If Natarajan Chandrasekaran wants Tata Consultancy Services to grow at a blistering pace, NR Narayana Murthy is not one to rest on his laurels even after a lifetime spent building Infosys. Murthy has put Indian IT on the global map, and set standards that others aspire to meet.
To Chandrasekaran goes the credit of turning TCS into India Inc’s hottest property — the firm logged $10 billion in revenues in 2012. In his second innings at Infosys, Murthy’s hoping to steer the $7-billion IT major onto a faster track with a tenacity that belies his age. The younger Chandrasekaran is looking for ways to cope with new challenges that the digital age brings with it.
Indeed, it has not been easy for TCS to keep up the tempo in a tough business environment. But the TCS chief has repeatedly surprised the Street, outperforming in quarter after quarter; TCS became the world’s second most valuable IT services company in 2013.
The first-ever Express IT Awards in Bangalore on Saturday will see Murthy being honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Chandrasekaran taking home the Newsmaker of the Year award.
Chandrasekaran has catapulted TCS into a different league altogether. With his extreme customer focus, in the last four years Chandra has transformed TCS, making it grow at a speed few companies can match. In 2013 he grew the company further, opening up a wider gap with all its rivals.
Here’s the strike rate: TCS led India’s top-tier IT pack with a 5.4 per cent sequential growth in dollar revenue during the July-September stretch, while it posted 4.1 per cent growth in the first quarter this fiscal.
Chandra has been credited with spearheading several strategic new business initiatives at TCS and adding new business lines. TCS, under him, has entered new industry verticals such as media and information services, mobile and digital services. All of these have since matured into sizeable businesses.
The history of Infosys is part of corporate India’s folklore, about how Murthy and six colleagues started the company with a capital of $250 in 1981. The going was tough but the band stuck together. In 1990, before the liberalisation era, there was a $1-million offer on the table for selling Infosys.
Nine years of work had not taken Infosys to any great heights and outsourcing had not still become a buzzword in India. A couple of his co-founders were in favour of selling out.