In less than a year, the family of Infosys co-founder and Chairman N R Narayana Murthy is in ceremonial mood once again. Rohan Murthy, the only son of his parents, has found his life partner in Lakshmi Venu, the 26-year old daughter of TVS Motor Co-chairman Venu Srinivasan. In no time after confirmation from the bride and the groom, the two families sealed the merger of souls with their engagement in Chennai Friday evening.
A Microsoft fellow, 28-year old Rohan, who is now pursuing his doctoral programme at Harvard, was a topper throughout. After passing out from Bishop Cotton High School in 2001, Rohan went to Cornell for a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He has bagged the Best Student Paper Award from SIGCOMM, a professional forum for discussing communications and computer networks, for his papers on data communications and networking areas. Rohan’s passion for information technology came to light when he was still in school — he was chosen as the IT captain, even though neither Narayana Murthy nor his wife, Sudha Murthy, had ever pressurised him to take up any particular subject to secure his future.
“We have always given absolute freedom to Rohan to take decisions for his life, whether academic, professional or personal. I am very happy today as Rohan and Lakshmi have taken the decision for their life. He has always made wise choices and Lakshmi is a wonderful girl,” Narayana Murthy told Business Standard over phone from inside a train to Bangalore.
Sudha Murthy was hardly able to suppress her feelings, though she was categorical in saying that both Rohan and Lakshmi want to keep their marriage plans a private affair. “I am very happy as this is a special thing in our life,” Sudha Murthy said. Both of them are western educated, and they best know when to decide the time and venue of the marriage, she added.
Lakshmi, now on the Board of the TVS Motor Company and Sundaram-Clayton, is equally brilliant in academics as well as in the corporate world. The school topper in 10th at 12th standards from Sishya School in Chennai, Lakshmi graduated in economics from Yale and has done her doctorate from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. Lakshmi has a younger brother, Sudarshan.
Lakshmi has a role model in her mother, Mallika Srinivasan, whose success at the helm of the Chennai-based tractor company TAFE, a part of the Rs 6,500-crore Amalgamations group, is well known. Mallika is the daughter of the Amalgamations Group Chairman A Sivasailam. Another woman in the automobile business is Sulajja Motwani of Kinetic.
Lakshmi joined the board of Sundaram Clayton which manufactures and distribute automotive components in March 2010. Industry experts have said this is another example of young women managers getting ready to manage TVS Group companies. In the last couple of years, Arathi Krishna and Arundathi Krishna, daughters of Suresh Krishna, the chairman and managing director of Sundram Fasteners, have joined the company. Shobana Ramachandran is the managing director of Madurai-based tyre maker TVS Srichakra.
According to Narayana Murthy, Rohan and Lakshmi met each other seven or eight months ago through a common friend and courted since then. “Rohan proposed to Lakshmi and she accepted it,” said he. He added that it is up to both of them to finalise the date and place of their marriage. As far as Rohan’s professional plans are concerned, Narayana Murthy said that Rohan alone has to take a decision on that. He has the option of continuing in academics, to join research organisations or to start his own business. “When time comes, I am sure he will take a wise decision,” he added.