Infosys has made a name for itself around the world as an Indian IT behemoth. From engaging in profit inflation, racism, sexism; having a long history of delivering shoddy services; to promoting an exodus of Indians out of India – Infosys has done it all. ‘Ukraine’ is the new buzzword. Everyone is talking about Ukraine, and how Russia is invading it. The mindless violence is condemnable. But what is happening in Ukraine is not Russia’s fault alone. Yet, the West is behaving like Russia is the devil incarnate. The war in Ukraine is a complex issue that must be studied from an unbiased point of view. However, for companies like Infosys, Russia is the absolute evil. Why? Because if Infosys does not join the bandwagon of villainising Moscow, it will lose out on its big ‘Western’ clients.
Infosys Exits Russia
On Wednesday, Infosys announced it was moving its business out of the Russian market. During a media briefing, Infosys chief executive and managing director Salil Parekh said, “Given what is going on in the region, we have started to transition all of our work from our centres in Russia to our centres outside Russia…We have no work with any Russian client today and we have no plans for any work with any Russian client going ahead.”
Parekh added that the company was “very concerned” about the situation in Ukraine and had committed $1 million in humanitarian aid.
Infosys was faced with tremendous pressure from the West to cease operations in Russia. The issue rose to prominence, particularly after it was revealed to Western media that UK’s Finance Minister Rishi Sunak benefitted out of his wife, AkshataMurty’s stake in Infosys.
On its part, India has made the sound diplomatic choice of not being identified as a nation that toes the line of the West. India has its own interests to cater to, and speaking against Russia is something that India has refrained from. Why is that? Because India understands that the conflict in Ukraine could have been avoided had NATO and the United States kept their promise of not expanding eastward towards Russia. Ukraine wanting to join NATO added fuel to fire.
Read more: Racism, Sexism and Profit inflation – The dirty business going on in Infosys is out in the open
An Arbitrary Decision
Infosys is an Indian company. In fact, in more ways than one, it is a symbol of India. The world knows Infosys to be Indian. So, how will the Kremlin perceive Infosys dumping Russia? Will it not impact flourishing bilateral ties between Moscow and New Delhi? Will it not impact India’s interests to have one of its biggest companies exiting Russia because it did not have the spine to stand up to the West?
Infosys must realise that it is not just any other private company. Russia will view its exit negatively and will blame New Delhi for the same. Infosys might have just jeopardised bilateral relations between Russia and India. Now, the Modi government will be forced into a firefight on its behalf.
Did Infosys consult New Delhi before announcing its exit from Russia? If not, what action will the government take to warn the company that when it comes to geostrategic affairs, Infosys does not have the liberty to act as it fancies?
Indian companies, especially those of Infosys’ size and scale must realise that arbitrary actions taken by them can lead to trouble for New Delhi. India can deal with it all, but prevention is always better than cure. Infosys could have respected India by following its strategy when it comes to the war in Ukraine. Instead, the company chose to fly like a free bird and jeopardise India’s interests.