Based in Singapore, Vish Iyer is president, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)-Asia Pacific, where he is responsible for managing TCS operations across five geographies and 13 countries in the region. Recently, he had a freewheeling conversation with Zafar Anjum in TCS' Singapore office. The discussion ranged from his new role in the company to the company's initiatives and plans for the region. Here are excerpts from the interview.
First tell us about your new role, what it entails and how it is different from your past responsibilities.
There is no fundamental change in the role. We run Asia Pacific as a P&L. I took over the P&L role two years ago from Girija (Girija Pande, chairman of Tata Consultancy Services for the Asia Pacific region). He was then the chairman of the company. So, both of us were available side by side. Girija was focusing on China and I was focusing on all other markets. So, what it means is that a lot more personal attention to China will be the single most important change, if at all. I was always on the board of TCS China. I used to go there once a quarter. Now I will probably go there much more frequently. Other than that, functionally it is the same thing.
Is China the new focus area for TCS?
It has been in focus for a while. Let me start with TCS and we come back to China.
As you wish.
You would have seen our results of last quarter and the quarter before and so on. The results have been very rewarding overall. What is more rewarding is that it has been a uniform growth. There are no markets which are bad and markets which are good and so on. The way we position ourselves with customers and industry verticals and the investments we made long ahead of the peer group in far-lung markets and technologies--all of that, we believe they are all nicely coming together.
In terms of outlook, people have always been asking our executives--what do you think of this market and that market and so on. Our messages have been consistent and our executives have been calling out, saying that markets are uncertain. The economic uncertainties are there for everybody to witness. However, there is also demand; there is also growth opportunity available. There is a lot more diligence on projects; a lot more time taken by people but people are spending money on transformations and spending money on regulatory compliances, spending money on M&A-driven work. So, there is demand as long as you work the right markets and customers. Our executives have been saying this consistently for the last three or four quarters, while messages from the rest of the industry players have been mixed, based on tactical view of that quarter, or some company-specific issues, and so on. So, for a while, industry was watching everybody and saying there is an industry issue or company issue. So the consistency of our message and the fact that quarter after quarter, we have been able to consistently deliver gives a lot more confidence in the company. So, that is reflected in market cap and other things.