IT major Infosys is shutting down its office in Russia, according to a BBC report. The Bengaluru headquartered company has less than 100 employees in Russia who service global clients.
“Sources told the BBC that the company was trying to find replacement roles abroad for staff employed in Moscow,” the BBC said.
Infosys, founded in 1981, becomes the first Indian IT company to exit Russia. The development comes close on the heels of criticism directed at UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer (or Finance Minister) Rishi Sunak over his wife Akshata Murty’s shareholding in the company.
Murty’s father NR Narayana Murthy co-founded the company and served as the CEO from 1981 to 2002 and chairman from 2002 to 2011.
Earlier this week, Sunak during an interview had faced questions about the Russian presence of Infosys. His wife Akshata Murty holds around 0.90 per cent stake in the company, according to media reports.
Notably, the UK has imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Russian businesses and individuals. The country has issued a call for all UK companies to 'think very carefully' about any investments in Russia over the ongoing Ukrainian conflict.
With reference to stringent sanctions being imposed on Russia, the Indian-origin British Finance Minister was asked if his advice to businesses was not being followed within his own home. The minister stressed that the operations of individual companies was a matter for them.
“It’s been reported that you’ve got family links to Russia, that your wife apparently has a stake in the Indian consultancy firm Infosys,” a ‘Sky News’ reporter said during the television interview. “They operate in Moscow, they have an office there, they have a delivery office there. They’ve got a connection to the Alpha Bank in Moscow. Are you giving advice to others that you’re not following in your own home?,” she questioned.
Sunak replied that as “an elected politician”, he was giving the interview about what he’s responsible for. “My wife is not,” he said.
On being pushed on whether his family was “potentially benefiting” from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime, he said: “I don’t think that’s the case, and as I said the operations of all companies are up to them.
“We’ve put in place significant sanctions and all the companies we are responsible for are following those as they rightly should, sending a very strong message to Putin’s aggression," he had replied.
He was then asked if Infosys, which also has a UK presence, was sending a similarly "strong message". “I have absolutely no idea because I have nothing to do with that company,” replied Sunak.
Infosys later issued a statement saying it supports and advocates for peace between Russia and Ukraine. The statement said: "Infosys has a small team of employees based out of Russia, that services some of our global clients, locally. We do not have any active business relationships with local Russian enterprises."
With PTI Inputs