It just could be … WORLD’S COOLEST COMPANY. Full disclosure: They paid my way to Japan. But I am not, by nature, an endorser of my speaking Clients. As one colleague, Nancy Austin (co-author of A Passion for Excellence), said in print, “Tom almost takes pains to trash those who pay him, so acute is his sense of integrity.” Thanks, Nancy! So when I say I’m besmitten with Infosys, I’ll promise you it ain’t no paid endorsement. I guess you could call them exhibit #1, pro or con, of off-shoring.
Infosys is Bangalore-based, and do quite a bit of their work near home port. But make no mistake, they’re winning top-of-the-market work because they are good and aim stratospherically high, not because they are cheap! In fact, the hook for me is their audacious vision for leading the revolution in IS/IT—and the Talent they’re amassing from around the world to pull it off.
Infosys aims to do no less than generate revolutionary approaches that turn whole industries upside down. They are not only not limiting themselves to mundane IS chores, they are not limiting themselves at all—they are ready, willing, and able to take on an IBM or Accenture as strategic enterprise masterminds, as well as effective implementers of complex enterprise-system activities.
They have won every international quality award you can name, and I am eagerly looking forward to visiting their Bangalore campus next month (on my own dime) when I accompany my wife, Susan Sargent, on her semi-annual sourcing trip to India. (She’ll do textiles; I’ll play at bits and bytes.) Wherever they operate, Infosys is accumulating a talent pool to die for. For example, droves of U.S. and European top-school grads, including MBAs, are signing up to do a tour in Bangalore for a quarter or less of what they could earn elsewhere.
If the firm can contend for “best there is,” and I believe it can, a lot of the reason is Chairman Narayana Murthy. The softspoken but far-seeing boss, like his company, has won every conceivable Best Boss/Entrepreneur/Businessman in Asia award. Why not “Best in World,” I’d ask. He is a true business visionary—both in terms of the impact he insists Infosys can have on the world and the humanity of the enterprise he has created. It takes but a few minutes in his presence for even an old (!) and well-traveled (!) hand like me to feel I’ve had a near once-in-a-lifetime exposure to a special person. And to the amazement of an/this American, his humility runs as deep as his accomplishments run tall.
Hey, check Infosys out! (Start with the annual report, available at Infosys.com.)