Nandan Nilekani, the non-executive Chairman of Infosys, speaking at the 40-year celebration of the tech major in Bengaluru, billed himself as “the last of the jokers left.” He was recalling when NR Narayana Murthy, back in 2006, referred to his clan as the jokers who could build a company.
Infosys @ 40
Nilekani said he will be handing out his position at the company to someone else at a point. The company doesn’t have a ‘Plan B’ right now, he added. “My challenge is a little more acute because although I have the founders’ clout, I’ll be handing out the position at whatever point… and now there’s no Plan B as I can’t come back and presumably none of the other founders will do to,” Nilekani said.
Murthy had envisioned Infosys to be a 100-year old company, still flourishing. “Although, we have achieved our objectives so far, we haven’t completed our task and currently it is in the hands of two extraordinary people,” said Murthy referring to CEO Salil Parekh and Nilekani.
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‘But has to work through the proper process of maturing in the organisation’
The latter said he has to make sure that he implements Murthy’s vision when he exits, by putting in place a leadership structure with the right values to take Infosys forward. He added that he isn’t clear now, about how to create an organisation across generations and move the company from an ownership model to a professional model.
Although the Chairman hinted at his eventual exit, he concluded: “I haven’t yet found a person whom I can hand off the company to.”