At Infosys, Narayana Murthy's 'brilliant' son Rohan Murty rises, makes deep impact

Written by fe Bureau | Bangalore | Updated: Jan 14 2014, 04:00am hrs
Rohan MurtyRohan Murty takes part in all the key meetings along with his father (AP)
Rohan Murty, the son of NR Narayana Murthy, is rising at Infosys Ltd Indias second-largest IT services exporter under the watchful guidance of his father and executive chairman of the company, who has termed his performance over the last six months as a brilliant job.

Rohan Murty (30), who joined the company in June last year as the executive assistant to his father (chairmans office), has been intently learning the various facets of the company while also rigorously reviewing the performance of the company's key business units, including sales and marketing.

Insiders in the company are extremely reluctant to speak about Rohan Murty junior's specific role but the impact has been visible especially the way he went about reviewing the operations and later downsizing Infosys Labs, a research and development wing of the IT major.

Experts point out that Rohan Murtys strong academic background would have certainly helped in reviewing the operations at Infosys Labs as he holds a Ph.D in computer science from Harvard University and Bachelors from Cornell University. He has authored several papers and patents as part of his research on wireless and mobile computing.

Similarly, he has also undertaken the performance review of energy and utilities business of Infosys, ruffling a few feathers in the way. Rohan Murty takes part in all the key meetings along with his father. Sources say that he played an important role in helping chairman Narayana Murthy initiate the recent restructuring of the sales and marketing engine in India and abroad to revitalise the company.

Prior to his current assignment at Infosys, Rohan has been part of three prestigious programmes Computing Innovations Fellow at MIT, Siebel Scholars Fellowship and Microsoft Research Fellowship.

Even though, Infosys had a policy of not allowing the kith and kin or any relatives of the founders joining the company, Rohan Murty seemed to be the first exception. Insiders say that Narayana Murthys return to the company was on the condition that his son should also be allowed to join him. The Infosys chairman has also publicly remarked that Rohan would make him more effective and he liked the idea of working with young minds.

It is not just the business of the Bangalore-based IT firm, but Rohan of late has been taking keen interest in the HR activities of the organisation as well. The IT major recently hired an external agency to undertake a campaign on the employee perception of the company and the executive assistant was very much part of the presentations along with the chairman.

Experts feel that Rohan Murty's experience at Catamaran Ventures, a sector agnostic family venture capital (VC) fund with a corpus of about $130 million, helped him develop sharp business acumen and strategise investments in growth sectors. In fact, NRN inducted MIT graduate Arjun Ramegowda Narayan to helm the VC fund at Rohan's recommendation. Both Rohan and his friend Arjun have quietly expanded Catamaran over the last few years.

Murthy had earlier clarified that his son's role at Infosys has no leadership profile, but there is a big question mark on the future position of Murty junior within the company. However, some quarters talk about he being the potential CEO of the IT firm. Narayana Murthy left this question unanswered by saying, Rohan is assisting me in my office and he's doing a brilliant job. But what he wants to do is the decision that's left to him considering that he is 30 years old.