With the return of co-founder Nandan M. Nilekani as Infosys Chairman, the spotlight at the IT firm's 37th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday will be back on its promoters, who skipped the last AGM as they fell foul with its previous board and management.
"We hope the company's main promoter (N.R. Narayana Murthy) and other co-founders will attend the AGM as they used to every year when they were at the helm and after since Nilakeni is back as Chairman," an Infosys investor told IANS on Friday here.
Murthy and other co-founders, including Nilekani, S. Gopalakrishanan, S.D. Shibulal and K. Dinesh kept away for the first time from the company's AGM on June 24, 2017 due to serious differences over governance issues with some of the Board's previous members and its first non-founder Chief Executive Vishal Sikka.
"I received a letter from Nilekani over a month ago, enclosing the notice for the AGM to approve the annual accounts for fiscal 2017-18, dividend and other resolutions. With a new Board and management, I hope the company is out of its worst crisis," said the retail investor, preferring anonymity.
Since Nilekani rejoined the $10.94-billion software major in August 2017 eight years after he resigned as CEO to join the then UPA government as head of the state-run UIDAI, which issues the unique identification card Aadhaar, the company has embarked on Infosys-3 version, with a paradigm shift to disruptive and digital technologies.
The exit of former Board Chairman R. Sehasayee, Sikka and two other Board members after months of bitter war with the co-founders, especially Murthy over probity in the acquisition of Panaya in 2015 and huge severance package to former Chief Financial Officer Rajiv Bansal, allowed Nilekani to step in and steer the company out of the crisis.
"Though the company was back on the growth path even when Sikka was running it, the spat between promoters and the previous Board dented its image and over-shadowed its performance. Nilekani's return has done good for all," said the investor who has been holding the blue-chip's scrip (shares) for a long time.
The appointment of Salil S. Parekh as the new and second non-founder Chief Executive since January has made the company stay focused on business growth and adopt to the changing technology landscape as its clients have been asking more for less.
Parekh, 53, joined Infosys on January 2 from Capgemini where he was a member of the Group Executive Board.
"Our clients, including large enterprises and government organisations, are at different points in their digital journey. We are positioning our capabilities to help them navigate their next across the different dimensions of this journey," said Parekh in his first letter to the company's shareholders ahead of the AGM.
The company also rewarded its investors, with a record 870 per cent aggregate dividend or Rs 43.50 per share of Rs 5 face value for fiscal 2017-18.
Interestingly, the AGM also marks the company's 25th year of going public in 1993 when its shares were listed on the BSE.