He said the company hired over 10,000 Americans in the US in the last two years, and over 60% of its employees in the US are now visa independent. Infosys had 17,709 employees in the Americas at the end of 2019-20.
The AGM was held virtually for the first time and 1,771 shareholders participated.
In his chairman’s address, Nandan Nilekani described the Covid-19 pandemic as extraordinary and unprecedented. “It has impacted the world and every country, business and individual. These are not easy times for any of us, and our clients are dealing with several challenges as well,” he said.
Retail, travel & hospitality have slumped, he said. Bankers, he said, have to deal with deferred loan payments, manufacturers with broken supply chains. 5G projects and adoption, he said, will slow down as corporates begin to reconsider their capital allocation, and media & entertainment have been affected by reduced outdoor activities and lower ad spends.
But the company said technology’s medium and long-term future looked very good. “Technology is essential to get it all working, the efficiencies of automation to make it viable, and experiential design to unlock more value from this work. We will help our clients with all of that. We have already pivoted our resources to the new needs of our clients and strengthened our expertise in cloud, workplace transformation and smart automation to be able to help them accelerate and scale their digital endeavours,” Nilekani said.
CEO Salil Parekh said the pandemic has opened up newer business opportunities through vendor consolidation. He said the company will look at taking over some captive businesses. He said the company has not seen any large deal cancellations so far. “There will be some overall negative impact because of Covid-19 related challenges in the near term, but in the medium to long-term, we see opportunities for clients as they fasttrack their digital transformation journey and consolidation of vendors. The impact is less compared to what we envisaged in April and many of the economies have opened and there is strong government fiscal monetary support,” he said.
Chief operating officer UB Pravin Rao said there was no major disruption on account of work-fromhome, and said they have heard very positive responses from clients. “Initial benchmarking shows we have been able to maintain productivity and our deliverables to our clients, and we have not seen any SLA (services level agreement) misses from our clients,” he said, adding that they are in no hurry to get people back into office, and will do so in a slow and calibrated manner.
Asked about the sharp shrinkage in margins over recent years, CFO Nilanjan Roy said it was a result of investments in digital capabilities, hiring in markets like the US, reskilling of employees, investments in sales teams, and pricing pressure in the core business. He said there was margin resilience in 2019-20, and the company is focused on improving margins, though there could be issues in the short term because of Covid-19.
The Infosys Board has recommended a final dividend of Rs 9.5 per share for fiscal 2020 and along 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.