The country would see more economic progress if the private sector was left to run business without government interference, Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy has said at the Jaipur Literature Festival.
“Any good government has to have a good regulatory agency but it is best if business of business is left to private sector. Rules much be such that 90 per cent of people can conduct their businesses swiftly and without interference from the government. Time has come when PSUs may not have a role and it can be done without a framework of good regulatory agency,” he said.
Murthy was in conversation with journalist Rahul Jacob in a session titled “India’s Turn: Catalyzing Economic Transformation”.
The 68-year-old IT czar shared with the audience how he always wanted his company to set examples of corporate governance.
“When we founded Infosys, we realised that there was abundance of technology and labour in the country but still many of our engineers from IITs did not get a job…I thought we will create a company which will do so with fairness, transparency and accountability. We will benchmark ourselves as best company in the world in terms of corporate governance,” he said.
Murthy, said he believed in creating a place where hierarchy had little to do with proposal of ideas and implementation.
“For example every decision I took as CEO, I ensured people involved in decision making were below 30 because I had of corporate life of 15 years.. .they will have for 25 years when they become future leaders and they should know how to conduct themselves,” he said.
Murthy also suggested that be it government sector or corporate, it is very important to ensure the right people are selected for the job.
Asked whether privatisation without any government interference will lead to plundering, Murthy said “If you choose honest, decent, fair minded and competent people to do the tasks it will yield results. Plundering happened because right people were not chosen for the activity. I think we need to focus more on getting done the right activities form right people.
“Every ministry in my opinion must have an advisory board who reviews it timely. Unless you have adequate accuracy and recruit right kind of people you will not have transparency.”
Indians need to do away with their “Manage a bit” attitude, Murthy said.
“I get so many requests from people to get things done for them. They keep on saying ‘manage a bit’. Once an acquaintance asked me to write to the course coordinator at University of Berkley to get her daughter’s admission done. When I pointed out that things don’t proceed in US like this, he asked me if could ask them to bend their rules and manage a bit,” he said.
“Managing a bit and asking others to manage is the biggest blunder that we Indians are doing,” added Murthy.
When asked about the crisis employees face with companies issuing pink slips as part of cost cutting measures, he said, “Always remember performance is a criterion to be in job or not be in a job. Even if there is cost cutting you will be evaluated on your performance before you are issued a pink slip. So, focus on the performance always”.