NR Narayana Murthy said that India needs to learn a culture of honesty, citing the example of China. Comparing China’s stellar economic expansion with India’s much slower growth, Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy said that despite being the same size as India in the late 1940s, China has grown to be six times the size of India because of the culture it has imbibed. “We need to build a culture of quick decision making, quick implementation, hassle less transactions, honesty in transactions, no favouritism,” Murthy said at Asia Economic Dialogue organised by the Ministry of External Affairs.
Such cultural attributes are the only common aspect joining all the developed countries, he added. “Only a small section works hard in the country and a majority of people have not imbibed the culture which is essential to fulfil the aspirations of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said. However, in the same breath, Murthy sought to hedge his speech by asking not to call him ‘anti-national’, probably concerned with a possible backlash.
Murthy shared one of his experiences of setting up a facility in Shanghai in 2006. Highlighting the pace at which China works, he recalled that the mayor of the city allocated a 25 acre land parcel selected by him the day after it was selected. He maintained that India lacks this pace of movement due to corruption existing at lower levels.
“If we want the business people to stay only in India and do everything in India, I think they will be very happy to do so. All that we are respectfully requesting is that quick decisions must be taken, they must be implemented quickly and there should be no harassment, no unnecessary hurdle,” Murthy said, adding that corruption is existent at lower levels, but those at higher levels are honest.
Further, in a message to youngsters, Murthy said that they should not indulge in moonlighting or insistence on working from home. “My fervent desire and humble desire to youngsters is please don’t fall into this trap of – ‘I will moonlight, I will do work from home, I will come to office three days in a week’,” he said.