Strategic Hrm In Infosys Essay

5368 words - 22 pages

REV: OCTOBER 16, 2006


Infosys (A): Strategic Human Resource Management
How do you feel when you look around and realize that 80% of your colleagues have been in the company
for less than 24 months?
— an Infoscion
On November 13, 2003, the HR leadership team led by Hema Ravichandar, head of human
resources for Infosys Group, left the conference room with a mixture of excitement and apprehension;
a feeling that, they decided dryly, was familiar after a strategy meeting with the chairman and chief
mentor of the Infosys Group, Narayana Murthy, and the CEO, Nandan Nilekani.
The cofounders had set a new and aggressive milestone for the HR group, the latest ...view middle of the document...

It had been one of the first Indian companies to grant stock options to its
employees—making, the legend goes, millionaires out of peons during the dot-com stock market
boom. It had been ranked No. 1 in the Business Today Best Employer Survey both in 2001 and 2002.

Professor Thomas J. DeLong, Jaya Tandon (MBA 2005) and Ganesh Rengaswamy (MBA 2006) prepared this case. HBS cases are developed solely
as the basis for class discussion. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of primary data, or illustrations of effective or
ineffective management.
Copyright © 2005 President and Fellows of Harvard College. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, call 1-800-545-7685,
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Purchased by Ana San Roman ( on July 26, 2012


Infosys (A): Strategic Human Resource Management

So it came as a rude shock when in 2003, Infosys toppled from the Best Employer List in the same
Business Today Survey. The results caused great commotion in the industry, and reams of newsprint
were devoted to analyzing the “downfall” of the poster child of the Indian software industry.
As Infosys continued its heady growth, the HR leadership needed answers to prevent crises like
this one from recurring. But there was no beaten path to tread and no role model to follow.

The Birth of Infosys: 1981
Narayana Murthy was born on August 20, 1946. He was the son of a schoolteacher and was one of
eight siblings. He grew up in a typical Indian middle-class environment, which placed great
emphasis on education and values.
The 1950s and 1960s were the heyday of socialism in India, and Murthy was attracted by the
socialist idea of equality. The government had control of the “commanding heights” of the economy
and had put protectionist policies in place. The reigning idea was to manage the economy so as to
redistribute wealth and remove inequality.
After graduation, Murthy took a job in Paris and found himself in middle of the student
revolution. He was surprised to find that the French regarded wealth creation as a superior way to
remove inequality as compared with wealth redistribution. When his work in Paris was completed,
he hitchhiked back to India over the next year, living on the $450 he had saved. His travels through
Eastern Europe showed him the realities of communism, where instead of happy comrades and an
efficient state, he found repression and an often-frightened populace. He was even briefly imprisoned
in Bulgaria over...

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