After a decade of fast growth, going from 250 employees to 15,000 employees and from $5 million in revenue to $754 million as well as being ranked No. 1 in the Business Today Best Employer survey, Infosys Group felt a rude shock in 2003 when it fell off of the Best Employer List completely. Because of this disaster, the leadership of the company held a meeting in November of 2003 to set a new and aggressive milestone for the company: to ensure that Infosys Group was on the Top Ten lists of both Best Performing Companies as well as Best Employers by 2007. While leadership set this seemingly attainable goal, the HR team knew it would be no easy task as no large organization had ever been able to achieve this distinction because of the need to control costs for financial performance and the spending required for employee satisfaction. The fact that Infosys fell completely from the Best Employers list caused a huge media uproar and commotion in the industry, and the situation was referred to as the “downfall” of the poster child of the Indian software industry. As Infosys continued its growth, the HR team knew it needed to prevent crises like this from happening in the future, but they did not have a model or path to follow.
In 1981, after working in the public sector and at a start-up software firm in India, Narayana Murthy, along with six others, left their jobs at the software firm and founded Infosys with only $250 borrowed from their spouses. From the start, Murthy and his six colleagues shared a vision of creating wealth in a legal and ethical manner. Youngest cofounder and current CEO Nandan Nilekani stated that they wanted to build a company that “was professionally owned and professionally managed, with good corporate governance, good employee management, and good ethics.”
The bureaucratic and heavily regulated governmental environment in India in the 1980s made it very difficult for Infosys...
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