Thirty-year-old Rohan Murty, the son of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy, will probably be one of the wealthiest executive assistants in the country.
His 79,49,782 Infosys shares were worth a whopping Rs 1,911 crore (around $347 million) at Friday’s closing price of Rs 2,407.60 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Interestingly, Rohan has more shares in Infosys than parents Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murthy, who own 23,79,672 and 73,14,660 shares, respectively, according to the shareholding pattern data on the BSE.
Among the promoters, only sibling Akshata Murthy (81,06,412), Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani (83,45,870) and his wife Rohini Nilekani (80,78,174) own more shares than Rohan in the company.
This probably explains why the father-son duo has agreed to draw a token compensation of Re 1 a year each.
Rohan holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Harvard and is a junior fellow in the Society of Fellows at the Harvard University. His graduate school work at Harvard was supported by a Siebel Scholars Fellowship and a Microsoft Research Fellowship, Rohan says on his Harvard research page.
He quotes father Murthy three times on his page, one of which reads: “The softest pillow is a clear conscience”.
On the technology side, his focus lies in the areas of networked systems, embedded computing and distributed computing systems. Rohan is said to be an avid programming enthusiast ever since his school days. Despite this, he has had little interest in working at Infosys, by his own admission. He completed schooling from the Bishop Cotton Boys’ School in Bangalore.
“I attended senior school with an auto-driver, a cricketer, a giraffe, a senior mugpot, another mugpot, a pianist, a geek, a brainiac, a Bong, a lawyer and a pilot,” he says on his Harvard research page.
On the personal front, Rohan’s interests span across philosophy, history and the classics. He also promotes the Murty Classical Library of India, an initiative aimed at bringing the classical literature of India to a global audience.
"I have read the Bhagvad Gita, the Mahabharata; but my reading is not as deep as Rohan's. He has taken several courses in philosophy and now, Sanskrit at Harvard," the senior Murthy had famously remarked in 2010. It was the same year Rohan married Lakshmi, daughter of Venu Srinivasan, Chairman of TVS Motors.
Clearly, Rohan’s time in the public eye has just begun. Going forward, several parallels will be made between him and Rishad Premji, Wipro’s Chief Strategy Officer and son of Wipro scion Azim Premji. It will be interesting to see how Rohan will respond to all the hype and expectations.