Who are these 'Madrasis' and 'Diva' on Infosys’ Board?

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on October 28, 2019

DN Prahlad

D Sundaram

DN Prahalad and D Sundaram, who a whistleblower alleges were described as 'Madrasis' by Infosys CEO Salil Parekh, have had illustrious careers spanning decades

A whistleblower group’s letter to the Infosys Board and the US Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that CEO Salil Parekh told members of the group that it was not necessary to inform board members DN Prahalad, D Sundaram and Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw about issues concerning large deals. “The CEO told us,‘no one in the board understands these things. They are happy as long as share price is up. These two Madrasis (Sundaram and Prahlad) and Diva (Kiran) make silly points. You just nod and ignore them.’ We have voice recordings of this."

Read more: Full letter of the whistleblower groups to the Infosys Board

DN Prahlad

According to the directors’ profiles on the Infosys’ website, Prahlad played a key role in the rapid growth of Infosys Technologies, and has been associated with the company from its formative years. He is also the chairman of EdgeVerve Ltd, and is also the founder and CEO of Surya Software Systems Private Limited, Bengaluru. Surya focusses on products for financial risk management of financial institutions in general and banks in particular.

Podcast | Infosys whistleblower: What next for Salil Parekh?

In addition, Prahlad is on the advisory board of the Computer Science and Automation Department of Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. He served as an adjunct faculty at Indian Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru in its formative years. Prahalad is a B.Sc. with honours in Mathematics from Bangalore University and B.E. (Electrical Technology and Electronics) from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

D Sundaram

Sundaram is the Vice Chairman & Managing Director, TVS Capital Funds Ltd. According to the Infosys website, Sundaram’s experience spans corporate finance, business performance, monitoring operations, governance, mergers & acquisitions, talent/people management and strategy.

Sundaram who started out as a management Trainee at Hindustan Unilever Limited in June 1975, served the company in various capacities till 1990. He was seconded to Unilever, London, as Commercial Officer for Africa and the Middle East Group between 1990 and 1993. He was the Commercial Manager of the TOMCO integration team in 1993-94 and served as CFO of Brooke Bond Lipton from 1994 to 1996. He again served in Unilever London between 1996 to 1999, as senior vice president (Finance, IT and Strategy) for South Asia and Middle East. In April 1999 he returned to HUL as Finance & IT Director. He became Vice Chairman of HUL in April 2008.


In all, Sundaram has more than 34 years’ experience with Hindustan Unilever Limited. He is currently the Vice Chairman and MD of TVS Capital Funds Ltd.

He is a Post Graduate in Management Studies (MMS), Chennai, Fellow of the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants, and has done Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Programme (AMP).

He served as an independent director on the Board of State Bank of India, from January 2009 to June 2014; of SBI Capital Markets from 2002 to 2014 and has been a member of the board of governors of Institute of Financial Management and Research, Chennai, since 2005.

He currently serves as an independent director on the boards of SBI General Insurance, GSK Pharma India, Crompton Greaves Consumer Limited and Trent Hyper Market (JV with TESCO).

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is the lead independent director on the board of Infosys. She is Chairperson and Managing Director of Bengaluru-based biotechnology firm Biocon Ltd.

Shaw has been named among TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Bangalore University, India, and is qualified as a Master Brewer from Ballarat University, Australia.

Published on October 22, 2019

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