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Vishal Sikka applauds co-founders for coding an iconic Infosys


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Bengaluru: Seven co-founders of Infosys Ltd., led by N.R. Narayana Murthy, were hailed for their singular contribution in coding an iconic IT behemoth by its first non-founder Chief Executive Vishal Sikka.

“For someone who grew up in the world of technology and IT, I have tremendous respect for what Infosys’ founders have built over the past three decades,” Sikka told investors of the global software major ahead of its 34th annual general meeting here on Monday.

Besides Murthy, six co-founders of the blue chip company are Nandan Nilekani, S. Gopalakrishnan, S.D. Shibulal, K. Dinesh, N.S. Raghavan and Ashok Arora.

Though Raghavan retired in 2000 as joint managing director, and Arora, who was on the board till 1989, left for the US later, other co-founders, barring Dinesh, steered the company from a $100 million to $8.7 billion outsourcing major as successive co-founders, with Shibu Lal being the last.

“Murthy and his co-founders opened a new industry, and with that an opportunity for businesses to operate in new ways and bring new value by leveraging IT services,” Sikka said in his fist letter to the company’s 4.5 lakh shareholders on the occasion.

Murthy, who returned from retirement to head the troubled company as chairman on June 1, 2013, stepped down abruptly a year later (June 14, 2014) after reviving its sagging fortunes and finding Sikka as a worthy successor to steer the company back to being the Indian IT industry’s bellwether.

“I decided to exit Infosys to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities to the new management and give a free hand to Sikka for steering the firm into future as a marquee Indian brand in the technology space,” Murthy told IANS then.

Though Murthy retired in August 2011 on turning 65 in compliance with the policy, he laid down for co-founders in executive posts, the company’s board prevailed upon him to return for five years.

“Very few people get an opportunity to add value to a great company a second time, that too after retirement,” Murthy said in his farewell note to employees, clients, investors and other stakeholders.

Terming the co-founders as true entrepreneurs, Sikka said they had put the company into a different league with a sense of responsibility and quality in serving clients, an unparalled integrity and transparency in operations, and a culture for education and training.

“Our co-founders also opened an unprecedented opportunity for thousands of people (techies) to pursue new career paths and new beginnings inside and outside the country,” Sikka recalled.

In a fitting tribute to the co-founders, Sikka recorded their contribution to the company, making the world flat and articulating in way that opened imaginations worldwide.

“Murthy’s vision, leadership and guidance have been an inspiration to Infocions, the Indian IT industry and a generation of technology entrepreneurs, as he propelled the company into accomplishing many firsts and in setting industry benchmarks on many fronts, including the highest level of corporate governance that made Infosys a globally respected corporation,” he added.

Murthy and Gopalakrishnan bid farewell to the company as chairman and vice-chairman on October 10, 2014, while Shibulal resigned as chief executive on July 31, 2014, nine months ahead of his retirement.

Nilekani, who was Chief Executive from 2002-07, quit the company as co-chairman in 2009 on becoming chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a state-run enterprise, which issues Aadhaar card to citizens.

Dinesh retired in 2011 as the company’s head of quality, information systems and the communication design group.

In his farewell address to the employees on October 10, 2014, Murthy claimed the country did not see in the past and probably may not in future a set of founders who nurtured their creation with care, sacrifice and passion for 33 years and passed it with equanimity to outsiders.

“We leave with the satisfaction of taking this company from a market value of Rs.28.5 crore when it was listed in 1993 on the Bombay Stock Exchange to Rs.200,000 crore in 2014, with an astronomical return of 650,000 percent over 21 years – a CAGR of 89 percent,” Murthy told thousands of Infoscions who joined the founders at the event then. (IANS)

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India-based technology company Infosys to create 10,000 jobs in the United States

FILE - An Infosys employee sports a t-shirt featuring a U.S. flag as he buys coupons for lunch while others wait for their turn at company headquarters in Bangalore, India, April 15, 2016. VOA

India-based technology company Infosys said Tuesday it will create 10,000 jobs in the United States, growing its American footprint at a time when it has become a political target in the U.S.

Infosys has been a big user of H1-B visas in the U.S., a program under which overseas firms, most often technology companies, move foreign workers to the United States after the overseas businesses declare they cannot find enough qualified U.S. workers. Critics of the visa program say the foreign firms have cost U.S. workers their jobs, however, because the foreign companies usually pay the temporary workers less than they would have had to pay American employees to do the same job.

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As part of his “America First” pledge, President Donald Trump recently ordered government agencies to review the visa program. Trump said he wants to bring in the “best and brightest” foreign workers and reform immigration laws as they relate to work and border security. But one suggested reform – that companies paying the highest wages be granted the work visas – would directly affect Infosys.

FILE - Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka speaks during a press conference after announcing the company's quarterly financial results at its headquarters in Bangalore, India, July 15, 2016.
FILE – Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka speaks during a press conference after announcing the company’s quarterly financial results at its headquarters in Bangalore, India, July 15, 2016. VOA

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which manages the visa petitions, says that about 70 percent of the 85,000 H1-B visas issued annually go to Indians, and more than half of them are working for information technology companies like Infosys, which then outsource the workers to American firms.

Infosys has been one of the biggest users of the H1-B visa program, sending more than 15,000 workers to the U.S. in the last two years, although it has trimmed its visa requests for this year. Under the program, foreign-born workers typically can be employed for three years by a sponsor company and apply to stay longer.

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Infosys said it would hire the 10,000 U.S. workers over the next two years, opening four technology centers, with the first in the midwestern state of Indiana, where Vice President Mike Pence was governor before Trump tapped him as his running mate in last year’s national political campaign.

Infosys chief executive Vishal Sikka told Reuters, “The reality is, bringing in local talent and mixing that with the best of global talent in the times we are living in and the times we’re entering, is the right thing to do. It is independent of the regulations and the visas.” (VOA)

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Are Indian Techies safe abroad?

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By Aakash Sinha

In this era of globalization, competition is increasing in every field. In India, jobs in IT sector are multiplying day by day and the craze among the employees to go abroad is on a high note.

Nirman Jain, an employee in the reputed firm ‘IBM’ was very proud upon his first onsite posting in Jordan but his family had security concerns. On the borders of Syria and Iraq, this country is at a high risk location.  These locations are sometimes good for you as companies pay a hefty package and allowances.  IBM paid him a daily hardship allowance of about 40 Jordanian Dinar (roughly Rs.4,000). He was able to buy a house in Bangalore after spending three years in Jordan continued in South Africa.

But these packages are not given by all companies. Another employee, Rahul Bhatnagar working in a large Indian IT firm didn’t got a single penny extra after working in Iraq for 3 years. He also had a narrow escape from the country couple of times. Finally, he is back to home after resigning his job.

Rules and Regulations monitoring Allowances

IT firms like IBM, Cognizant etc. are bound to give extra allowances to employee sent to high risk locations due to US regulations. But in India, there are no rules and regulations to monitor these allowances given by IT firms. Thus, it is different for different Indian companies.

The issue is tending as the countries like London, Brussels, Paris and Sydney which was considered safe before are now prone to terrorist activities. Raghavendran Ganeshan, an employee of Infosys (an IT firm) was killed in the recent attack in Brussels. These incidents are giving rise to family concerns.

Huge Indian employees working abroad

According to Nasscom, IT services firms have deployed about 500,000 Indians overseas. Where these employees are working? There is no data available to show region wise deployment of Indian workers.

As the whole whole world is now engulfed by ‘Terrorism’, experts think that hardship allowances and insurance will cover the hiring pattern very soon.

“When companies such as IBM pay hardship allowances, it will put pressure on other IT firms to follow suit as otherwise it will increasingly become difficult for the latter to attract talent,” says Sanchit Gogia, CEO, Greyhound Research.

As mentioned earlier there are no specific rule in India regarding the extra allowances which results in the variation in different IT firms. “There are enough people willing to go to locations such as the Middle-East and Africa because of the additional allowance they receive over and above their salary,” says Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO of Headhunters India.

“It is cheaper to pay compensation after an unfortunate incident than paying risk allowance or insuring an employee,” says Lakshmikanth.

However, Nasscom Chairman BVR Mohan Reddy says that IT companies are doing a lot for employees in risky areas.

“The firms take good insurance cover on dynamic premium tariffs. The covers are much larger than are offered in India,” he says. While most of the top IT firms declined to give on-record comments for this report, Tech Mahindra said that it has put in place various measures to ensure that employees who travel abroad on work are taken care of in the event of a crisis.

Safety measures that could be taken by employees

“All associates travelling to certain countries can download a mobile app and get alerts on their mobiles about medical, clinical, and security measures and precautions to adopt. We also provide emergency response services and support,” says Rakesh Soni, Chief People Officer of Tech Mahindra.  He added that the company offers its employees comprehensive insurance.

Sudhir Chaturvedi, Chief Operating Officer of NIIT Technologies, which has employees in Brussels, says the company has protocols to deal with terror attacks. “We alert our staffers and facilitate conversations with their family members back home. Should they want to come back from the place in question, we will arrange for that,” he said. NIIT Technologies set up a war room after the Brussels attacks.

In accordance with the above steps, the employee should assess all the past conditions of the host country before migrating there. Also, they should think about their families before taking such decisions.

Aakash is pursuing B.E , Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Sir M. Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, Bangalore.








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Infosys employee missing in Brussels attack

Policemen stand guard near a security perimeter set in the Rue de la Loi near the Maalbeek subway station, in Brussels on March 22, 2016.

Brussels: Indian national who went missing in Belgium’s attack in capital Brussels on Tuesday is an employee of Infosys, IT company.

Raghuvendran Ganesh has been missing since the attack hails from Bengaluru and is an employee of Infosys, the external affairs ministry confirmed.

“We are doing our best to locate Raghavendran Ganesh,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.

She also said that two other Indians, both employees of Jet Airways, who were injured were “recovering well”.

At least 34 people were killed on Tuesday. Two deadly explosions rocked the Zaventem airport and a more powerful blast ripped through a train coach at a Metro station in the heart of Brussels. It is the worst terror attack in Europe in four months. (IANS) (Image Source: