Bangalore, June 12: Indian IT bellwether Infosys Ltd's new CEO Vishal Sikka, 47, will be on a learning curve at the global software major and will operate from California where he is based with his family.
"I will continue to live in California and operate from the US though I will travel to India/Bangalore as and when required after joining Infosys Aug 1," Sikka Thursday told reporters at the company's corporate office here at his maiden interaction with media.
Noting that learning is at the heart of any company's transformation, Sikka said to lead an iconic company that shaped the Indian IT industry one more time was a matter of pride because Infosys had always laid emphasis on education and learning.
"I compliment Infosys for its deep understanding of value and learning ability that I intend to continue learning about Infosys, its technology, employees, clients and all stakeholders," the company's first outside chief executive-designate said.
Though Sikka was born in a Punjabi family in Guajrat, he did his schooling in Vadodara and lived in Rajkot where his mother was a teacher and father an engineer in the Indian Railways.
"I am very happy, humbled and privileged to be heading a unique provider of software services to global companies and help to bring about their transformational change. I see a tremendous opportunity to shape and change in the world through technology," Sikka asserted.
To bring about this transformation, new kinds of innovation, services and capabilities have to be developed.
"Having lived my entire adult life in the corporate sector, I have noticed that the world around us is basically reshaped by the computing power (software), digital world and technology," Sikka pointed out.
Graduating in engineering from MS University of Baroda, Sikka went to the US to do a degree in computer science from Syracuse University in New York and took a doctorate (Ph.D) in artificial intelligence from Stanford University in California.
After a short sting at Xerox research lab at Palo Alto in the Silicon Valley, Sikka turned an entrepreneur to set up iBrain, which was later bought by Pattern. Though he went on to incubate another start-up -- Bodha.com, he sold it to Peregrine Systems but continued to work there as vice-president for platform technologies.
Joining the German software product firm SAP AG in 2002 was a turning point in Sikka's life as he climbed the ladder to become its chief technology officer and subsequently joined its executive board as a member.
During his 12-year tenure at SAP, Sikka steered innovative projects, including its flagship product HANA, an analytical database platform.
"Sikka is something special to me. He is a doctorate in computer science from Standford. Getting a Ph.D from a university like Stanford is perhaps the highest recognition one can get as an intellectual. As a son of a school teacher, I know the value of learning and scholarship. His name (Sikka) in Hindi means money, which is what Infosys needs in lots and lots in the years to come," Infsoys co-founder and outgoing executive chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy said on the occasion.
"With an illustrious career behind, Sikka is an ideal choice to lead Infosys, as he has the experience of managing a global firm like SAP where he was an executive board member," Murthy added.