NEW DELHI: Salil S Parekh’s experience in handling multi-cultural work environment combined with his strong grip on technology and sales make him the perfect choice for leading Infosys, say IT industry experts. Parekh was named as the CEO and Managing Director of Infosys and is slated to take charge at the helm of India’s second largest IT firm on January 2, 2018 for a period of five years.
Infosys, for the second time, has chosen an external candidate to lead its operations after former CEO Vishal Sikka quit abruptly in August following a prolonged standoff with promoters on allegations of corporate governance lapses and hefty severance packages of former executives.
“Getting Parekh to head Infosys makes total sense. He is a good integrator of people, Board and promoters, and has experience of a multicultural environment,” industry veteran Ganesh Natarajan told PTI.
Parekh will have to focus on hiring people who are strong in digital technologies and global sales as the IT industry, as also Infosys, is in midst of transition, he added.
“The three key challenges for Parekh will be to invest in digital technologies and acquisitions, build and provide an aggressive sales leadership, and sustain a global culture at Infosys,” he said.
Parekh’s appointment also received a thumbs up from Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy, who had been vocal in his criticism of Sikka and the previous management of Infosys.
“I’m happy that Infosys has appointed Salil Parekh as the CEO. My best wishes to him,” Murthy said.
Parekh, 53, is described as a soft-spoken yet determined man by those who know him. He was chosen from over two dozen candidates in a search that lasted about three months and covered a wide canvas of names within Infosys as well as alumni and external aspirants.
Parekh had joined Capgemini in 2000 after the consulting division of Ernst and Young was acquired by the French IT services company. He played a pivotal role in building Capgemini’s operations in India and then, in Capgemini’s acquisition of iGate in 2015.
Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar said Parekh is well entrenched in the industry and has international experience as well as a good understanding of Indian IT ecosystem. He complimented Infosys Board on moving swiftly with the search and appointing a CEO within a span of three months.Greyhound Research Chief Analyst, Founder and CEO Sanchit Vir Gogia said that Parekh, with over two decades of experience, is a sound choice as he holds a “great understanding of tech trends of yesterday, today and tomorrow”.
He added that Parekh’s expertise with North American and European markets will also help Infosys at a time when these key markets are facing turbulence in terms of slower decision making on IT spends and increased visa scrutiny.
Employees and investors as well as the industry will now keenly hear Parekh’s views on taking Infosys forward.