Infosys Needs to Prepare Its Employees for What's to Come

Don Tennant

It has been a full four months since I began following developments relating to the visa fraud lawsuit against Infosys that was filed by Infosys employee and whistleblower Jay Palmer. Those developments, which include the U.S. government's subsequent criminal investigation of the company's operations, paint as unflattering a picture of an IT company as any I've seen in my 20 years of covering this industry. And I've seen some shameful pictures.


What's unique in this case is the length to which Infosys, and especially company founder and outgoing chairman Narayana Murthy, have gone over the years to paint the company as a model of high values and corporate integrity. I've watched video after video of Murthy preaching about qualities like integrity and leadership, including one in 2008 in which he quoted Robert Kennedy (I couldn't help but enjoy the irony of Murthy quoting a former U.S. attorney general, given what the feds would be investigating three years later). It all seems to have had an intoxicating effect on Infosys' employees, who, I've come to learn, proudly call themselves "Infoscions."


I've also watched video after video of young, faithful Infoscions professing their love for the company and the values they are convinced it embodies. One young woman who was interviewed for an Infosys-produced video put it this way:

Infosys stands for values. That's what I was looking for when I joined Infosys, and in my three years of experience here at Infosys, each and every interaction I've had at different levels, the values have come out. I think that's what it is. Infosys is known for values and integrity, and when people see me outside, they know me as a person of values and integrity just because I come from this company.

It's all kind of surreal, and a little scary. I follow @Infosys and the #infosys hashtag on Twitter, and I've been amazed at how the Kool-Aid never stops flowing, and how the Infoscions never seem to tire of lapping it up. You'd think that the civil lawsuit and federal criminal investigation, which have been covered extensively by the Indian press, would have caught the attention of at least some of the Infoscions, but I have yet to see any indication that the matters have had any demonstrable impact on these earnest employees.


What's difficult for me is that I know a lot more about what's happening at Infosys than I'm able to write about for now, and it bothers me that these kids have no clue about some of the things that are going on. I'm convinced that the time will come when they will know, and I can't help but wonder how many bubbles will be burst and dreams will be shattered. To anyone at Infosys who reads this, and who is in a position to know even what relatively little I know, don't fool yourselves. This stuff isn't going to go away. At least have the decency to prepare those young, starry-eyed Infoscions for the fall.

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Jul 7, 2011 1:28 AM Dorian Dorian  says:

Jack, you may have guessed about the future outcome a little too confidently going against Infosys . Also why do you think a small lawsuit's outcome would put the entire company down ? You are overestimating the consequences which offcourse would be a short term blip for Infosys . Do you know when is the court hearing due and by when would Infosys be declared guilty by court ? 

Jul 7, 2011 1:36 AM SS SS  says: in response to DC

I always believed it is you who get yourself a job. How did Palmer get one for you in Infosys? If he had just referred you that doesnt mean he got a job for you. By the way what prevents you now from raising your right hand. If you really feel your friend is being treated badly why don't you stand up for him even if that means risking your job. You can always find a job somewhere else unless you are really not worthy.

Jul 7, 2011 1:46 AM TT TT  says: in response to SS

so you mean Americans are not worthy enough to work?

Jul 7, 2011 2:04 AM SS SS  says: in response to TT

OMG. What kind of a sick mind do you have a draw such an inference out of my comments. Where did "Americans"  come into this. You really need help.

Jul 7, 2011 2:10 AM TT TT  says: in response to SS

reading between the lines gave me that impression!

Jul 7, 2011 3:26 AM me me  says: in response to Dorian

Dorian- It is not about bringing a company down. It is about standing up for what is right. It took over 9 months to get an attorney, this after daily attempts to help fix the problem and writing presentations to help and then being lied too. Being ridculded for what is right and being mocked for trying to help is too much. The evidence is overwhelming and the Federal Gov will proably settle the case. No matter what, the crimes were reported and they are undisptued. If you only knew what measures that are being carried out to try and show the feds that an attempt to do business in a legal fashion. Gladly we have the 1st ammendment so you can voice what you think the intent was; however you are mistaken. No matter, your thoughts are respected. What you dont know is the 8-10 people who have quit Infosys and were scared to come forward. -- me

Jul 7, 2011 4:35 AM Wakjob Wakjob  says:

It appears that InfoSys will go down and will be barred from ever using H-1Bs again. That will be the end of its operations. In fact Don, as someone who worked in tech for 16 years, I can tell you ALL of these Indian bodyshops are organizaed crime rackets from the biggest down to the smallest. They play games with Americans like pretending they have a job for them, contacting them, getting their resumes, and then slapping Indian workers' names on them and sending them in for the job. Not to mention all the visa abuses, etc we already know about. This has been going on since 1998 whent the visa caps were widely expanded and the dot-com gold rush hit. These huge Indian outsourcing companies are cleaning our economy out and they are deliberately denying jobs to qualified Americans who built Siliocn Valley long before Indians ever saw a keyboard.

Jul 7, 2011 4:50 AM Justin Justin  says:

I don't think you get it Don. Broaden your viewpoint. Infosys might get 4 out of 10 points (and not 10/10), still its the best among the bunch. Others are below 4 in terms of ethics and transparency. Indian arms of IBM and Accenture and other Indian companies are all in the same boat.

So, Infoscions will be proud of the company... whatever happens with this visa fraud hearing, that will not change.

Jul 7, 2011 5:51 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says:

"What's difficult for me is that I know a lot more about what's happening at Infosys than I'm able to write about for now, and it bothers me that these kids have no clue about some of the things that are going on." Hmm... what factors (if you can share even in an abstract way) keep you from writing about them? At some point can we expect new revelations?

Jul 7, 2011 6:10 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to DC

Glad to hear DC.  I hope you get that chance to testify.  Have you reached out to the prosecutor?  Call Jay's lawyer if you haven't already I'm sure he can put you on the phone with the right people and help keep you out of trouble at Infosys.

If Infosys fires Jay or forces him out, he will have no problem finding another job.  Believe it or not, there are many American business people pulling for him and will seek him out. 

I think that Jay has handled this situation superbly.  He's followed the advice of his lawyer - let him do the speaking - and from an outside perspective it appears that he is being careful not to give Infosys cause for termination.  Infosys should be thinking of a 7 figure settlement right now if they want this story to go away.  I'm sure investors would appreciate a settlement.  I wouldn't want to invest in INFY right now - too risky.

Jul 7, 2011 6:33 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to R. Lawson

I've received information from sources that is off the record. It will all come out eventually.

Jul 7, 2011 7:26 AM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to Don Tennant

And the band played on:

Jul 7, 2011 7:29 AM who knows who knows  says:

All you can expect is some senior level employees would be blamed and fired for this fraud. And get bared (if not already) from using BEP program and it would affect only B1 and L1 cases. Still they have H1 route and may be good number of existing employees who already got H1 stamped but not got chance to work in US will get a chance.

It is sad that out of 100k employees one and only one got the courage to whistle the fraud. I wish every person in a company should make sure they are not part of a fraud and if they get to know they come forward.

Jul 7, 2011 8:30 AM Elaine Lu Elaine Lu  says:

I agree with Don.I think the impending Feds indictment will be a severe blow to a company that prides itself as India's most RESPECTED company.

It all depends what the outcome will be : Banning for at least 5 years for all types of visas( B1,L1 and H1 ) would affect their business.

Check out these from a site that also seems confidant that Infosys will pay a heavy price:

Jul 7, 2011 8:58 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Elaine Lu

On a very interesting call tonight with DOJ Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices. 

DOJ conference call detailed some remedies I didn't know about in filing complaints against abusive companies.  They have staff waiting right now (live person during business hours, not some voicemail) to assist. 

Check out these slides for details:

Jul 7, 2011 9:14 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Elaine Lu

This post looks like an advertisement for that blog :P

Jul 7, 2011 9:16 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to R. Lawson

Super like!!!

Jul 7, 2011 9:20 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Don Tennant

Don, there is tonnes of information that could potentially put these companies out of business. I see it everyday at work. But, not much can be done, cuz the Feds keep looking the other way. So, Infosys will settle and keep going :P

Jul 7, 2011 10:39 AM CantSay CantSay  says:

The twitter stream is not talking about this case because the company has a gag order barring its employees to discuss anything about the company on Twitter. internally there is a lot of skepticism. have to wait and watch.

Jul 7, 2011 11:21 AM Relax_n_Chill Relax_n_Chill  says:

OMG! what will happen now? Now please tell us where to apply? I am sure you are closely related to some small bodyshop companies which do same work but are too small to compete with Infosys. Let us know contact info for some of them!

Jul 7, 2011 11:31 AM ExInfoscion ExInfoscion  says: in response to CantSay

I've worked at infosys in the past and its a shame the way company is managed and employees are treated. People are forced to work for 14-16 hours and company never pays a dime for transportation and penalizes for not recording time for 9.15 hours at offshore. Bunch of BPOs leads made as VPs and they convert software as BPO

Jul 7, 2011 11:33 AM OMG! OMG!  says: in response to Relax_n_Chill

OMG!! Infoscions are now coming after US jobss!!!

Don, pls don't give them such advise...let them doom with Infosys ...if they get panicked they will quit Infy and take away 10000 US jobs....

Let Infosys die and then young, starry-eyed US kids can live happily everafter.

Jul 7, 2011 12:29 PM DC DC  says:

I am a friend of palmers and I am not allowed to talk to him.. it is sad... he got me a job at infosys.. they are treating him badly for doing what they told him.. hope he gets a trial so i can raise my right hand..

Jul 8, 2011 1:37 AM Abdul Abdul  says:

One lawsuit doesnt tear down the exceptional work infosys has done to bring the Indian Corporate world to the world map...

Jul 8, 2011 5:49 AM Rahul das Shah Rahul das Shah  says: in response to Justin

There is no need of any case settlement because the owner has already decided to close the company in December 2013.

Jul 8, 2011 7:13 AM Rahul das Shah Rahul das Shah  says: in response to Rox

That the future will which owner I am talking about and by the way it is a listed company for the world and by papers it is private with 60% held by one person.

Jul 8, 2011 7:20 AM Rahul das Shah Rahul das Shah  says: in response to Rox

The owner of Infosys Ltd is also the world's richest person. He pays the largest amount of tax in all the countries. He is the owner of SONY and many big companies in the world. He owns 60% of Infosys shares. This company is nothing for him and adds less than one millionth to his property. So he will close it in 2013 (December)

Jul 8, 2011 7:36 AM who knows who knows  says: in response to Dolores

Dolores, do you suggest only US based companies can spend on lobbying. PS: I am not for lobbying (it is the worst and best part of US politics)....

Jul 8, 2011 7:51 AM Rox Rox  says: in response to Rahul das Shah

Hi Rahul,

which owner are you talking about? If you are referring to Infosys, there is nothing called owner or owners. It is a listed company and share holders are the owner. Why would someone want to close a company which has $40 billion market cap.

Jul 8, 2011 7:53 AM who knows who knows  says: in response to hireamerican

What a lame excuse....all these days you commented as if whole corporate(s) are frauds and all h1b resources are sham and finally it seems you are part of that fraud and sham..

What do you think Jay Palmer did ? He is one who is proud citizen of America, who stands for what is right.

Are you scared you will get fired when you report these kind issues then don't come to public blogs/forums and show your courage with the key board.

People like you are the main problem behind every fraud happening in US, who care nothing but their job. They are so selfish and coward, instead of blaming themselves they keep blaming immigrants for everything. I don't see any difference between the fraud company and people who participate in fraud.

How about throwing those tonnes of information (that could potentially put these companies out of business) to public instead of your useless comments about immigrants.

Jul 8, 2011 8:03 AM Rox Rox  says: in response to OMG!

Most people are bothered about offshoring. I think the bigger problem is imports than off-shoring. It is time Americans' encourage its industries to stop import and start manufacturing. 

Jul 8, 2011 10:10 AM Advisor Advisor  says: in response to who knows

Ranga most of your comments are sensible but it seems you are unaware of the fact that this blog is not meant for that. This belongs to a set of people who likes to discuss among themselves and will throw trash on anyone of who disagree with them. This blog has little to do with IT and mostly focused on cultural difference between India and America. Just look at the topic of each article posted by Don and kind of discussion happening in each of them.

Jul 8, 2011 10:12 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to who knows

I will do as I wish, that's my prerogative. You have a problem with that? Well....tough!!

Jul 8, 2011 10:42 AM who knows who knows  says: in response to Advisor

I don't see that (cultural difference between India and America) is what Don was intended, hope Don get chance to agree or disagree on this. To my understanding Don is trying to expose/discuss any issues/fraud done at work place and it is mostly around IT because of his profession.

And discussion is not done by Don rather it was done between people who are interested towards the topic and I feel Don keeps him away from any censorship as long as it is civil even it is out of topic. Which makes general public to drive the discussion in the direction they like.

Do you think Don created his blog for people to throw trash around?

Do you think all his effort to create this blog is just for people to throw trash around so that no person with reasonable thinking can discuss/share right perspective.

And you are suggesting that Don's blog in has little to do with IT and it is for cultural differences ? I think Don is the only person can confirm that, and if what you say is true I like to say that every culture is different from another (and that is the beauty of culture) and you cannot discuss and create a one global culture and to my knowledge those kind of discussions may not fit well in

And this blog you & me currently comment hold topic "Infosys Needs to Prepare Its Employees for What's to Come" it is nothing to do with culture but it has lot to do with IT and business ethics (which is not a culture). Lets stay on topic of IT and business ethics (on immigration which mostly Don covered in recent posts).

Jul 8, 2011 10:56 AM who knows who knows  says: in response to hireamerican

Now you don't have to worry or complain about immigration fraud because you are part of the fraud and very much people like you are reason behind (back bone) this kind of fraud.

Jul 8, 2011 11:06 AM hieamerican hieamerican  says: in response to who knows

Suit yourself :P

Jul 9, 2011 9:28 AM Infosys TCS or Wipro? Neither Infosys TCS or Wipro? Neither  says: in response to CantSay

Excellent article. This is just one of the many problems present with Infosys. I hope you have also read about If not it is a must read!

Jul 11, 2011 7:50 AM India_taati India_taati  says:


I am ex infosys employee and know lots of H1B fraud employees in US right now.

If you follow my advise then you will crack a bomb shell on Infosys fraud.

20% petitions are fraud, you will get one employee name and address and his H1B fraud proof.

Ping me if u need to drop a bomb shell and entire H1B will be exposed.

Jul 11, 2011 9:58 AM who knows who knows  says: in response to India_taati

now you started spreading SPAM across all blogs !!!!!

Sep 12, 2011 11:24 AM getalifedon getalifedon  says:

Don, you think you know so much... wonder how much of a kickback you are getting from Jay Palmer and Linda Manning?  You can't be so involved in this for the love of "journalism" because what you report is so one sided.  Get a life, or at least another story.  Yours is getting really boring.

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