Achievers at Infosys will now be able to stay longer overseas and get promoted faster. In what looks like a response to the spate of exits of talented and senior level people from the company over the past year, Infosys has taken several new measures to incentivize achievers, and chairman N R Narayana Murthy emphasized them in a letter he sent to employees on Saturday.
Murthy said the company has introduced a “fast track stream” and a “tech stream” to provide a “compelling career path to top performers and nurture tech talent”. He also said the company has made changes to its Green Card application policies and extended the period of overseas stay for achievers.
Details of these schemes were not mentioned in the mail, nor was Infosys available to comment about it till the time of going to print. Murthy’s letter comes on the eve of his completing a year since he returned to Infosys. He came back from retirement on June 1 last year to try and put the company he co-founded back on the growth path. It was at that point lagging its peers by a significant margin.
In the letter, clearly designed to pep up employees, Murthy said, “From the time I returned to Infosys in June 2013, I have got to know better so many of you extraordinary Infoscions in sales, software delivery, and business enabler functions. I record my gratitude to all of you fine people out there for your support, commitment, hard work, smart ideas and passion to enhance the Infosys magic. One thing is certain from my interactions – if Infoscions decide, they can succeed in reaching for the stars.”
The fast track stream refers to a programme which will allow high performers to move up the ladder faster. The tech stream will allow those interested in technology to move up without moving into management. In the current structure in most Indian IT companies, promotions for engineers beyond a point means moving into managing people and projects. Globally, technology companies provide a separate ladder for those passionate about technology and who are keen to remain in that space without having to take on onerous administrative responsibilities.
Overseas stay is a big attraction for employees, and those opportunities have dropped sharply in recent years partly on account of visa difficulties, and partly in an effort by Infosys to cut costs. The decision to extend these stays for achievers looks to be an attempt to counter this negative impact.
Murthy noted that the company had seen a jump in job applications by 140% last year. The number last year was 911,220, compared to 379,000 in 2012-13. The FY13 number was down from 829,800 in FY11. “We need to continue this endeavor to attract high quality talent,” Murthy said.
Murthy noted that the company had doubled its revenue growth to 11.5% last year and its operating margins had expanded to 25.5%. “It was this stellar performance that gave the organization the confidence to roll out over 20,000 promotions, two compensation reviews in nine months and zero-variability of salaries at the entry level. We were also able to pay out 100% variable salary for CRR1+ rated employees,” he said