New role: Murthy ready to troubleshoot for PM

Infosys' patriarch N.R. Narayana Murthy says he is game for a new avatar as trouble-shooter of the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. Overcoming reticence to get on board the government, Murthy says he will accept any task that commands a sense of urgency and focuses on an early outcome. "I will be happy to be associated with any task where there is a sense of urgency, passion for implementation and focus on the outcome.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2006 00:36 IST

Infosys'patriarch N.R. Narayana Murthy says he is game for a new avatar as trouble-shooter of the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. Overcoming reticence to get on board the government, Murthy says he will accept any task that commands a sense of urgency and focuses on an early outcome. "I will be happy to be associated with any task where there is a sense of urgency, passion for implementation and focus on the outcome.

So, if the Prime Minister wants me to solve a specific problem and gives me full executive authority to design and implement the solution, I will be very happy to work for him," he told this correspondent in an interview here.
The chairman of India's second largest software maker will step down later this year- when he turns 60 in August 2006 - bringing down the curtains on an incredible, 25-year long innings.

"I tell my younger colleagues that this year we must resolve to ensure that this organisation remains strong for the next 250 years. A couple of people asked me about our goals for the company. There are a few things that I tell them. Just as we have become a highly-respected company in India (the best employer, the best in corporate governance, the best-managed company etc), we must be among the top three companies in such honors in every market that we operate in USA, UK, France, Japan, Germany, Australia, Canada and Singapore. That is a big task. I am sure my colleagues will take it as a challenge and achieve it," he said about his vision for the company.

Murthy, however, ducked a query from the government. "Let's not go into the details. I want to be associated with activities that have a high probability of success. That is the criteria. I am an action-oriented person, I worry about speed. I worry about outcomes," he said.

As for politics, it's still a strict no-no. "I am not at all interested in venturing into politics. There are many areas in which you can add value to the society. I have chosen the corporate world. I do not need to get into politics. We have a large number of politicians. We have a wonderful Prime Minister with a capable team. The Opposition parties also have capable leaders. So, I don't think entering politics will make any significant change.

The entire nation should rally behind these leaders," he said. Lee Kuan Yew had egged Murthy to enter politics.

On his decision to log out as chairman of Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL), Murthy said, "I only suggested that they use data and facts to make allegations (that his company had grabbed land on the outskirts of Bangalore).

First Published: Jan 16, 2006 00:36 IST