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Friday, February 16

Murthy and Premji Over Breakfast

Mayank was kind enough to forward this link of the conversation between Narayan Murthy and Azim Premji arranged by ET. Like most Indians, am in awe of these two gentlemen who have transformed brand India over the years!

Some nuggets from this interview!

1. Premji - "Our experience as a company is that if your top management is not global, they tend to collect people who are of the same kin. It is the most difficult transformation."

Murthy - "What is a global mindset? It is about thinking of the whole world as your arena, being comfortable in interacting with people from multiple cultures, looking at the various markets while strategising, leveraging talent from all cultures, making sure that all cultures are comfortable in your milieu and that you have a fair representation of different cultures."

2. Murthy on the Tata-Corus deal - "When somebody writes the business history of India in the 2000s and 2100s, this will be described as a turning point in the history of the mindset of the Indian entrepreneur. That's what I'm excited about!"

3. Murthy on business then - "In 1981, when we founded Infosys, we were very clear from day one that we had to be focused on global markets. That was a tough exercise because the friction to business was extremely high then."

"It would take two to three years and 50 visits to Delhi to get a license to import a computer. We had to wait in front of the Reserve Bank of India for 10 days to travel abroad once. It was almost impossible to open offices abroad or get a consultant in marketing or in quality because there were severe restrictions on what you could pay them."

4. Murthy on Azim - "First of all, Azim is the least pretentious person. For example, he would call me once in a while and say, Murthy I want to meet you. I would say, look I'll get back to you when I am free and he would say, don't worry I'll talk to Pandu. Look, it is the chairman of Wipro who says he will speak to my secretary."

5. Premji on relationship with competition - "Relationships are getting multifaceted. As an example, we find that we are able to work with IBM mutually globally and we compete with them like hell in India. Particularly on large projects, we are competing all the time. At the same time, there is mutual collaboration and mutual competition."

6. Premji on China - "It’s both friends and foe. They are friends because we see them as part of our global delivery model. We see them downstream as a potential market like they see us as a downstream potential market. Their threat is because they are trying to emulate the India global delivery model in services and they will compete with us."

Okay, go ahead read the interview...Goes without saying, when the history of the great Indian awakening will be written, these two software titans would have a chapter each for their vision, innovativeness, courage and high ethical standards!

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