Three Leaders, Three Paths

“Narayan Murthy has returned to Infosys” I told Lulu my parrot as he looked at me. “And there are interesting reactions of all hues and colours from

everybody. All seem to have an opinion on it.”

Lulu nibbled at the guava fruit. A glance at me told me that the beautiful parrot was deeply engrossed in his thoughts. It was better not to disturb him, I felt. But my words must have disturbed his concentration. “Pardon me. What did you say?” he asked.

“It’s about Narayan Murthy. Everybody is talking about his return.”

“And Mohandas Pai has given a long interview in Business Line about it.” Lulu said. “He felt that it was good for Infosys.”

“I also think so. I mean Murthy is the one who partnered with a few others in creation of Infosys. He wields a great influence on people at Infy and perhaps on customers. He will boost their confidence.”

“……. ? ?” Lulu was preoccupied with guava, and he had also picked up a chilly now.

“Hey what are you thinking about?” I asked. ‘No response, eh?”

“I was thinking about three leaders which India has produced. All three respected highly. Or they were, why use present tense?” Lulu broke his silence.

“You must be referring to Dhirubhai.” I guessed.

“No. I was actually referring to Dr Manmohan Singh. A man of great

achievements and respected too. He is doing nothing and simply sitting there. Look what has happened to him. He is perhaps one of the most jeered at leader today. I feel sorry for him.” Lulu said.

“I agree with you. I too feel bad. He should not have taken up that position at all.”

“Omkar Goswami writing in Businessworld asks ‘How much worse? How much more can the prime minister fall before he acts? Or can he act at all?’ Sorry to see our PM being commented upon like that, but he deserves it.” Lulu said.

“Yeah. But Murthy and Singh are two extremes, like South and North poles. One is returning to the institution he created, and the other returned to the head the government. One is essentially an entrepreneur and the other an economist and intellectual. I mean, there is a difference, isn’t it?”

“And the third leader! He is in a separate class by himself.” Lulu said.

“Who is he?”

“Ratan Tata. When he was appointed as the head of Tata Group, people expressed doubts about his abilities to run the industrial empire. Ratan was

neither an entrepreneur nor an intellectual with a PhD in rocket science. And there he goes after making an outstanding contribution, raising his empire’s esteem higher in the eyes of the world. He exited after putting a successor in place.”

“That’s interesting” I said. “I get your point. Three leaders and three ways. One not stepping down, one is returning and the third has recently retired after appointing his successor.”

“Yes, you said it. Why does it happen? I think I would rather fly to Ahmedabad.”

“To hear Narendra Modi? Don’t tell me.” I asked, I was shocked.

“Nah! I want to know if any IIM professor has theory on it.” Lulu said as he flew away.