Infosys CEO delivers session to students of Great Lakes

In his talk Mr Gopalakrishnan said “There are tremendous opportunities in the current crisis. The unusual nature of this downturn is its global nature with major developed countries like US and Japan being affected. The recovery will start but the question is how long will it take and it may happen sometime in 2010. The window we need to look at is two to four years. As a student of management, this is an opportunity to learn and grow stronger. The students are living through a case study and are witnessing something on the scale of the Great Depression in the 1930s and the current crisis has historical significance. India is still growing at 7% and we are affected. We should look at what we need to do to prepare ourselves to come out of this downturn. The worst-case scenario is that there would be a change in the world financial order.”

He drew an analogy with the Grand Prix where drivers are speeding at 200 miles per hour and accidents are bound to happen. The question is how do the drivers react and recover. He also spoke about Climate Change and what businesses and companies need to do; creating services that allow companies to figure out how to manage how to reduce the impact on the environment.

aWe must be mindful of the fact that the youth need to be equipped to take up jobs and become productive, failing which it can lead to undesirable consequences. In the past, we had a shortage of computer science graduates and the others were going abroad. We recognized this and we introduced a 3.5 month training to mould engineers into software engineers. We need to invest in training, education and leverage technology to create wealth and jobs. Computer technology is 60 years old. The first 30 years were about figuring what a computer is, the models for computing. Computers were meant for nerds, geeks then. In 1981, personal computing has moved to the mainstream, as a productivity tool. There is a pervasive computing environment today and it is impacting every aspect of our life but there is some way to go in terms of integrating these technologies. An example is the GPS in Cars, which is available in other countries. This shows how sensors are interacting with humans. Today, we can think about a small device in our hands and it can store libraries of information in the range of terabytes of data. We haven’t fully figured out how to use it and I feel the innovation would continue for the next 30 years. We also have biotechnology & Nanotechnology which have lot of potential for innovation and it is intersected by IT. The important traits for success would be the ability to learn, curiosity, authenticity, discipline, passion, problem solving ability, bias for action and measurement. Attitude plays a huge role in shaping these behaviors. We should be able to earn the trust of the people around you.a said Mr Gopalakrishnan. It is important to combine talent with discipline and passion. He concluded his talk by referring to a poem by Bessie Anderson Stanley about the measures of success.

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