Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Corporate Memories- Narayan Murthy and ME.

I had a long and illustrious corporate career. You could bracket me right up there with the great Narayan Murthy.

We both were men of vision. While I don’t know his , mine was called long sightedness.

I use the past tense because Narayan Murthy is now the Ex CEO and I am also leading an almost retired life. I see myself as the Matthew Hayden of Corporate world. A great career abruptly cut short!

We were great motivational speakers( No not Mathew Hayden. He suffered from a large foot in a larger mouth syndrome. I am talking about Narayan Murthy)
We could motivate the listeners to aim higher heights.

Again I don’t know about him, but I remember when I once spoke, one of my juniors suddenly climbed right up the chimney. He claims he went to help a cat. But my detractors say it was my boring speech.
Jealousy is as old as civilization. We cant do anything about it.

And we both have great bank balances. I can walk through all the zeros with him.
And that would be almost a mile I am sure. Not bad you will agree. Even walking 80% of his balance is not a mean achievement.

Now what separates him and me? Well , two things. One the government has appreciated his contribution and awarded him the Padma Award. And two he wrote a book.

I will receive the padma award next year. The MP from the chambal ravines has it worked out. He is sure that UPA or NDA with 20 coalition partners and 12 outside support will still need one independent to form a government. The third fourth and fifth front will have the same predicament. Only the permutations and combinations will change. But he will be the tilt. No one can ignore him. So as he becomes the Defence Minister, I get my reward for loyalty to him.

In case you have wrong ideas about me, this dacoit was habilitated by the Arjun singh Government and now sells milk in our colony. We have been buying from him for the last 18 years.

So now what remains is that small thing of writing a book. And then I am in the same hall of fame.

My Book is ready for release.

Like all great writers, I release a few excerpts from my memoir before it is printed. It has various chapters providing an insight into my multifarious talent in handling various departments. This one is the heart of the business: Finance.


I was so involved with work that the boundaries of office and home diffused and there wasn’t much difference between office and domestic work which the colleagues did with equal enthusiasm. My eyes moist as I remember the delicious biryanis that my colleague cooked. Not for nothing was he awarded the best worker of the month.

We faced a lot of challenges during my turbulent years. But I was always there, the captain of the ship, an embodiment of corporate leadership.

There was this time when we had a difficult client who after a lot of threatenings and proddings gave us a cheque. The accountant took the cheque home promising to drop it in the bank on his way to the office the next day. We celebrated our great achievement. $40,000!!!!!!

Imagine the next day when we got a sheepish accountant with the remnants of the cheque which his dear son and his dearer dog used instead of the ball and now was only 1/10th of the original left the other 9/10th safely in the pet’s stomach I presume. Well you win some and lose some. Narayan Murthy will agree. What was important was the team work and the satisfaction of achieving the impossible.

Once I remember there was a cheque from another very difficult client lying on the table waiting to be deposited the next day. A junior brushed it aside as the customary beers and chicken nuggets arrived.

Now beer for a human body is like gas for a car. It triggers the right buttons and the human body can work with amazing speed.

And so one enthusiastic co-worker cleaned the table and threw the leftovers in the trash bag. The soiled envelope carrying the cheque also went with it. The other one with lightning speed went out and threw it in the dumpster.

When I remembered it the next day I phoned all my colleagues and we all rushed to the dumpster. It stood regally , in all it splendour a good 7 feet tall.
We had a hurried brain storming and we all agreed.
The decision was unanimous as usual. i ordered and they agreed. like the congress party.

I feel humbled.

KK was the tallest one. Unfortunately he was the heaviest too. He had to be lifted so he could reach inside the dumpster. I reminded all that we were team players and this was team work.

But trust me it isn’t easy to be gentle when you are dealing with some one that fat.

So this push became a mighty shove as 4 pair of enthusiastic hands gave his massive butt a propeller thrust. We screamed with delight as he plonked inside like a rocket on fire , his glasses flying and face into a pepperoni pizza , some one’s leftover dinner, and his hand clutching the ubiquitous cheque.

Team work can do wonders!

East met West and an ardent vegetarian got converted into an ardent non- vegetarian.

I look back with pride many such achievements. Space is short and the achievements many.

My steps may seem radical but they were effective.

That is what the leaders are supposed to do. Provide stellar leadership.

Like me and Narayan Murthy.


( Three months after release : My book is next to ‘ what they don’t teach you at Harvard’ on the best sellers list)


  1. Good morning Padmashri Mr. Sudhir. Can you also arrange one award for me?

  2. haha i was angling for bigger award than that!!!!!

  3. hehehehehe... damn funny man.. i was laughing all the way.. nice comparison..

  4. u ve an unconventional sense of humor which is really a gr8 gift-wish i had an iota of dis

  5. Thanks Sormita. i feel honored by your kind words

  6. really dangerously hilarious post..Like the content

  7. thanks very much sourish. I am glad you liked it.

  8. too good... gr8 sense of humor..