The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Infosys likes what it sees

Calcutta, Sept. 28: Sorry for the delay, even if it was just two and a half minutes.

N.R. Narayana Murthy walked into the chief minister’s office this afternoon, apologising. “I would have been late by hours had it been Bangalore.”

Music, sweet music, did you say silently, Mr Bhattacharjee'

Comparisons with Bangalore have tormented Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for years. The tide, at last, may be turning.

The Infosys chief spent over three hours at The Telegraph School Awards in the morning, called on the chief minister and IT minister Manab Mukherjee and took the evening flight out to Mumbai ' all in a day.

“Calcutta always had a great talent pool. But today, I was very impressed with the state of infrastructure here,” Narayana Murthy said.

Is there a hint that Calcutta would see more of the man who symbolises India’s success in software development'

Decide for yourself. “I will go back and talk to my colleagues about these developments and will send a team to check out opportunities here,” Narayana Murthy, who heads a Rs 7,130-crore company, said.

The Bengal government has been trying to persuade Infosys to set up a software development centre.

Last year, Narayana Murthy had said the company would keep the city in mind during its next round of expansion.

Today, he went a step further, committing to despatch chief financial officer T.V. Mohandas Pai and chief operating officer S. Gopalakrishnan in four weeks.

“He was very positive about the prospect of setting up a base in Calcutta. He has asked us to send a soft copy of the Advantage Bengal presentation that he wants to show his colleagues,” said Mukherjee.

Infosys’s chief mentor also had a warning for Bhattacharjee ' don’t lose sight of Bangalore’s mistakes.

From Narayana Murthy to Wipro’s Azim Premji, everyone has complained about the Indian Silicon Valley’s creaking infrastructure.

“Our chief minister briefed him about plans to keep Calcutta congestion-free. He told Narayana Murthy of initiatives like satellite townships,” Mukherjee said.

Not just infrastructure. Yesterday, a group agitated outside Infosys’s campus asking for jobs for Kannadigas.

Earlier, Union communications and IT minister Dayanidhi Maran spoke of promoting Calcutta and Chennai, to “destress” Bangalore.

Maybe, opportunity knocks. It can come all the way if Bhattacharjee can make sure there are roads to travel and not craters to conquer.

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