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What Management Guru NR Narayana Murthy has to say about India’s failure in the World Cup

March 29, 2007

The most sensible piece of writing on the World Cup is an opinion piece on the World Cup
by NR Narayana Murthy of Infosys. His first words are hard-hitting:

The tragedy of India is that instead of seeing what’s wrong with us and taking steps to correct it, we indulge in hysterics and look for scapegoats. India has a long record of playing badly abroad, which precedes both Rahul Dravid and Greg Chappell. So why single them out?

Unfortunately, the article has been chopped badly in the online version by TOI (front page today) therefore I am quoting most of it here:

We can succeed, not just in cricket, but in everything else if we only follow four basic principles: strictly adhere to meritocracy, work hard, train well and follow strict discipline. We need to pick the best guys available, based purely on merit and no other considerations. And the same applies to the coach. People keep asking whether we need a foreign coach. I don’t think that’s an issue at all. We should ask, who’s the best guy for the job? Whoever it is should get it. Next, once you’ve given someone the mandate, let him implement it without interference. At Infosys, we have all our debates, arguments before its decided who’ll be responsble for something. Once its decided that X is the boss, all arguments stop and everyone rallies behind him. We shouldn’t be constantly undermining the coach…

I know ‘process’ has become a much-mocked term. But at Infosys, we firmly believe in following processes and it’s always worked for us. If Chappell’s process didn’t work, maybe it wasn’t followed properly or he wasn’t allowed to implement it in full. I’ve read that some senior players were allowed to get away indiscipline and thats totally unacceptable. No matter how big a star you are, if you’re disruptive to the team, you need to be shown the exit. Never mind if we lose a few matches. If you follow the correct process, positive results are bound to eventually follow. Frankly, I don’t think having a coaching camp for a few days helps. I’d suggest that we pick the 30 guys who we believe are the best in the country. They should all be given good salaries by the BCCI and closeted in a hi-tech training centre round the year. Rotate them so that even if are playing a seres, the other 15 are training.

Ensure that everyone gets to train intensively during the year. Follow the best practices from round the world, give the players the best facilities and make them work really hard – eight hours a day. If anyone refuses, axe him immediately. Follow these principles and you’re bound to have world beating team.

Well, the principles Mr. Murthy has outlined are universal truths. But the problem is that in our country we scrape and bow to ‘stars’ and even the selection committee does it. There is a also a fair amount of regionalism present in selection. Also, no one wants to take the risk of doing something new…if the process fails, who is to take the blame? There are news reports that the selection committee and the Captain were afraid that if younger players had been selected, they could fail…and then who would shoulder the blame? Apparently they were afraid of being torn apart by the media! That is what has been revealed by a well known journalist, Rajan Bala, who spoke to Chappel before the World Cup.

I think this is shocking. If the selectors and the captain were afraid of the media (and their advertisement contracts?) what business do they have to be where they are? They should all resign.

(Photo sourced from TOI)

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2007 4:51 pm

    What orders will you give to a bunch of billionares?

    Narayana Murthy is just another star of liberalisation. He blathers lot of shite…. the new order accepts it as some mantra uttered. End of the day – he is just another business man.

    Oh.. i forgot.. Now they are the gurus! aint it?

    hmmmm… May be there will be one day Rakhi sawant offering classes about “how to be successful”

  2. March 29, 2007 5:48 pm

    To me Narayan Murthy is a businessman to be revered. He is not “just another businessman” as you say, but then you are entitled to your opinion. I think Narayan Murthy is a great businessman. I think that is a generally accepted truth. And when it comes to management, he has a lot to teach people = guru.
    Also, I don’t see how you can compare Raakhi Sawant to Narayan Murthy. I find it a little strange.
    Another point Clash, if you disagree with Mr. Murthy, why don’t you try and put across your point of view with your arguments? Just saying he talks shit is of no use, it will not convince people.

  3. soorajrox permalink
    March 29, 2007 6:16 pm

    The first article I read this morning in the Times of India is this one. Seriously,I was glad that one person came up with a public opinion like this. For the past one week or so there had been articles and news reports on how badly the cricketers played. Even though it is a right to speak and all that, but I thought things were going too much with this India losing and all. Everybody wanted to do kill ’em and that and this…..ahhh, even Honourable Railway Minister laloo prasad yadav claimed that that he would have played better than the cricketers……riiight 🙂
    Even though it is dishonourable to lose, one must keep record of the mistakes happened and keep going on and take it in the right spirit.

  4. April 4, 2007 2:00 pm

    So.. Is Bill Gates just another business man?
    What makes Narayana Murthy so special?

    He being a great business man is a generally accepted truth? Nope.. then i should also be vying for him. He is just another business man, who started a venture at the right time. Now if that makes him entilteld for a “great business man to be revered” then i have got nothing to say.

  5. bhattathiri permalink
    April 13, 2007 9:06 am

    Management executives of Infosys are getting ideas from Lord Krishna’s tactics in Bhagavad Gita. Management need to focus more on leadership skills, e.g., establishing vision and goals, communicating the vision and goals, and guiding others to accomplish them. It also assert that leadership must be more facilitative, participative and empowering in how visions and goals are established and carried out. Some people assert that this really isn’t a change in the management functions, rather it’s re-emphasizing certain aspects of management.

    Its task is to make people capable of joint performance, to make their weaknesses irrelevant, says the Management Guru Peter Drucker. It creates harmony in working together – equilibrium in thoughts and actions, goals and achievements, plans and performance, products and markets. It resolves situations of scarcity, be they in the physical, technical or human fields, through maximum utilization with the minimum available processes to achieve the goal. Lack of management causes disorder, confusion, wastage, delay, destruction and even depression. Managing men, money and materials in the best possible way, according to circumstances and environment, is the most important and essential factor for a successful management.

  6. joininglate permalink
    July 6, 2008 2:35 am

    i do not know if the so called ‘gurus’ are right or wrong, but this fact is abundantly clear. India is abysmally, shamefully lagging in the world of sports. Take any sports, individual or team, expensive like cricket or inexpensive like running or jumping. Another year of summer olympic is approaching. Our next door neighbor China will most likely win more medals than any other country. And India will again just sit in the sideline and watch. For a billion plus population with a thriving middle class, sports crazy population,rising economy etc, etc, not one player secures a medal in the olympics. Even the poorest, smallest, war ravaged countries like Senegal or Bosnia can pick up a medal or two. I am not even talking about World Cup or Wimbledon . What is the reason? It can not be lack of opportunity, facility, knowledge, enthusiasm, support or talent, health or nutrition, laziness, lack of courage, ambition? what IS it?

    (btw, Nita, how come you do not have a section for Sports?)

    Joining late, a post on Sports is lying in my drafts folder! However I hardly write about Sports as you noted (though I have a few posts on it) as Sports does not interest me that much! And tend to agree with Vivek here, it’s difficult to write about everything, specially those things that one does not find interesting!- Nita.

  7. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    July 6, 2008 6:56 am


    //(btw, Nita, how come you do not have a section for Sports?)//

    Unlike the morning newspaper, the computer screen cannot be disaggregated for simultaneous reading by different members of the household. So, Nita, if you care for that great institution, the Indian family, please ignore Joininglate’s comment 🙂

    Have a good day, all.

  8. joininglate permalink
    July 7, 2008 8:07 am

    … thats fine. no problem, who needs a separate sports section? but,nobody has any comment about my main question? i am surprised! : I

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