I finished reading Infosys’ Annual Report 2008 last evening. The report was far more professional and comprehensive than anything I have seen from Indian organizations. The first thing that struck me was that the reports begins with the company’s main assets – “people” and a nice quote from Mr. Murthy – “Every evening our core assets walk out of the gates. We need to have a way to bring them back every morning.” A good twenty pages, right upfront, is dedicated to employees and what Infosys has been doing about them. The report talks at great length about training, development, organization restructuring, learning programs, employee well-being etc. This is in stark contrast to something like Reliance Industries’ annual report, where “Employee Activities” is a mere 3 paragraph lip-service.
More interesting pages follow after the key financial data – on the intangibles. The company presents a simple, easy to understand brand valuation, a score-sheet for intangible assets and many more. The focus on the intangibles is a welcome phenomenon to corporate reporting, which relies overly on business numbers.