Recession? Just change your zone of influence

“It’s going to be long hard and deep. But there is no point in worrying about what we can’t control. Why not spend time focused on our zone of influence…”

Wise words, and the opening of a talk by Infosys co-chairman, Nandan Nilekani, on the recession starting to sweep across the globe. Nilekni went on to say: “In this industry, we had many years of companies growing at 30-40 per cent a year – and that breeds a lot of inefficiences It’s time to go in there with a fin toothcomb and to deploy our people better and make the companies more efficient.”

Nilekani believes that several lessons need to bea learned, but particularly in risk. He said:We have to learn how to deal with volatility, whether it’s the oil prices, or foreign exchange. One of the ways to deal with this is to optimise your business mix, so you have a greater amount of variable costs The same message of volatility is being rejected by our customers… customers realise they need flexibility.”

Nilekani is referring to the popular view that it now makes a lot more sense to partner with a local firm through outsourcing, rather than offshoring: “If they have captives then you can expect them to be on the block. We have to sharpen the value proposition. When we have people with time on their hands, we can focus on training and talent development. Firms all over the world will be cutting back people, but they will eventually want great people again – from anywhere in the world.

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  1. Vijay