Mar 2006 Mar2008
What can one say about the coming of age of a child you loved, nurtured and protected? A child whose successes you rejoiced, and whose failures you suffered quietly. Commitment, admiration and affection for Infosys are unparalleled among my colleagues who always put the interest of this child first in every thing they do.
Completing 25 years is a watershed event in anybody's life. It signals the arrival of a strong, confident, young person, ready to take on bigger challenges. Energy, enthusiasm, confidence, idealism, daring, openness and curiosity find utterance and fruition. Nothing seems impossible. This is when you move on to higher aspirations in life, and learn to accept failures with equanimity. We need all of this and more for Infosys to achieve bigger and more plausible targets.
This journey of 25 years has been a symphonic marathon. It has been symphonic because every Infoscion, a maestro in one's own right, subordinated individual egos and interests to work as part of a fine team, and produced spectacular results year after year. It is a marathon since we have a long way to go before we hit the tape.
There have been many happy events during these 25 years. Prominent among them are enrolling the first customer; arrival of the first employee; signing of the first million dollar contract; opening of the first sales office abroad; installation of our first computer - a DG MV/8000; inauguration of the Electronics City campus, the Global Education Center and the Infosys Leadership Institute; CMM Level 5 certification; listing in India and on NASDAQ; our first acquisition (in Australia); founding of Infosys Foundation, Progeon, Infosys Consulting and Infosys China; and reaching the magical figure of billion dollar in sales. There have been a few sad moments too - departure of valued colleagues; death of a few young Infoscions; loss of a few major contracts in spite of giving off our best; and the unacceptable behavior of a few Infoscions which brought disgrace to themselves and to the company.
A great corporation must live for hundreds of years. Hence, we are still babies. Even these initial baby-years have taught us several lessons. These lessons are valuable not just for our future journey but for other corporations in the country and, perhaps, the world. Let me recount a few major ones.
Aspiration is the main fuel for progress. Aspirations transform a set of ordinary people into extraordinary achievers. They provide mental and physical energy for people to convert plausible impossibilities into convincing possibilities.
An enduring value system based on openness, honesty, integrity, meritocracy, fairness, transparency and excellence has raised our confidence and the confidence of our customers in the company. Sacrifices have become easy, natural and not a burden. It has given us courage to handle tough situations with confidence.
Our experience has demonstrated that respect and dignity, challenging work and a promising career growth path are more important motivators for us than just money. People want to be part of a defining moment that transforms the society and the world. Emotional energy is an invaluable asset for a corporation.
Performance leads to recognition. Recognition brings respect. Respect enhances power. Humility and grace in one's moments of power enhances dignity of an organization.
Leadership by example is, perhaps, the most essential instrument to encourage youngsters to demonstrate commitment, dedication and sacrifice in any cause. Role models are powerful catalysts in raising the confidence, enthusiasm and energy of an entire generation.
Openness to new ideas; strengthening the leadership of people with leadership of ideas by encouraging the youth; shunning biases and using data in every decision; and learning and adopting good practices from other cultures help a company become better and more confident.
Becoming more relevant...