Infosys creates ‘super ninjas’ for deeper connect with clients

BENGALURU: Infosys has started building a team of ‘super ninjas’ or domain specialists across divisions to strengthen its engagement with clients along with putting in place a group of a dozen executives to resolve issues faced by employees.

The process has already begun in some of the units of India’s second-largest software exporter, Infosys’ human resource development group head Srikantan Moorthy told ET in an interview earlier this month. “They (super ninjas) are a team of people who have deep technical expertise and will work along with service line teams to offer solutions to a client on rapid prototyping and delivery approach that will give a look and feel for client ideas,” Moorthy said.

The 12-member SWAT team headed by Infosys BPO’s chief executive Anup Uppadhayay comprises individuals from human resource, legal and finance departments. The formation of this team resulted from ‘murmuration, the company’s initiative to crowd-source ideas from employees, Moorthy said, adding that the team is empowered to take decisions and help simplify processes that the company follows.

Infosys chief executive officer Vishal Sikka, along with senior managers, had first shared information on the formation of the domain specialists and the quick-response team with about 100 analysts at the company’s annual presentation in the United States last month.

The Bengaluru-based company has been engaging with clients through a structure involving four service industries or verticals including banking and financial services, manufacturing, retail and life sciences, and energy and communication services. Besides, it has ‘horizontals’ including cloud and infrastructure management services, and data analytics.

Infosys’ peers including the market leader TCS and the country’s third-largest software exporter, Wipro, have also been strengthening their service lines with more executives who have had prior experience of working in relevant industries. Although most of the software exporters including Infosys have executives with domain experience in each of their service lines, the number of such executives is small and many a time the companies are hard-pressed while bidding for large transformational deals.

Wipro’s energy and utilities vertical is now the largest among Indian software exporters, with over 1,000 executives having consulting or domain expertise in oil exploration, a sharp rise from just 35 such executives in 2008.

According to analysts, it is too early to assess the impact of Infosys’ move on its business. “Not much information is there…but I believe these teams can create more value quickly,” said Holger Mueller, principal analyst and vice president at Constellation Research.

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