Vishal Sikka- The rising wolf of the Indian IT

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Darshit Shah, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

India is known for its service industry led by IT sector and Infosys is the second largest Indian company by market share led by Narayan Murthy till 2014. In 2014, Vishal Sikka, former member of executive board of SAP AG, joined the company as a CEO and MD on a 5 year contract and changed our perception of an Indian IT multinational company.

From 2014, Infosys changed its investment plans and followed its own path. When the giant like TCS is missing the estimates, Infosys is consistently performing better than the expected on financial measures. Reason is crystal clear: leadership. Consider the changes made by Dr Sikka. Indian IT companies are struggling with its performance measures inefficiencies. Additionally, many surveys show that majority of people change their job in their early years because of poor performance analysis by their managers. Dr Sikka considered this issue very seriously and acted upon it. Infosys introduced new system called ‘iCount’ under which managers will not have to do bell curve fitting, but simply has to analyse performance with the goals given. Another change was to allow employees to wear casual wear on all days of week. Infosys has also started giving more freedom to work from home.

Another major issue with the Indian IT system is bench period. Bench strength is associated negatively in Indian IT sector. Dr Sikka, as a game changer, started working on a pilot project ‘Zero Distance’ with his 10,000 employees. In this project, project managers can list project requirements on company portal and employees, who are on bench, can apply for the job. Clients can also list their requirements and can select employees to work on their requirements. This is a win-win situation for all: employees, clients, project managers and Infosys.

Company has decided now to extend the tenure of Dr Sikka till 2021 and also hiked his salary. Other companies are following him and his strategies. Dr Sikka has the courage to try out new and there can be many new ideas under his thinking cap.