|Other Name(s)||Sudha Kulkarni and Sudha Murty|
|Profession(s)||Teacher, Author, and Philanthropist|
|Famous For||Being the Co- Founder of Infosys Foundation|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 158 cm
in meters- 1.58 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 2”
|Hair Colour||Salt & Pepper|
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||Karnataka Rajyotsava, State Award
2000: For achievement in the field of literature and social work
2001: For excellent social work in the year 2000
2004: For Social Work By Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation in Chennai
R.K. Narayana's Award
2006: For Literature
2006: For Social Work
2023: Padma Bhushan
Attimabbe Award from the Government of Karnataka
2011: For excellence in Kannada Literature
Crossword-Raymond Book Awards
2018: Life Time Achievement
IIT Kanpur Award
2019: Honorary Degree, Doctor of Science
Note: She has many more accolades to her name.
|Date of Birth||19 August 1950 (Saturday)|
|Age (as of 2022)||72 Years|
|College/University||• B.V.B. College of Engineering and Technology, Karnataka
• Indian Institute of Science, Karnataka
|Educational Qualification(s)||• B.E. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering
• M.E. in Computer Science MBA Rendezvous
|Food Habit||Vegetarian Times of India|
|Address||Neralu, #1/2 (1878), 11th Main, 39th Cross, 4th T Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore 560011, Karnataka|
|Hobbies||Reading Books, Travelling, and Watching Movies|
|Controversy||In 2019, the Home Ministry of India cancelled the registration of Bengaluru-based NGO 'Infosys Foundation' for violating the norms by receiving foreign grants. The NGO had failed to provide income and expenditure statement on foreign funding for the previous few years, which resulted in the cancellation of the registration of the Foundation.
|Relationships & More|
|Affairs/Boyfriends||N. R. Narayana Murthy|
|Marriage Date||10 February 1978
|Husband/Spouse||N. R. Narayana Murthy (Co-Founder of Infosys)
|Children||Son- Rohan Murty (Founder of the Murty Classical Library of India)
Daughter- Akshata Murty (Venture Capitalist)
Son-in-law- Rishi Sunak
Note: On 25 October 2022, her son-in-law, Rishi Sunak, became the first person of color to become Prime Minister in British history. The New York Times
|Parents||Father- Dr. R. H. Kulkarni (Surgeon)
Mother- Vimala Kulkarni
|Siblings||Brother- Shrinivas Kulkarni (Astronomer)
• Sunanda Kulkarni (Gynaecologist)
• Jaishree Deshpande (Social Activist)
|Actor(s)||Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, and Shah Rukh Khan|
|Actress(es)||Saira Banu and Waheeda Rehman|
|Film(s)||Naya Daur (1957), Ganga Jamuna (1961), Devdas (1955), Mughal-E-Azam (1960), Kohinoor (1960), Junglee (1961), Anand (1971), Kati Patang (1971), Amar Prem (1972), and Abhimaan (1973)|
|Song(s)||"Dil Tadap Tadap" and "Suhana Safar" from Madhumati (1958), "Mere Mehboob Tujhe" from Mere Mehboob (1963)|
|Businessmen||Ratan Tata and JRD Tata|
|Net Worth (approx.)||Rs 7.75 billion (as in 2004) Rediff|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Sudha Murthy
- Sudha Murthy is a renowned Indian author and chairperson of Infosys Foundation, a non-profit organisation.
- Sudha’s brother, Shrinivas Kulkarni is a US-based astronomer who won the Dan David Prize in 2017. Her eldest sister, Sunanda Kulkarni is a gynaecologist in a government hospital in Bangalore. Sudha’s elder sister, Jaishree Deshpande is the founder of the ‘Deshpande Foundation’ and is married to Gururaj Deshpande, co-founder of Chelmsford.
- The principal of the college admitted Sudha on three conditions. He asked her to always wear saree, not visit the canteen, and not to talk to the men in college; as Sudha was the only female student in the class of 600 students.
- Even in the late 60s, she was bold enough to carry a bob haircut and wear jeans and a t-shirt.
- She topped in her class during her graduation and received a gold medal from the then Chief Minister of Karnataka, Dr Devaraj Urs.
- She again received a gold medal from the Indian Institute of Engineers for becoming topper in her class in post-graduation.
- Later, she was hired by TATA Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO) in Pune, where she was the first female development engineer.
- There is an interesting story behind her hiring, she came across a vacancy advertisement of TELCO in February 1974 but in the footnote of the advertisement it was written: “female candidates need not apply.” This hurt her ego, and she wrote a postcard to JRD Tata (TELCO’s chairman at that time) regarding gender discrimination in the company. In an interview, she shared this incident, and said,
After posting it I forgot about it. A pleasant surprise awaited. A telegram soon arrived asking to appear for an interview “with a promise of reimbursement of first-class fare both ways.”
- While she was working in TELCO, she met N. R. Narayana Murthy. She met him through her friend Prasanna, who went on to become one of the key persons at Wipro. In an interview, Sudha shared her initial meetings with Narayana, she said,
Most of the books that Prasanna lent me had Murthy’s name on them which meant that I had a preconceived image of the man. Contrary to expectation, Murthy was shy, bespectacled and an introvert. When he invited us for dinner, I was a bit taken aback as I thought the young man was making a very fast move. I refused since I was the only girl in the group. But Murthy was relentless and we all decided to meet for dinner the next day at 7.30 p.m. at Green Fields hotel on the Main Road, Pune.”
- After a few meetings, both started liking each other and Narayana proposed Sudha for marriage. Initially, Sudha’s father was against the marriage because Murthy was not earning much from his research assistant job.
- Later, Murthy started working as a general manager in Patni computers in Bombay (now Mumbai) and was earning better than his previous job. So, Sudha’s father finally accepted Murthy’s proposal to marry Sudha.
- Sudha got married to Murthy in a small ceremony at Murthy’s home in the presence of both families only. The total expenditure of her marriage was Rs. 800 only, which was partially shared by Sudha and Murthy.
- In 1981, Sudha’s husband wanted to start his own company ‘Infosys,’ but he had no money for investment. Sudha gave Rs. 10,000 to him which she had saved for rainy days. In an interview, she shared this incident,
Typical of Murthy, he just had a dream and no money. So I gave him Rs 10,000 which I had saved for a rainy day, without his knowledge and told him, this is all I have. Take it. I give you three years sabbatical leave. I will take care of the financial needs of our house. You go and chase your dreams without any worry. But you have only three years!”
- She left the job in TELCO’s Mumbai branch and moved to Pune with Murty and started working as Senior Systems Analyst with Walchand group of Industries, Pune. When an interviewer asked her about leaving the job at TELCO, she said,
It was again a chance meeting as I was going downstairs and JRD Tata was climbing upstairs in Bombay House. “I told him I was leaving the job.” He said, “You fought so much for the job and now you are quitting it?” I told him that my husband wanted to start the Infosys Adventure. And then JRD turned almost a soothsayer to say, “If you make lots of money you must give it back to society as you have received so much love from it.” That was the last time I saw him.”
- In 1983, after the birth of their son Rohan Murthy, Narayana left to America for one year for his office project. Sudha could not accompany him as Rohan had infantile eczema, an allergy to vaccinations. So, Sudha had to manage her home and office alone in India.
- Later, one of Sudha’s friends suggested that she should work with Infosys, but Murthy said husband and wife cannot work in one organisation. She shared this incident in an interview,
Murty said he did not want a husband and wife team at Infosys. I was shocked since I had the relevant experience and technical qualifications. He said, Sudha if you want to work with Infosys, I will withdraw, happily. I was pained to know that I will not be involved in the company my husband was building and that I would have to give up a job that I am qualified to do and love doing. It took me a couple of days to grasp the reason behind Murty’s request. I realized that to make Infosys a success one had to give one’s 100 per cent. One had to be focussed on it alone with no other distractions.”
- In 1996, Sudha and her friends founded a non-profit organisation ‘Infosys Foundation’ with an aim to help the underprivileged section of the society. Her mission was to provide aid in education, rural development, healthcare, arts and culture, and destitute care.
- Infosys Foundation has one of its branches in the USA also where it mainly works to support several sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics, and community building initiatives.
- Sudha’s ‘Infosys Foundation’ has helped in building more than 2300 houses in flood-affected areas and more than 70,000 libraries for schools in India. Her NPO helped in building more than 10,000 toilets in the rural areas of Bengaluru. This non-profit organisation is funded by Infosys.
- Sudha’s foundation has helped the people affected by natural disasters like the tsunami in Tamil Nadu and Andaman, earthquake in Kutch – Gujarat, hurricane and floods in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, and drought in Karnataka and Maharashtra.
- Interestingly, on one of the walls of ‘Infosys Foundation,’ two photos are hanged- one of J.R.D. Tata’s who had given her job at TELCO, and Jamsetji Tata’s (a plaque given to her by the Dalai Lama).
- Apart from being a social activist, she has been a visiting professor at the PG Center of Bangalore University and has also taught at the Christ University, Bengaluru.
- Sudha is an avid lover of books. She is one of the renowned authors of India. She has written several books in English and Kannada languages, which are generally based on her real-life experiences. Some of her books are Samanyaralli Asamanyaru, Guttondu Heluve, Hakkiya Teradalli, Sukeshini Mattu Itara Makkala Kathegalu, How I Taught My Grandmother to Read, The Accolades Galore, Dollar Bahu, and Three thousand stitches.
- In her book ‘Three Thousand Stitches’ she shared her real-life experience at the Heathrow Airport where she was called as a ‘cattle class’ for wearing salwar kameez.
- In 2006, Sudha made a cameo appearance on the ETV Kannada’s TV serial ‘Preethi Illada Mele,’ where she played a role of judge.
- She is a big fan of Dilip Kumar. In an interview, she shared her experience of meeting the legendary actor, she said,
I told him that I’d bunk college to watch his films. He smiled and said, “Main khushnaseeb hoon (I’m lucky)!”
- She loves watching movies, unlike her husband. In an interview with Filmfare in 2014, she said,
I have 500 DVDs that I watch in my home theatre. I see a film in totality – its direction, editing… all aspects.” People know me as a social worker, as an author… but no one knows me as a movie buff. That’s why I am glad to do this interview with Filmfare. The cineaste, who even went to the extent of watching 365 films in 365 days confides, “I could have actually become a film journalist. I never get bored of movies!”
- She appeared in the Kannada movie ‘Uppu, Huli, Khara’ in 2017, in which she did a cameo.
- In 2019, she resigned as the Member of Tirupati Temple Board.
- She appeared in the Karamveer episode of KBC 11, aired on 29 November 2019. Amitabh Bachchan welcomed her by touching her feet, and Sudha gifted him a bed sheet made by devadasis.