Meet one of India's richest executive assistants: Narayana Murthy's son Rohan

In a major management reshuffle, Infosys announced yesterday that it has re-appointed N R Narayana Murthy as Executive Chairman and Additional Director. Not just that, the re-shuffle also marked the entry of the next generation at Infosys, with Murthy's son, Rohan, joining the over $7 billion firm as his father's executive assistant.

Murty Jr (yes, there's no 'h' in his last name) has a PhD in computer science from Harvard University.His graduate school work at Harvard was supported by a Siebel Scholars Fellowship and a Microsoft Research Fellowship.

Rohan is said to be an avid programming enthusiast ever since his school days inBishop Cotton in Bangalore. A writing on his official Harvard homepage says: "I attended senior school with an auto-driver, a cricketer, a giraffe, a senior mugpot, another mugpot, a pianist, a geek, a brainiac, a Bong, a lawyer and a pilot."

Image: Moneycontrol

Narayana Murthy with his son Rohan. Image: Moneycontrol

Rohan's shadow role at Catamaran Ventures, a sector agnostic investment fund with a corpus of around $130 million, saw him expand his interest in some of India's promising growth sectors.

Besides his current fellowship work which focuses on 'architectures for opportunistic (dynamic) spectrum access in wireless networks,'Rohan is also interested in philosophy, history and the classics, reported Times of India.He also promotes the Murty Classical Library of India, an initiative aimed at bringing the classical literature of India to a global audience.

But ask him his favourite quotation, he would tell youthose often cited by his father: "In god we trust, everybody else brings data to the table" and"The softest pillow is a clear conscience."

According to reports, Rohanwill be one of the wealthiest executive assistants in the country. He apparently has more shares in Infosys than parents Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murthy.

According to aBusiness Standardreport, at Friday's closing on the BSE, his 79,49,782 Infosys shares were worth a whopping Rs 1,911 crore (around $347 million). In fact, according to the report only sibling Akshata Murthy, Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini Nilekani own more shares than Rohan in the company.

In 2009, when asked if he wanted to join Infosys, Rohan had said, "I never thought of it." In April, this year, Murthy, commenting on his son's future plans had said: "He has lots of options. He can be a wonderful academic or a very passionate entrepreneur if he wants," reported Economic Times.

Now, with the new role of recasting the fortunes of Infosys with his father, Rohan will have his job cut out. And like his father, Rohan has also requested the company to pay him a token compensation of Rs 1 per year.

However, Murthy has denied that his son's entry into Infosys is a step towards grooming him for a leadership role. "Rohan is my executive assistant, he has no leadership role. Shibulal is the CEO. There are executive directors in the company, and the board members, they are all competent people. Only role that Rohan has is to make me more effective. That's it," he said.

Besides his wedding to Lakshmi Venu, the heiress to India's $1.4-billion two-wheeler manufacturer TVS Motors two years ago, Rohan has stayed away from the spot light. But with his new role, the 30-year-oldbe keenly watched byIndia Inc and others.

And it is high unlikely that several parallels won't be made between him and Rishad Premji, Wipro's Chief Strategy Officer and son of Wipro scion Azim Premji.


Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 21:25 PM

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