In his return to the chief’s chair to revive the premier Indian information technology giant Infosys Technologies which he co-founded, N Narayanamurthy is following a well-worked tradition in the corporate world. This return, however, has a new twist: Murthy will be accompanied into the executive suite by his 30-year old computer scientist son, Rohan.
A son working in his father’s office – business or political – is the norm in India. Except that Infosys is a globally-recognized, publicly-listed company. The similarity to Sonia Gandhi coming in to ‘save’ and lead the Congress Party and later inducting her son Rahul Gandhi as party vice-president has not been lost on the public. And so a fury of indignation has swept across the country from those who saw Murthy as the icon of good governance and professionalism, a bulwark against the nepotism and crony capitalism that has seized Indian politics and even cricket, today. It’s India’s most perverse moment yet: instead of politics taking its cue from professional business, business is taking its cue from politics and reinforcing family ties.