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British politics forced Infosys to shut its Russia office

FILE PHOTO: An employee walks past a signage board in the Infosys campus at the Electronics City IT district in Bangalore
Reuters/Vivek Prakash
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  • Ananya Bhattacharya
By Ananya Bhattacharya

Tech reporter

Published Last updated

Infosys’s UK connection could be strong-arming the closure of its Russia business.

Akshata Murty, the wife of Rishi Sunak, the British chancellor of the exchequer, is also the daughter of NR Narayana Murthy, the software giant’s founder. She owns a 0.9% stake, worth roughly £430 million, in the company. UK politicians have been accusing Sunak and his family of collecting “blood money” dividends through Infosys’s business-as-usual presence in Russia.

Sunak has denied this but the pressure on the potential British prime minister isn’t entirely off. And it is likely to stay that way until Infosys exits Russia.

The chancellor had earlier reiterated his stance on investments in Russia.

“I am urging firms to think very carefully about their investments in Russia and how they may aid the Putin regime—and I am also clear that there is no case for new investment in Russia,” Sunak had said in a televised statement on March 13.

Infosys’s Russia office

Unlike the US and the UK, India has not taken an anti-Russia stance. It is unsurprising then that Indian companies haven’t either.

Infosys’s Moscow office isn’t a major outpost. It opened in 2016 and employs less than 100. Its Bengaluru and Pune offices have around 30,000 each. Elevating its 2017 promise of hiring 10,000 Americans, it is aiming to bring its US headcount now to 25,000.

In any case, Infosys does not do business with local Russian enterprises. Its “small team” there has been serving global clients, according to an earlier statement.

However, since the Russian invasion, even this small unit is kicking up a storm in the British parliament. Infosys is now rushing to find replacement roles abroad for staff employed in Moscow, the BBC reported citing sources.

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