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December 23, 2010

Music and Narayana Murthy

Narayana Murthy of Infosys was being interviewed on the Television. The interview was progressing normally. The interviewer asked Narayana Murthy about the type of music he liked. Narayana Murthy said “Western Symphony". Taken back by the answer the interviewer asked him “what about Indian music" Narayana Murthy said “Please do not mistake me. I like Indian music but I like the western symphony better". 

When asked to explain his views, Narayana Murthy gave the following explanation. In his view Indian music is very single person centred. For example if a musician is playing the Veena the entire focus is on the Veena player himself. Suppose a singer is reciting carnatic music the focus is totally on the singer. Even the accompanying player on the Veena is ignored. That is the way the Indian psyche is shaped. The entire focus is on the individual and on individual achievements. It is no wonder that Indians do well in sports where they compete individually. Take the case of chess, Billiards, and even in cricket where the records made by Sachin are more talked about than the defeats in which he was very much part of. 

At the same time the Western Symphony is totally team oriented. Symphony is a music where hundreds of musicians have to synchronize their music to the note. The beauty of the music that is produced by Symphony is unbelievable. Even if one note or musician is out of tune the audience will know that the music is not perfect. Symphony is all about team work. That is the message that Narayana Murthy wants to give us - Working in a corporate is all about team work just like the Symphony. All the employees have to come together to create  a perfect work or music. There is no scope for individual brilliance or Prima Donnas. All for one and one for all. That is the concept that Narayana Murthy is talking about.

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