Get All These Posts In Your Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by Amrit

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Love Story of Narayana Murthy (Infosys Founder) and Sudha (From Sudha's Autobiography)

It was in Pune that I met Narayan Murty through my friend Prasanna who is

now the Wipro chief, who was also training in Telco
(TataMotors). Most of the books that
Prasanna lent me had Murty's name on them which meant that I had a
preconceived image of the man. Contrary to expectation, Murty was

shy,bespectacled and an introvert. When he invited us for dinner. I was
a bit taken aback as I thought the young man was making a very fast move.
I refused since I was the only girl in the group. But Murty was
relentless and we all decided to meet for dinner the next day at 7.30 p.m .. at
Green Fields hotel on the Main Road ,Pune.

The next day I went there at 7' o ! clock since I had to go to the tailor
near the hotel. And what do I see? Mr. Murty waiting in front of the

hotel and it was only seven. Till today, Murty maintains that I had mentioned
(consciously!) that I would be going to the tailor at 7 so that I could
meet him...And I maintain that I did not say any such thing consciously

or unconsciously because I did not think of Murty as anything other than a
friend at that stage. We have agreed to disagree on this matter.

Soon, we became friends. Our conversations were filled with Murty's

experiences abroad and the books that he has read. My friends insisted
that Murty as trying to impress me because he was interested in me. I kept
denying it till one fine day, after dinner Murty said, I want to tell

you something. I knew this as it. It was coming. He said, I am 5'4" tall.
I come from a lower middle class family. I can never become rich in my
life an! d I can never give you any riches. You are beautiful, bright, and

intelligent and you can get anyone you want. But will you marry me? I
asked Murty to give me some time for an answer. My father didn't want me to
marry a wannabe politician, (a communist at that) who didn't have a steady

job and wanted to build an orphanage...

When I went to Hubli I told my parents about Murty and his proposal. My
mother was positive since Murty was also from Karnataka, seemed
intelligent and comes from a good family. But my father asked: What's his job, his

salary, his qualifications etc? Murty was working as a research
assistant and was earning less than me. He was willing to go dutch with me on our
outings. My parents agreed to meet Murty in Pune on a particular day

at10 a. m sharp. Murty did not turn up. How can I trust a man to take care
of my daughter if he cannot keep an appointment, asked my father.

At 12noon Murty turned up in a bright red shirt! He had gone on work to

Bombay , was stuck in a traffic jam on the ghats, so he hired a
taxi(though it was very expensive for him) to meet his would-be father-in-law.
Father was unimpressed. My father asked him what he wanted to become in life.

Murty said he wanted to become a politician in the communist party and
wanted to open an orphanage. My father gave his verdict. NO. I don't
want my daughter to marry somebody who wants to become a communist and then

open an orphanage when he himself didn't have money to support his family.

Ironically, today, I have opened many orphanages something, which
Murty wanted to do 25 years ago. By this time I realized I had developed a

liking towards Murty which could only be termed as love. I wanted to marry
Murty because he is an honest man. He proposed to me highlighting the
negatives in his life. I promised my father that I will not marry Murty without

his blessings though at the same time, I cannot marry anybody else. My
father said he would agree if Murty promised to take up a steady job. But
Murty refused saying he will not do things in life because somebody wanted

him to. So, I was caught between the two most important people in my life.

The stalemate continued for three years during which our courtship took
us to every restaurant and cinema hall in Pune. In those days, Murty was

always broke. Moreover, he didn't earn much to manage. Ironically
today, he manages Infosys Technologies Ltd., one of the world's most reputed
companies. He always owed me money. We used to go for dinner and he

would say, I don't have money with me, you pay my share, I will return it to
you later. For three years I maintained a book on Murty's debt to me.. No,
he nev ! er returned the money and I finally tore it up after my wedding. The

amount was a little over Rs 4000. During this interim period Murty quit
his job as research assistant and started his own software business. Now, I
had to pay his salary too! Towards the late 70s computers were entering

India in a big way.

During the fag end of 1977 Murty decided to take up a job as General
Manager at Patni Computers in Bombay . But before he joined the company
he wanted to marry me since he was to go on training to the US after

joining. My father gave in as he was happy Murty had a decent job, now.


400 EACH.

I went to the US with Murty after marriage. Murty encourage! d me to see
America on my own because I loved travelling. I toured America for

three months on backpack and had interesting experiences which will remain
freshin my mind forever. Like the time when the New York police took me
into custody because they thought I was an Italian trafficking drugs in

Harlem . Or the time when I spent the night at the bottom of the Grand
Canyon with an old couple. Murty panicked because he couldn't get a
response from my hotel room even at midnight. He thought I was either
killed or kidnapped.

CAPITAL...initially I was very apprehensive about Murty getting into
business. We did not have any business background .. Moreover we were

living a comfortable life in Bombay with a regular pay check and I
didn't want to rock the boat. But Murty was passionate about creating good
quality software. I decided to support him.

Typical of Murty, he just had a
dream and no money. So I gave him Rs 10,000 which I had saved for a rainy
day, without his knowledge and told him, This is all I have. Take it. I give
you three years sabbatical leave. I will take care of the financial needs
of our house. You go and chase your dreams without any worry. But you have
only three years!

Murty and his six colleagues started Infosys in 1981,with enormous
interest and hard work. In 1982 I left Telco and moved to Pune with Murty.

We bought a small house on loan which also became the Infosys office. I was a
clerk-cum-cook-cum-programmer. I also took up a job as Senior Systems
Analyst with Walchand group of Industries to support the house. In 1983

Infosys got their first client, MICO, in Bangalore . Murty moved to
Bangalore and stayed with his mother while I went to Hubli to deliver
my second child, Rohan. Ten days after my son was b! orn, Murty left for the
US on project work. I saw him only after a year, as I was unable to join
Murty in the US because my son had infantile eczema, an allergy to

So for more than a year I did not step outside our home for fear of my
son contracting an infection. It was only after Rohan got all his
vaccinations that I came to Bangalore where we rented a small house in Jayanagar and
rented another house as Infosys headquarters. My father presented Murty a scooter to commute.

I once again became a cook, programmer, clerk,
secretary, office assistant et al. Nandan Nilekani (MD of Infosys) and
his wife Rohini stayed with us. While Rohini babysat my son, I wrote
programs for Infosys. There was no car, no phone, and just two kids and a bunch
of us working hard, juggling our lives and having fun while Infosys was
taking shape. It was not only me but also the wives of other partners too who
gave their unstinted support. We all knew that our men were trying to build
something good.

It was like a big joint family,taking care and looking out for one
another. I still remember Sudha Gopalakrishna looking after my daughter Akshata
with all care and love while Kumari Shibulal cooked for all of us. Murty
made it very clear that it would either be me or him working at Infosys. Never
the two of us together... I was involved with Infosys initially.

Nandan Nilekani suggested I should be on the Board but Murty said he
did not want a husband and wife team at Infosys. I was shocked since I had
the relevant experience and technical qualifications.

He said, Sudha if you want to work with Infosys, I will withdraw, happily. I was pained to
know that I will not be involved in the company my husband was building and
that I would have to give up a job that I am qualifi! ed to do and love doing.

It took me a couple of days to grasp the reason behind Murty's
request.. I realized that to make Infosys a success one had to give one's 100
percent. One had to be focussed on it alone with no other distractions.

If the two of us had to give 100 percent to Infosys then what would happen to our
home and our children? One of us had to take care of our home while the
other took care of Infosys.

I opted to be a homemaker, after all Infosys was Murty's dream. It was
a big sacrificebut it was one that had to be made. Even today, Murty
says, Sudha, I stepped on your career to make mine. You are responsible for
my success.

Great, isn't it? .... That's the Power of Love.
Every man need a women to motivate him and to give him a reason to live....
Love Story of Narayana Murthy (Infosys Founder) and Sudha (From Sudha's Autobiography)SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Post a Comment

Contact Me


Email *

Message *

Related Posts with Thumbnails