“Narayan Murthy has returned to Infosys” I told Lulu my parrot
as he looked at me. “And there are interesting reactions of all hues and
everybody. All seem to have an opinion on it.”
Lulu nibbled at the guava fruit. A glance at me told me that
the beautiful parrot was deeply engrossed in his thoughts. It was better not to
disturb him, I felt. But my words must have disturbed his concentration. “Pardon
me. What did you say?” he asked.
“It’s about Narayan Murthy. Everybody is talking about his
“And Mohandas Pai has given a long interview in Business Line
about it.” Lulu said. “He felt that it was good for Infosys.”
“I also think so. I mean Murthy is the one who partnered with
a few others in creation of Infosys. He wields a great influence on people at
Infy and perhaps on customers. He will boost their confidence.”
“……. ? ?” Lulu was preoccupied with guava, and he had also
picked up a chilly now.
“Hey what are you thinking about?” I asked. ‘No response,
“I was thinking about three leaders which India has
produced. All three respected highly. Or they were, why use present
tense?” Lulu broke his silence.
“You must be referring to Dhirubhai.” I guessed.
“No. I was actually referring to Dr Manmohan Singh. A man of
achievements and respected too. He is doing nothing and simply sitting
there. Look what has happened to him. He is perhaps one of the most jeered at
leader today. I feel sorry for him.” Lulu said.
“I agree with you. I too feel bad. He should not have taken
up that position at all.”
“Omkar Goswami writing in Businessworld asks ‘How much
worse? How much more can the prime minister fall before he acts? Or can he act
at all?’ Sorry to see our PM being commented upon like that, but he deserves
it.” Lulu said.
“Yeah. But Murthy and Singh are two extremes, like South and
North poles. One is returning to the institution he created, and the other
returned to the head the government. One is essentially an entrepreneur and the
other an economist and intellectual. I mean, there is a difference, isn’t it?”
“And the third leader! He is in a separate class by himself.”
“Ratan Tata. When he was appointed as the head of Tata
Group, people expressed doubts about his abilities to run the industrial empire.
neither an entrepreneur nor an intellectual with a PhD in rocket
science. And there he goes after making an outstanding contribution, raising his
empire’s esteem higher in the eyes of the world. He exited after putting a
successor in place.”
“That’s interesting” I said. “I get your point. Three leaders
and three ways. One not stepping down, one is returning and the third has
recently retired after appointing his successor.”
“Yes, you said it. Why does it happen? I think I would
rather fly to Ahmedabad.”
“To hear Narendra Modi? Don’t tell me.” I asked, I was
“Nah! I want to know if any IIM professor has theory on it.”
Lulu said as he flew away.
Labels: Dr. Manmohan Singh, Infosys, Leadership, Narayan Murthy, Omkar Goswami, Ratan Tata, Succession planning