Infosys Limited: is it still the Indian IT bellwether?

Arun Kumar (NIILM Centre for Management Studies, Delhi-NCR Region, India)
Meenakshi Nagarajan (NIILM Centre for Management Studies, Delhi-NCR Region, India)

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

ISSN: 2045-0621

Publication date: 20 November 2013


Subject area


Study level/applicability

MBA level. The case can be used primarily for the following courses: strategic management, competitive strategy. It can also be used for courses on: international business, international business environment, business marketing.

Case overview

Intense competition and a turbulent economic environment posed problems for Infosys, a leading information technology (IT) company in India. Infosys lost market share and its second position in the IT industry to Cognizant. An adverse economic environment affected its clients' IT spending and introduced severe price-based competition in the market. Infosys' business model operated on charging price premium from clients, and the company never compromised on its margins. The company was forced to revaluate, as outsourcing, the main revenue earner for Infosys was experiencing commoditization, and other players were willing to compromise on margins. The Indian IT industry had moved up the value chain and competitors were offering consulting services, where there was huge scope for differentiation. Infosys did not have the requisite resources to compete in this domain. Decline in share prices, negative investor sentiments, downward revision of revenue guidance targets, loss of large clients, higher attrition rates, and visa problems in the US market (Infosys earned more than 60 percent revenues from this market) added worries for the company. In response to these challenges, Infosys initiated Strategy 3.0, wherein the company planned to move up the value chain and offer consulting services and other high-end solutions to clients. This was a shift from its predominantly outsourcing-based revenue model. The company acquired Lodestone to hasten implementation of Strategy 3.0. Initial analysis, however, suggested that Infosys was merely aping Cognizant's well-established strategy. Infosys also needed to tackle perceptual issues regarding its competencies.

Expected learning outcomes

The instructor can use this case to facilitate the understanding of: the impact of an intensely competitive environment on a company's strategy, how changes in the competitive landscape and business environment can erode sources of competitive advantage for an incumbent, the impact of a client's business environment on the vendor's business, the concept of value chain and analyze how companies in an industry move up in the value chain, the concept of business model, and how environmental changes can impact a hitherto robust business model of a company, evolution of business model over a period of time with changes in the business environment, the internal conflict between ideals and values versus revenues and market share for a company, key resources and capabilities that shape the differential advantage for an IT company, designing and implementing strategic solutions, the evolution of the Indian IT industry.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email to request teaching notes.



Kumar, A. and Nagarajan, M. (2013), "Infosys Limited: is it still the Indian IT bellwether?", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 3 No. 7.

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