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    Home / College Guide / The Ambitious Business Plan Of Narayana Murtys Son, Rohan Murty Exclusive On Ind
     Posted on Tuesday, December 06 @ 00:00:05 PST

    Rohan Murty seen his father use the new tactic of outsourcing technology services to transform Infosys Ltd. into one of India’s national champions. The 39-year-old is currently undertaking the no less difficult task of leveraging data to increase the productivity of white-collar professionals. #narayanmurthy #wipro #businessnews Subscribe to India Today for NEW VIDEOS EVERY DAY The Ambitious Business Plan Of Narayana Murty’s Son, Rohan Murty Exclusive On India Today Hello and welcome to the business Today Show I’m udayan Mukherjee my guest of the show today is a young man with what you would call good connections his father is the founder of India’s most iconic technology Services Company his brother-in-law is the British prime minister and his mother is a best-selling author and a. Philanthropist but he himself is a budding entrepreneur who’s trying to re-haul the way performance in the white collar world is measured and improved it gives me great pleasure to welcome Rohan Narayan Murthy on the business Today Show Rohan great to have you on the show and good to see you thank you then um great to be here as. Well well the murti surname must be a heavy one to carry around I mean it it would not sit easily on many people’s shoulders I mean does it bother you or do you see it as a privilege or uh I mean how is it there’s nothing to really make peace with I’m just very grateful for the.

    Chances of fate and more for what life has to offer sure even so I mean it must be irritating sometimes to be constantly referred to or called or known as Narayan murthy’s son well it is a fact that I’m his son uh but uh I’d hope that over time the work that I do uh or I have done uh at least. Serves sufficient purpose uh so that people at least uh refer to me by anything but uh so-and-so’s son or grandson or brother or sister Etc and so on so well now you’re in the corporate world with uh Sirocco but uh looking at your background Rohan um I mean the kind of academic background you have the. Excellence in research that you brought to the table it almost seems to me that you’re a bit of a misfit I mean you actually would have been more comfortable in the world of Academia but and not so much in the corporate sphere is that an unfair assessment no that is not an unfair assessment in fact um in my own family we’ve had for a. Few Generations uh a significant faction actually being teachers or professors more recently I’m including my mother’s siblings my grandparents my my father’s father for example was a was a mathematics teacher um and so on so forth so in if somebody were to ask me what is our family business our family business is Academia.

    Uh in that sense my father is an aberration uh to that and so ever since I’ve been young my hero has been Richard Feynman I read his book and I was in sixth standard in school and I always wanted to be a professor um my mother’s brother is the head of astrophysics uh he’s a professor of. Astronomy um at Caltech and and so he’s been somebody I’ve wanted to emulate um and I’ve been on that trajectory for a long time but at some point I felt I wanted to build things that people would use and perhaps that is harder to achieve in the academic realm and um and so that’s why I chose to ultimately leave. But at even earlier in your career I mean in your academic career perhaps was it an option going towards physics or technology or was it always a conscious choice that you had to go the technology way no I mean there’s no such thing as to I’ve had to do technology so on I guess this is I mean it’s not uncommon right I guess in in families. Where people play sports and so on uh the Next Generation plays Sports so in that sense in my family there have been a lot of people who’ve done science technology and so on so I’ve naturally been exposed to it is part of the environment when growing up so it’s something that I was fortunate to be able to to take up.

    Um and so it wasn’t based on any set of expectations in fact if anything I would think my parents would have hoped that I would have remained an academic and would have been more excited if I’d remained an academic well that’s interesting Rohan I mean I was going to ask you whether you ever thought that your father would be disappointed if you. Did not turn out to be a technology entrepreneur after what he had achieved you’re saying the opposite is true they would probably have been happier to see you teaching at an Ivy League College oh for sure without doubt uh in fact uh I think his unfulfilled ambition for his own life was he had been admitted to a PhD program in computer science and. Then his father passed away and so he had to get a job to send money to his family so his sisters could get married and so therefore in some sense I achieved that part of his his hope or desire and so he thought I would continue to remain in Academia and he was very excited not to suggest he’s disappointed otherwise but. That certainly is something that that really mattered for him uh in fact his joke was he would tell me he’s saying you know when I finished my PhD I was contemplating applying for a second PhD program in in philosophy not even in computer science and I asked my parents and it was a.

    Serious thought as to what they thought about me doing that and he said look you can get a business card saying professional student and what a wonderful way to live life so so in that sense I’ve had tremendous support in my family to study as much as I wanted in an hour long and pretty much study anything I wanted to. Um and before we talk about soroko I also wanted to ask where this inclination towards the humanities comes from because you just said that you might want to do a PhD in philosophy but your early work is with the murti classic Library I mean do you get that from your mother or is it just an intellectual leaning towards the. Humanities that you have intrinsically no um great question actually I get it almost certainly from my mother um in another life or perhaps even in this life itself my mother would make as good a historian as she would be a computer scientist herself um so I’ve grown up with a very heavy influence from her on the appreciation. For literature for humanities and so on uh for history um among other things and and so it was just a sort of a very natural inclination I’ve had for a long time and and certainly I had the privilege of being able to study in American institutions where they encourage such um such Pursuits where you can be a.

    Computer scientist but it doesn’t deter you from studying history or philosophy or sociology or whatever else and I guess I just made the most most of that opportunity to learn as much as I could about pretty much anything that came my way did it ever cross your mind that since you never needed to lift a finger or you don’t need to lift a finger to. Earn any money in your life with your endowment with invoices shares that you would just uh spend your money in the pursuit of uh in things to do with the humanities and not to do with the business world no maybe not to that extent um uh I think there is a a deeper desire to do something. You know as I say some Manner and and not to live a life only of pleasure seeking which you know and and so on so I I don’t think I ever considered some of these other options okay let’s talk about the magnet then the what where is the word who come from what does it mean you know it’s actually it doesn’t really. Mean much um it is uh it was a it was a former name of our company or another it was an older it was an abbreviation for an older name that we no longer use and then we just thought you know it sounds nice it sounds like a misspelling of Sirocco the gentle Mediterranean Breeze and so we.

    Just kept the name we didn’t really think much about the name um so yeah it doesn’t really stand right now you disappoint me sir Rohan I mean knowing your backdrop I I was quite hoping that you would tell me that there is some group Greek etymological root for that word which and I would be enlightened by that but you’re saying. Nothing at nothing as elevated as that no no I’m sorry I I wish I had a grand story to tell I don’t it is uh well it’s a rather clean no but your Pursuit is quite Grand because you know for the last many decades we’ve seen so many large American corporations manufacturing corporations trying to tell us that this. Is how we are going to create efficiencies on the shop floor in factories and in in a sense from looking at from what I read about soroko you’re trying to do that in the field of Technology services or in the digital domain the equivalent of what a Toyota could be doing on the shop floor is that Off the Mark or how else would. You describe soroko to a layperson yeah so I’d say it’s slightly differently maybe so um it is true first of all historically that when it’s come to manufacturing or blue color work there’s been a very detailed disciplined science for understanding it for improving it for measuring it and so on but there isn’t.

    An equivalent for office work or white color work now that’s beyond technology Services I mean if you’re in a bank or insurance company or pretty much any job where you use a piece of software to do your work and that’s by the way most of us in fact it’s very very interviews happening through software right even this in some sense uh does not have a. More detailed or rigorous sites for understanding or improving it but even within that um what we basically attempt to do is when you think about work and when I say work I’m only a referring to office work or white color word when I think of work there are two ways of looking at work one is what we all do individually so. What do you then do every single day what do I don’t do every single day and we have a set of variables about our work that we control you know what applications we spend time on and so on so forth but then there’s this other part which we don’t control the kind of work that we do how the work needs to be done uh the kind of processes we need to. Follow the kind of applications that we encounter the inefficiency of these applications all the technology and so on so these are all decisions that management typically take and individual employees don’t take and so what we recognize is that if you want to bring about a rigorous way of understanding and improving office work then we should.

    Focus on the latter bucket that is those parts of office work that employees do not have any control over and yet are subjected to um and if you can gather data about this then management can use this to figure are how they can help their people and their teams be have a better experience at work and. The end result being be more productive at work and this is different from saying I want to figure out who is doing what and how much time they’re spending and why are they why are you taking a one-hour bathroom break that is not what I’m talking about in fact I would say that is the erroneous way in which people have tried to improve office work. Instead we ask how can we support you each employee or each team be more successful by focusing on the environment in which you do your work and we have attempted to solve this problem by using technology and historically people have attempted to solve this problem through consulting or one-on-one interviews and instead we’ve. Used technology to solve this problem so you know for people who don’t understand so much about technology but let me try try and ask you to elucidate what you just said through a very simple mechanism of say work from home which has become such a big Norm in the last couple of years and here is another management which is trying to figure out.

    Whether there are gaps in efficiencies because of the workforce working from home if sodoku were to be brought in and asked to help in this process how would you go about measuring a the efficiency or the inefficiencies of working from home and how would he be able to augment the process of inducing more efficiency within the. Workforce from from home right so let’s uh great question so let’s see so so when we the first and primary challenge when we all work from home is that the metaphorical hallways no more right so if I’m a manager of a team can’t really walk down the hall or meet people see what’s bothering them ailing them. Um and so on in fact it’s hard um and so uh with that gone the other kind of difficult aspect is more and more work is now digitized right we’re reading more digital documents and whatever else so you you don’t have physical documents at home you’re reading everything or you’re doing everything through technology. And a consequence of this is the base understanding of how it if I’m a manager of a team and the best understanding of how this team is doing work itself is for today in fact we have an article that we publish based on our platform and our data in Hardware Business Review where we showed that on average in this post-pandemic world managers cannot.

    Account for um 60 of the patterns of work that exist in their teams um and that means that the Baseline understanding itself that a manager has of how his or her own team is working and therefore what should be improved is very poor so if you don’t even understand the Baseline what are you. Going to improve now this is not to take a ding against managers nothing against managers it is inherently hard because people are working remotely and more and more digitization means that you actually have less understanding of how work happens that’s the first part so now the second part is okay so what can you do right so. Our thought process here is by deploying the kind of technology and software that we’ve built what managers can begin to understand is hey I have a team of 20 or 30 people scattered across working remotely working from home now what are common patterns that emerge across this team as they do their work that are sources of friction so for example is my. Technology slowing my team down if so what is the data to prove that my technology slows my team down remember you have no hallway you can walk down and see these things anymore right we’re able to answer that question okay and then if my technology is slowing uh you know worked down which parts of my technology where should I invest to make.

    My technology go faster or to have a more seamless experience for my team as an example or second is my team doing the same bit of work the same way or they’re doing very different the same way to work many different ways so this is a very common pattern that we have seen in a post-pandemic world I suspect it existed even prior but it has. Certainly gotten worse in the post-pandemic world which is for example you go to an insurance company and you ask the manager how many different ways are you people resolving your claim and they’ll tell you here are five different ways but when you actually go see on the ground people are probably resolving it 30 or 40 different ways now it turns out. Those different ways may be legitimate maybe some employees needed training maybe their team needed help with documentation or maybe some parts of it are just some Legacy pieces of work that have been left behind but you have no real way of discovering these different variances in how work is happening um and that too we are able to answer. With the kind of data and the information that we gather and we produce and so on and and this is obviously made more challenging in a post-pandemic world because you now don’t have a real sense of if you wanted to as a manager know are my is my team doing this a hundred different ways how do you even figure it out it’s very hard.

    Unless you go to each person’s home and talk to them and even then you probably won’t be able to achieve this uh we solve this through technology so here are some um seemingly sort of direct ways in which how the kind of data that we’re talking about is able to help managers and post-pandemic world. But you know Rohan it seems so fundamental what you’re just describing that it seems intuitive to think that large technology corporations would have thought about this idea and tried to do something along these lines in the past I mean haven’t companies like Microsoft or IBM the erstwhile leaders of uh the technology domain or the technology. Universe grappled with this problem or tried to solve it maybe in a different way that compared to what soroko is attempting right so I think the way that the world has largely solved this problem when is they attempted to take what worked in the blue color world and they’re trying to impose it in the white color world. What I mean by that is you know in the blue color world right if you go to factory floor you should you know there’s a direct linear color direct relationship between the time you spend on something and the output that you produce so you can say if I measure how much time you spend on the factory floor I’ll have a sense of how much output you.

    Produce people have built a lot of software in the last 40 years to measure saying how much time do you spend on something but the key Innovation or the big leap that we have made and that’s thanks to a lot of the work that I’ve done during my research days and some of my my own co-founder is a PhD from Carnegie Mellon. And a few other folks in a company who have done in their careers that we have translated over here is we are saying that in the white collar word you don’t have a direct relationship between how much effort or time you spent on an activity and the outcome you produce it doesn’t it’s not as strong as in the book of the word that’s why you can’t. Just measure time you can’t just say oh you spent five hours on Outlook therefore you you send lots of emails no that doesn’t work instead the big leap that we have made is is to take the same kind of information and to produce a map or a set of sequences that will tell you if I have 50 different people in my team are they doing work one way. Or are they doing it 500 different ways so we therefore produce these sequences you can sort of think of it like DNA sequencing what we have done is we’ve invented DNA sequencing but for office work and it’s very powerful because it starts to tell you about variations in how we work and at the end of the day all of.

    What we do in White Collar Labor All of Us myself included can be explained through variations and variances and that is the fundamental key Innovation that we have made which at least as far as I know is is the Breakthrough so in that sense it is a new uh way of thinking of work it’s a new software artifact sometimes it’s a new category. Of enterprise software as well um and so there’s a lot of educate education and evangelizing it so that we explained to many companies that we we are also doing to basically create awareness um we have had we have customers where they have scaled this to you know a few thousand users as well and so on within. Their organization more than the thousands of years they’ve scaled into hundreds of teams and that’s really important because that’s where you know this whole thing becomes very effective um so we’re seeing traction we’re seeing adoption and most importantly we are seeing customers realize the power of this data. Right on this very call then we are generating this digital footprint on this data by interacting with software how can your organization use this data to figure out how they can make your life easier right that’s the way they need to be thinking about your work as an example right and that’s the lens we’re trying to get everyone to.

    Appreciate um and we you know if and just to give you kind of um an analogy on Facebook right the average user at least some published stats um the average user does about five interactions a day they you know comment on something like something and so on if you take the top six social media. Sites Twitter Etc and so on and assuming a person uses all six social media sites every day the most generous sense they will do 40 interactions you like you you tweet something you like some video and so on so forth but each day when each one of us office workers go to work we are generating 2800 interactions per person per day. That means each one of us generates 70 times more data in the office when we do our work compared to the top six social media sites on the planet now that is absolutely staggering 70 times more information and think how much the world the kinds of business models the kinds of companies the kinds. Of industries that have been created over the last 20 years just from these 40 interactions per user per day and that to me is a tremendously exciting it’s a meaningful you know to your earlier points of the humanities it’s not technology for the sake of Technology it’s technology to change how we live think work work is a big part of.

    Our identity it’s part of our big sense of purpose our dignity how do we bring empathy to work with the end goal of being more productive obviously and that to me is what I you know if I’m fortunate enough I’d love to do for the rest of my life it seems like something meaningful to do and to give purpose in meaning to a lot of people. Um and so hopefully that answers your question it does but I do want to ask a little bit about your parents because you know I used to know your dad quite quite well back in the day and I wonder what kind of an influence he has been uh in your life and your mother as well I mean who’s a well-regarded author and he’s. Very successful person in her own right I mean who between the two whose influence has been greater in your life you would say um you know when I was younger certainly my father uh my father is a very strong personality of that and I know you and he know each other well he’s an extremely strong personality. Um and so he there’s a lot of his um you know things like discipline rigor hard work um core set of ideas and principles and idealism to live by I think these are all things I have either consciously or subconsciously absorbed from my father um but um later as I crossed my 30s I’ve.

    Realized that there are so many other aspects and of my life that I’ve either in Bible I choose to buy more of from my mother her Eternal sense of optimism her incredible ability to reinvent herself um and uh in her ability to always find a problem to find a solution sorry to almost any problem and to do it with joy. And positivity um and and so these are things I have you know more recently maybe the last 10 years or so learn to appreciate and I wish to learn more often be more like ask you about your brother-in-law briefly as well uh Rohan because it’s not always that one asks about somebody in the family who is the prime minister. Of a different country but I mean I how how did you take it the news when it came and uh are you and your sister very proud of it I’m sure you are yeah I mean I think uh um we’re all very proud of both my brother-in-law and my sister and uh of them together as a team and and I think more than anything. Um is I think we just wish for him to do whatever best that he can for the people of his country um and to succeed in that mission um you know as you know we are not a family that understands politics all that well or we’ve not been politics and so he’s breaking new ground in in so many regards uh as you know in an.

    Extended sense and so we wish him well your parents must be proud to yeah they most certainly are and and uh you know and they also uh it is it is uh when we all met Rishi before they got married I think he carries in him the same sort of sense of idealism um that is there’s a somebody who’s not. Asking in your family what is the most common trait and I think the most common trait in our family every family has different traits uh is idealism my father has a very strong sense of idealism in his own life my mother in her own life my sister and her own life and and certainly rich in his own life and so he talked about his sense of. Idealism and purpose and how he wants to do good for his country um this is long time ago you know even when they were students uh in when we met and so on so it’s great to see as an opportunity to in some sense fulfill that idealism and try and do something good for these people so and we’re hoping it’s to do that fairly well. I hear that I tell idealism in your voice too Rohan and I’m sure you’ll make your parents very proud you must have already but I am sure you’ll make them even prouder in the years to come I mean it’s it’s very nice to hear the

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