'Politics? That?s a tough one'
All of us at Infosys have a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction for a job well done. There is an American saying that the reward for winning this pinball game is to get to play the next pinball game. The reward for us is the opportunity to contribute more to the country. We must resolve to ensure the organisation remains strong for the next 250 years.
Later this year, you will turn 60. Are you going to hand over the baton to your successor?
I handed over the baton to Nandan (Nilekani) four years ago. On August 20, 2006, I will cease to be the executive chairman of the company. I have been asked to continue as the non-executive chairman for another five years. I will continue to be involved in the managing the board, in governance and in enhancing the brand equity of Infosys.
Do you have plans to write a book on entrepreneurship after you retire?
I am not keen though many people have suggested that to me.
The minister mentor of Singapore has suggested that you join politics.
I am not at all interested in politics. There are many areas in which you can add value to society. I have chosen the corporate world. I am also very comfortable with academia. We have a large number of very good politicians, a wonderful Prime Minister with a capable team. I don't think my getting into politics will make a significant change.
You spoke about Dr Singh who is not a career politician, but has done a good job. Don't you want to emulate him?
I should not overestimate my capabilities and compare myself to extraordinary people like him. I am clear that I do not want to be in politics. What I have done is very small. Managing Infosys is a simple task because this milieu has a set of homogenous people with a similar set of aspirations, work ethic and discipline. On the other hand, a country like India — with diverse interests, multiple divides, and pressing issues — is a tougher ball game.
What about a position as an advisor?
I have been associated with successive governments as a member of a few advisory councils. 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 PM wants me to solve a specific problem fast, and gives me full executive authority to design and implement the solution, then I will be very happy to work for him. As long as there is a determination to create a high-impact outcome, I will be happy to be a member of such a taskforce.
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