You are stepping down earlier than the three years you were supposed to be executive chairman?
When the Board requested me to come back, they gave two mandates. First to assist in finding a successor to Shibulal. And secondly, to create a strong foundation for the future growth of Infosys. I have fulfilled both these obligations. Vishal is an excellent choice. On the second obligation, as I said at the last AGM, the task would take 36 months to yield results. We have started initiatives on sales effectiveness and cost-optimisation. I feel I have brought the second mandate to a shape that Vishal can now take ahead. Since I have fulfilled both mandates of the Board, it's the appropriate time.
Vishal Sikka, being from the products side, will need time to learn the business...
Sikka has a PhD from Stanford. That is a clear indication that he has the highest 'learnability quotient'. Given that he is young, has a wider perspective on various things, I feel he will have best aspirations for the company..
As Chairman Emeritus, what will your role be with Infosys?
That is just a recognition for being the founder of the company. Other than being a title, there is no responsibility, no authority, no obligation to Infosys. I am not a member of the Board. No officer of Infosys can discuss with me any matter that can have a bearing on the stock. I will be watching TV to know the results which Vishal will present in future.
So will you seek a role with the new government?
At this point in time, my first priority is to spend time with my grand-daughters. Spend time with my family, and hopefully I will be able to read on computer science, physics, mathematics.
How do you rate the model of having founders as CEOs? Do you feel you needed to bring an external CEO much earlier?
I believe all our choices were the best choices at that time.