Happy birthday, and many happy returns (to us)

Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy turns 62 on Wednesday, August 20.

churumuri contributor ASHWINI A. sends an e-card to the Infosys chairman—with a wishlist for the year ahead on behalf of her countrymen and countrywomen.


Dear Shri Narayana Murthy-ravare


Huttu habbadha subhashayagalu. Here’s wishing you good health, and lots of peace and happiness, and just a bit more prosperity, in the year ahead.

We hope you and your amazing story will continue to inspire millions of Indians to dream big and aim for bigger, higher, nobler things in life.

A birthday is a day to celebrate, and no doubt you do have plenty to celebrate. But a birthday is also a day to look back, circumspect and reorient life’s goals and set new ones. Permit me, therefore, to provide a small reality check.

(On the other hand, if you think this is a devious attempt to spoil your party, please skip the next four paragraphs.)

When the Information Technology “revolution” began a decade-and-half ago, it was touted to eliminate poverty. Clearly, this has not happened. Despite its amazing growth story, the fortunes of the IT Industry still are largely dependent on the falling rupee, cost arbitrage and tax sops provided by the government the industry otherwise loudly abhors.

Worse, Indian IT companies have not attained leadership status and seem to be content with being brilliant foot soldiers. And, importantly, people working in the IT Industry are perceived as greedy, selfish, self-centred individuals with no care or concern for the society they live in.

There’s more, but I do not wish to overstate my case.

Mr. Murthy, the Indian IT Industry is clearly (and badly) in need of your vision, leadership and guidance to address these issues and help play a more meaningful (and inclusive) role in our iniquitous society. You grew Infosys into a multi-billion dollar company literally from scratch. Therefore, is it too much to expect you to apply your magic touch to the Indian IT Industry in this, your 63rd year on the planet?

Happy birthday, Mr Murthy.

Have a lovely day, and have an extra vobattu on me!


Photograph: courtesy DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images

Also read: One question I’m dying to ask Narayana Murthy