Rishi Sunak’s 4-month-old nephew becomes multimillionaire after receiving £22m gift from grandfather

Infosys co-founder and Rishi Sunak’s father-in-law NR Narayana Murthy transfers 0.04 per cent stake of IT firm to infant grandson

Namita Singh
Wednesday 20 March 2024 04:58 GMT
File: Watch Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty perform aarti inside Akshardham temple

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Prime minister Rishi Sunak’s four-month-old nephew has become a multimillionaire after receiving £22m worth of shares in a leading Indian tech firm as a gift from his billionaire grandfather.

NR Narayana Murthy, the co-founder of Infosys and father-in-law of Rishi Sunak, on Friday transferred a 0.04 per cent stake in the IT firm to his grandson Ekagrah Rohan Murthy, making the infant the firm’s youngest shareholder.

Mr Murthy became a grandfather for the third time after his son Rohan Murthy and Rohan’s wife Aparna Krishnan welcomed a baby boy in November last year. Rohan Murthy is the brother of Mr Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty.

Mr Sunak and his wife have two daughters, Krishna and Anoushka.

Ekagrah Murthy now owns 1.5 million company shares, transferred through an off-market transaction, according to a stock exchange filing.

Following the transfer, Narayana Murthy’s share in the software service provider firm dipped from 0.4 per cent to 0.36 per cent, totalling 15.1 million shares, reported The Economic Times.

The IT billionaire sparked a raging debate in India last year after he said young people needed to work for 70 hours a week to raise productivity.

Mr Murthy said during a YouTube interview that India needed “highly determined, extremely disciplined and extremely hardworking” youngsters.

Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Indian technology company Infosys, gestures as he speaks for a panel discussion held at the company headquarters at the Electronic City in Bangalore on 7 February 2019
Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Indian technology company Infosys, gestures as he speaks for a panel discussion held at the company headquarters at the Electronic City in Bangalore on 7 February 2019 (AFP via Getty)

He went on to say that young people should be ready to put in long hours at work – comments that led to a massive online backlash.

“You know, this is exactly what the Germans and Japanese did after the Second World War,” Mr Murthy told Mohandas Pai, the former CFO of Infosys, during the chat shared on YouTube.

“Somehow our youth have the habit of taking not-so-desirable habits from the West and then not helping the country,” Mr Murthy said. “India’s work productivity is one of the lowest in the world.”

He continued: “We need to be disciplined and improve our work productivity. I think, unless we do that, what can the poor government do? And every government is as good as the culture of the people. And our culture has to change to that of highly determined, extremely disciplined and extremely hardworking people.”

He said: “Our youngsters must say – ‘This is my country. I want to work 70 hours a week.’”

In many countries, the standard working week is typically 35 to 40 hours – nine hours per day for five days a week. In India, people in some sectors work six days a week.

At the time, though Mr Murthy received support from CEOs of several companies, many people took to social media to raise questions about salary, layoffs, workplace exploitation, and work-life balance.

“Million-dollar question is – are companies ready to pay more for the extra hours taken from the life of employees?” wrote one user on X. “How their personal life, family life & social life will get affected by such schedules, need to be kept in mind before milking employees for growth of the company.”

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