On December 31, 2016, Infosys announced a sudden exit of its General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, David Kennedy. While no reasons have been cited by the company, per the terms of exit, Kennedy will receive aggregate severance payments of US$ 868,250 along with reimbursements for COBRA (insurance) continuation coverage over a period of 12 months.
Taking the long view, we at Greyhound Research are of the firm belief that such changes happen all the time and it’s critical to not over-read into such announcements. Furthermore, we believe this is a minor bump in the road and investors will tide over the impact (if any) arising out of this change.
Having said that, this among other recent news goes to show that Indian IT Service providers are panicked with the overall protectionist sentiment in the US and are wanting to ensure that possibly nothing acts as an eyesore with the regulators and the newly appointed Trump administration. For reference, only recently Wipro decided to pay US$ 5 million and settle a six-year-old investigation with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Given the current sentiment, in 2017 we can well expect Indian IT Service providers to use multiple channels including both US-based and Indian lobby groups, media houses, open forums and university programs to engage with the Trump administration. At Greyhound Research we believe while such initiatives will definitely help further strengthen the ‘Brand India’ story, Indian IT Services providers can well expect fresh pressures like visa restrictions, need for increased US investments and reduced number of BPO contracts (and others that do not require specialised skills).
In the midst of all this, it’s critical to remember that most US-based companies (including many Fortune 500s) are deeply invested (and dependent) on Indian IT Service providers and neither they nor the Trump administration is in a position to make drastic changes.
Sanchit Vir Gogia: Sanchit is the Chief Futurist, Founder & CEO of Greyhound Knowledge Group, a Global, Award-Winning, Digital Transformation Research & Advisory Group. He also serves as Chief Analyst & CEO of Greyhound Research, an Award-Winning, Global, Independent Technology Transformation Research & Advisory firm. To read more about him, click here.
Anshoo Nandwaani: Anshoo serves as a VP and Principal Analyst with Greyhound Research, an Award-Winning, Global, Independent Technology Transformation Research & Advisory firm. She also serves as Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) of Greyhound Knowledge Group, a Global, Award-Winning, Digital Transformation Research & Advisory Group. To read more about her, click here.
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