HCL – not Infosys – on World’s most Influential list

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BusinessWeek published a list of the World’s Most Influential Companies, giving recognition to the companies that "introduce new ideas that their competitors are then forced to adopt". On the list are many of the usual suspects that might come to mind such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Craigslist, Facebook, Sirius, Nielsen (all of which have pioneered concepts which have influenced mainstream consumer behavior).

But interestingly, from India – HCL Technologies made the list and not Infosys or Wipro. From the BusinessWeek profile of the company:

The info-tech services provider specializes in everything from managing tech infrastructure to creating custom software solutions. Where it has the potential to be most influential, however, is not technology, but management. Vineet Nayar, CEO of the Noida, India-based firm, has adopted a novel philosophy: Management should be accountable to employees. He puts that into practice by publishing top managers’ performance reviews on the company’s intranet, by installing a one-stop service desk for employees problems on anything from laptops to bonuses, and by posting answers to dozens of questions employees leave for him each week online. Several top technology executives have made the pilgrimage to HCL’s (HCLT) headquarters to see Nayar’s philosophy at work, and Harvard Business School professors are already teaching case studies about it.

Also from India, SKS Microfinance made the list, although it is hard to tell how this can be a "world’s most influential" firm given that their primary market is India alone.

Other notable and somewhat surprising firms on the list were Autodesk and Intuit (makers of Quickbooks), who seem to have been chosen because they dominate their markets, even though there arent many drastically new ideas being introduced by them.

Facebook comments:


  • Very interesting post Osamah!

    Would like to draw your attention to a very interesting idea proposed by Muhammad Yunus of Grameen Bank (Nobel prize winner) in his recent book “Creating a world without poverty”.

    He says that since half the population of the world lives below 2 dollars or less. The IT professionals should focus on creating technology which improves the lives of the poor. This direct focus is the interesting part because he goes on to argue that when we will focus on the poor only then we will be able to think of such technologies and hence be able to create them.

    He has also made a world wide call to create and IT/ITES forum focused on improving the lives of the poor through the use of technology.

    Osamah: Interested in responding to his call :). You are the best candidate!!


  • Hi Ansar,

    We’d thought for creating a blog about ict4d and tried to incorporate that in social bridges content too but its pretty hard to find content for it without a lot of dedicated efforts.

    If you have contacts or a way of scouring the net for info about such projects, or know someone who’d want to become the ‘chief editor’ of such a blog / forum we’ll be happy to set it up for them.

  • When I was considering providing call center campaigns to HCL in 2001-2002, their sales staff were using Hotmail addresses. It was impossible to tell whether sales staff were wheeling and dealing on their own or for HCL. There was no apparent way for HCL managers to oversee the activities of their sales staff as long as staff used personal email services that were outside of company control.

    For the B2C outbound campaigns that I saw HCL brokering to call centers in India, their commission rates were 20%, which is four times the current industry standard of 5%.

    To my knowledge, HCL was not initially in compliance with U.S. state laws regarding registration and bonding. I’ve not done the back checking to confirm whether this is still the case. Perhaps not all of HCL’s clients have done the necessary due diligence either.

    HCL made a marketing partnership with the call-center-infrastructure provider Stratasoft, now part of TRG. This partnership went sour and Stratasoft claimed that the failure hurt Stratasoft’s marketing in India, which at that time was one of their largest markets.

    HCL approached me last year about employment with them. I turned them down, saying that the only role I could consider with them would be in assisting them build up their management capabilities and to help address compliance and ethics issues.

    HCL gained market share at a time when U.S. clients did not have many options to choose from. HCL was obviously able to hit a six with a lot of good clients, despite their internal issues. The HCL model is not one that I would recommend for companies seeking to gain IT/ITeS market share today.

  • Last time i checked, this was a Pakistani blog with a Pakistani perspective. Taking nothing away from the wonderful job this blog does, we don’t need any information on which Indian companies made it to whatever the list it be.

  • Thanks Osama!

    Let me do some research and get back to you …

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