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Shareholders' nod for raising FII stake in Infosys

By Our Special Corespondent

BANGALORE, JUNE 2. Not to be outdone by their board of directors, several shareholders of Infosys Technologies made impromptu presentations themselves at the company's 20th annual general meeting (AGM) here on Saturday. The event was marked by eloquent expressions of everything from delight at the 200 per cent dividend announced recently, to the need for less techno-jargon in the annual report, to the hope that bonus shares would be issued.

That apart, the AGM offered no surprises, as all the directors were reinducted by mostly unanimous votes from the 245 shareholders present in person and 83 present by proxy.

A special resolution to approve raising the upper limit for FII investment in the company to 49 per cent of the paid up capital as allowed in the Union budget, was passed unanimously. The current FII stake in the company was 31 per cent, Mr. Mohan Das Pai, Chief Financial Officer, said.

In his speech, the Chairman, Mr. Narayana Murthy, said he ``believed'' that demand for IT services would continue to rise; companies would resort to more sophisticated methodologies to measure the worth of IT projects, client vendor partnerships would make way for increased risk and profit sharing by the IT services companies with their clients, and global delivery of end-to-end solutions would decide the winners. Infosys foresaw a capital expenditure of $80 million and recruitment of 1,500 to 2,000 personnel in the financial year 2002, Mr. Murthy said.

Mr. Basab Pradhan, Regional Manager and Vice President (Sales), West North America, made a video conference presentation from Fremont, California, on what the U.S. slowdown was likely to do to the Indian IT industry. Longer sales cycles, thinner margins, and increasing pressure from competition could be expected, he said.

The induction of new members to the board during financial year 2001 was announced at the AGM. The names include, Prof. Jitendra Vir Singh, Vice Dean, International Academic Affairs, Wharton Business School, Dr. Omkar Goswami, Chief Economist, CII, and Ms. Rama Bijapurkar, Management Consultant, among others.

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