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Infosys: Defying Downturn Pressures Through Strategic Brand Investments

Brand Finance
18 January 2024

Infosys has continued to establish itself as one of the preeminent IT Services brands. Infosys' brand value has increased by 9% to USD14.2 billion, making it the fastest-growing IT Services brand over the past 5 years, and the third most valuable IT Services brand globally.

In Brand Finance's Global 500 2024, a ranking of the world's strongest and most valuable brands, Infosys climbed 5 positions in the ranking to 145th and this year, maintains a AAA- brand strength rating.

Interview with Sumit Virmani

Sumit Virmani,
CMO,
Infosys

Congratulations to Infosys on being the fastest growing IT Services brand in the Global 500 over the last five years. What made this growth possible?

A deep commitment to purpose and an aspiration to continuously evolve and stay relevant to the changing needs of our stakeholders – that’s the secret sauce. Today, delivering on the Infosys brand promise, we are helping our stakeholders to navigate and thrive in an AI-first world.

The core purpose of our brand remains unchanged - to amplify human potential and create the next opportunity for everyone.

With the evolution in the technology landscape, we remain committed to leveraging its shifting capabilities to move people, businesses and communities forward.

What bets has Infosys placed in generative AI and cloud technologies that can serve to build and strengthen the Infosys brand?

For brand Infosys, the aspiration is to be the digital innovation partner of choice for our clients. To credibly own that position, we know we must continuously differentiate ourselves across markets. With cloud computing and artificial intelligence - especially generative AI - driving business transformation, we saw the opportunity to reset benchmarks early on.

We have launched the industry’s first cloud services brand - Infosys Cobalt. Infosys has also, for a long time, been making investments in the AI space. We are leveraging generative AI to deliver business solutions as well as integrating it into many of our offerings to accelerate productivity. Infosys Topaz - our brand of AI first services, solutions and platforms using generative AI capabilities – was launched a few months ago to help our clients accelerate their journey towards building an AI-first enterprise. In combination with Infosys Cobalt, it is helping brand Infosys build a credible digital-first, cloud-first and AI-first positioning within the marketplace.

The economic slowdown is creating pressure on companies to scale back investments in ESG. How has Infosys responded?

The somewhat prolonged economic uncertainty has certainly driven many skeptical investors to question the overall efficiency of firms incorporating ESG considerations into investment decisions. However, at Infosys, our commitment to ESG stems from our very purpose. In fact, our co-founders have always advocated perusing what’s ‘better for all of us’, even at a time when ESG was rarely part of the corporate lexicon. The core belief at Infosys is, and always has been, that society provides customers, employees, and investors for a company, and businesses cannot thrive in failing societies. Therefore, Infosys maintains that it is upon businesses to create the next opportunity for all.

From announcing our ESG Vision 2030 and embracing the aspirational goals, even as the pandemic raged, to realizing it in tangible and measurable terms today, Infosys has set a positive example – enabling 8.5 million learners with digital skills, being carbon neutral 4 years in a row, and being recognized among the world’s most ethical companies 3 years in a row.

Brand budgets can often be cut during a downturn, which provides opportunities to those willing to continue to invest for the long term. What is your point of view on this and what actions has Infosys been taking to continue to invest in its brand?

In a downturn, growth is the overriding business priority and likely hardest to reach. Well-hedged marketing and branding bets are a must-have in such an environment to ensure that businesses are well positioned to garner market share at the other end of the downturn. These need to be hand-picked strategic programs that don’t just support the growth engine in the near-term but also amplify positive perception and set the brand up for a head start for when the markets revive. A good example of Infosys continuing to invest through the recent economic reality has been the launch of our ‘Champions Evolve’ campaign along with our brand ambassadors Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek. Research has shown, with adequate data points over multiple recessions, that brand strength is integral for long term business growth and marketers can make a material contribution to business health by making strategic brand moves to prepare the business well for economic recovery.

About the Author

Brand Finance is the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy. Headquartered in the City of London, we are present in over 20 countries.

For almost 30 years we have helped companies and organisations of all types to connect their brands to the bottom line.

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