Facing job cuts, IT needs capitalism in mind, socialism in heart: Narayana Murthy
For more than 20 years, the industry has generated enormous profits and created more than 40 million white-collar jobs. The future could be very different and NR Narayana Murthy, the father of Indian IT industry and founder of Infosys, has a prescription for the industry in these tough times. At the same time, I also realised that capitalism will only succeed if the leaders of capitalism demonstrate self-restraint in allocating a disproportionate part of wealth generated to themselves. I also realized that in a poor country like India if capitalism has to become acceptable and has to be embraced by a large section of our society, then the leaders of capitalism have to eschew vulgar display of wealth. In the interest of enhancing confidence in capitalism, we, the leaders of capitalism, must embrace compassionate capitalism.
That is capitalism in the mind and socialism at heart – or, capitalism based on fairness, transparency and accountability. In every decision we, the leaders of capitalism, take, we have to ask whether our decision will enhance the respect for us in the eyes of our younger employees and whether respect for our corporations will be enhanced in the eyes of the society. If we follow these principles, I believe, we will be in a position to save capitalism from premature death in India and bring the benefit of capitalism to the vast majority of Indians. The challenge for our industry leaders is to create new markets and create new opportunities and jobs in the scenario of changing technologies. The market for the IT industry may shrink and that is beyond anybody.
It is very important for leaders of capitalism to be fair to their younger colleagues when the issue of retrenchment comes. All of us have to practice capitalism in mind and socialism in heart.
Compassionate capitalism: Why Murthy is right in opposing Infy CEO Vishal Sikka’s pay hike
New Delhi: N R Narayana Murthy and his wife Sudha are known to be frugal, despite being a billionaire couple. A news report mentions today that amid the raging controversy over the company Murthy co-founded – Infosys – he treated Infosys’ Chairman R Seshsayee to simple breakfast of idli and dosa at his modest Bengaluru residence yesterday morning. No fancy multi-course meal for the Murthys and none obviously for their guests. When last week Murthy raised the issue of the Infosys CEO’s obscene salary, triggering the present crisis, one was forced to sit up and take notice. For the last few days, newspaper reports have spoken of Murthy’s displeasure with the proposal to further increase Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka’s remuneration.
Founders together own about 13 percent in Infosys and have been a collective weighty voice on important matters. Murthy has also voiced concerns over a large severance package devised for the ex-CFO. On the former, Chairman R Seshasayee said last evening everything was in order. There are no major corporate governance issues at Infosys but the company and its management should look at perception issues which have cropped up after Murthy pointed out the obvious. No one is saying that Sikka’s pay packet violates any law, neither has it been kept a secret.
The remuneration Sikka received in FY16 was duly approved by Infosys’ board of directors and has been duly disclosed in the company’s annual report. The issue is really this: the obscene amount of money Sikka earns to run Infosys may perhaps be justified by the salary math the world’s top corporate honchos apply to their own packages but makes little sense when put in perspective. This piece shows Sikka took home a salary which was 935 times the median pay at Infosys last fiscal.
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