Parekh to lead the company and allowed him to chart a three-year revival strategy.
“Infosys was fortunate, when the unfortunate event of Covid-19 happened, it was very well prepared to deal with this calamity,” he said, detailing the efforts in shifting to working from home, introducing new services, galvanising the sales engine, investing in reskilling and managing the workforce.
“These are not small, superficial reforms. They were root and branch reform that went to the heart of the company,” Nilekani said.
The board of Infosys backed Parekh’s strategy in April 2018 and the results have started to show, he added.
Nilekani, however, said the execution of the strategy was pending as the company was in the middle of a technological shift.
“We are in the middle of the journey. We are in the early days of the Cloud. In the next 4-5 years, every major company is going to migrate most of its applications to the cloud. Use of artificial intelligence (in enterprises) has just started,” he said.
“Covid-19 fundamentally brought to the leadership of the world’s top companies how critical digital was. That is an important lesson for all, and that lesson has raised the profile of digital transformation in every boardroom and that is the biggest difference,” he added.
Parekh said most large enterprises were driving digital transformation journeys due to the pandemic.
“During the last six months, those enterprises that have been already in the digital framework, who put in place infrastructure, are benefiting massively in how they are connecting with end-customers, suppliers and employees,” he said. “Technology investments used for digital really are helping them achieve growth.”
Parekh added that Infosys was focusing on a clear set of margin drivers.
“We are well positioned to continue our growth and continue our margin trajectory as we come out of Covid-19. We are still growing at 2.2% … All our strategic investments are making us more relevant for clients,” he said.