An Evening with Mr. N. R. Narayan Murthy : 10-April-2018
[Moderated by FIPHK Member Gautam Bardoloi]
We at FIPHK had the privilege to host co-founder of Infosys, Padma Vibhusan Mr. N R Narayana Murthy. The simplicity and down to earth persona of Mr. Murthy was evident from the moment we reached out to him via email knowing that he will be attending the Asia Pacific Business Forum in HK on 9th April. He not only responded to our email within 2 hours confirming he is happy to address members of the FIPHK but also changed his travel schedule to be with us on 10 April. The event at Hong Kong Club was closed out within 48 hours of registration being open and needless to say a full house was the quorum.
Taking a cue from his famous quote, we at FIPHK decided the theme for the evening be named as “When in Doubt, Disclose” and disclose he did in his own inimitable style.
It was exhilarating sitting across the table and interviewing him. He was candid, humorous and most importantly didn’t shy away from putting forth his views across the socio-economic and political spectrum. The audience participation in raising their questions had to be finally stopped to break for dinner. All I can say, seeing the participation and unending requests for “photo ops” with him, we didn’t have the “Father of IT” in India (as quoted by Fortune) but a movie star that evening.
While he addressed a broad spectrum of question, there was one aspect of him that we didn’t know (at least not me), Mr. Murthy is conversant in French & Russian and it was a 44 hours of being incarcerated (wrongly so) in East Europe as a tourist without food and water, that made him (in his own words) move from a socialist or left of center to becoming a compassionate Capitalist. That tour resolved him to finally co-found Infosys in 1981, and as the saying goes, rest is history.
He is probably one of the few doyens of global Industry who doesn’t have a biography or an autobiography, although he has authored a book “A Better India, A better world”. I wanted to end the evening by asking him (pushing him to confirm but failed) if there is an autobiography on the making from him. In his own inimitable style, he said and I paraphrase, any such books will have the good, the bad and the ugly hence best it is never written.
We ended the evening with Dinner and more requests for “photo ops” with him from our members.