Infosys Foundation chairperson Sudha Murty is set to retire on December 31, 2021, a little over a year from now. The Infosys Board, which extended her term that ended on October 10, will have to look for a replacement by end of next year. Murty plans to move on to her family-held Murty Foundation, which is also involved in many philanthropic activities.
"Nothing will change for me, as far as I'm concerned, my philanthropy will continue. Except the name will be Murty Foundation, instead of Infosys Foundation," Murty told News18 in an interview on Thursday.
Asked whether she is open to a more glaring public life, since there have been many reports about political parties that have considered her for a Rajya Sabha membership, she said she would only be open to it if it is a non-partisan role.
"Not by any party. I want to be neutral. For me, neutrality means a lot actually in public life. Because when you become connected with one party, things will be different, so anything neutral if it comes, as long as, it is not one party, I will think it over. All these days, while in Infosys Foundation, I never thought (of such a possibility). I had no time at all," she said.
Getting nostalgic on the legacy she leaves with the Infosys Foundation, Murty recalled that they started with Rs 32 lakh in their kitty, and it has now grown to handling as much as Rs 400 crore -- she has been involved with the Foundation for 25 years.
The 70-year-old's story of how she lent her husband and Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy Rs 10,000 to start his company way back in 1981 is legendary in itself.
"Tell me one area where Infosys Foundation did not touch -- hospital or education or flood or pandemic, culture or literature. Anything you take, millions of people have been helped by it. I'm also very excited about the Murty Foundation, to pick up the threads and continue the work. I may be retiring from Infosys Foundation but I'm not retiring from philanthropy," she said.
An accomplished writer, she also hopes to devote more time for writing and to her family after 2022.
Expressing her satisfaction with her work, she said the Infosys Foundation had shown how corporates can make a difference to the country using just two per cent of the profit. Infosys Foundation is funded entirely by two per cent of IT giant Infosys' profits.
"It has taught me so much, the Foundation showed me about my country so well, because I worked with the poorest of the poor. It made me understand what a country needs, it's a great example for people to follow, you can have a lean CSR team, just about six to seven people.. and we used every pie for transparency and betterment of people," she said.
The pandemic has got them working even harder, and the Infosys Foundation led the way in focused relief works, especially in Bengaluru.