COVID-19 has impacted every country, business and individual, says Nilekani

Infosys chairman says company’s clients were dealing with multiple challenges

[File] Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani | PTI [File] Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani | PTI

Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani remarked that the COVID-19 pandemic is extraordinary and unprecedented and had impacted every country, business and individual. He felt that the company’s clients were dealing with multiple challenges and due to the pandemic the retailers have been hit hard in the non-grocery, apparel, lifestyle and fashion sections. 

On the other hand, travel and hospitality had greatly slumped. According to Nilekani, bankers were dealing with deferred loan payments and the insurance sector was being forced to charge lower premiums. 

Media and entertainment had been impacted due to reduced outdoor activities and shrinking advertisement spend. Nilekani also felt that the 5G projects and adoption will slow down as organisations were reconsidering their capital allocation.  He was virtually addressing the 39th Annual General Meeting of the Infosys from Bengaluru. 

Nilekani remarked that the IT major was all geared up to meet the new needs of their clients and  had strengthened their expertise in cloud, workplace transformation and smart automation to be able to help them accelerate and scale their client’s digital endeavours. 

“During fiscal 2020, our overall revenue grew 9.8 per cent in constant currency terms, totalling US$ 12.8 billion. With operational rigour and steady focus on expense management, our margins stood at 21.3 percent. The value of our large transformation deals stood at US$ 9 billion, and our digital revenues, in constant currency terms, grew by 38 per cent. The Board of Directors has recommended a final dividend of Rs 9.5 per share for fiscal 2020. Coupled with an interim dividend of  Rs 8 per share paid in October 2019, the total dividend payout for the year was Rs 8,120 crore. Our earnings per share grew by 8.3 per cent in US dollar terms,” said Nilekani 

Nilekani also announced that 93 per cent of over 2,40,000 employees, across 46 countries had migrated to WFH (Work from Home) in just a few weeks. “Our remote access infrastructure was expanded 10 times for virtual private network bandwidth and back-end capacity was scaled by four times to support the increase in concurrent connected remote users. Officially provided devices as well as personal ones were enabled with wireless connectivity to let our employees securely connect with our office networks. In order to meet the growing demand for direct in-market engagements, in early FY20, we added a new center each in Arizona in the US and in Dusseldorf, Germany. We also added an experience design and innovation studio in London. We also hired 10,000 American workers and hired over 19,000 college graduates from campuses in India,” Nilekani added. 

The Infosys Board of Directors also recommended the appointment of Uri Levine, a technology entrepreneur, as an independent director of the company, effective April 20, 2020.  At the same time D.N. Prahlad stepped down as an independent director to devote more time to his other business commitments. Earlier in February 2020, Roopa Kudva had retired from the Infosys board as an independent director after the completion of her tenure.