Lakshmi Narayanan and Cognizant, the company with which he was associated for more than a decade, have been key contributors to the growth of the ever-burgeoning Indian IT industry
. Narayanan himself has been part of the industry for over 25 years, managing divisions and business units in Europe, India and the United States. During his stint at Cognizant he played an instrumental role in the company’s growth, especially in building and managing its development centres in India. He began his career at Tata Consultancy Services where he went from being a developer to the regional head, before moving on to Cognizant.
Here is an excerpt from the interview …
Amritraj: When I look at your resume or articles written about you, I see you’re very much a Chennai man, just like I am. But your studies were I Bengaluru …
Narayanan: I was born in Tamil Nadu in Pudukkottai and then, since my father was an engineer in the aeronautics field, I moved to Bengaluru and had all my education there—schooling and college. The first 21 years of my life were spent there. But then I kept coming to Chennai because we had relatives there. One thing that fascinated me was going to the beach every summer vacation when I would come to Chennai. So, during my college days I’d decided that no matter where I begin work or where I go, eventually I’ll come back to Chennai.
Amritraj: What memories do you have of the city and of growing up here?
During those days, Chennai was a metro. Bengaluru
was just a growing-up village. So, coming to Chennai during my school days was a very big event. But in Bengaluru, the education system was very different. I remember the days when we used to have science exhibitions every year in our schools at different points of time. So, as children, we could participate in those events at multiple schools and you get such a great exposure, which I couldn’t get here in Chennai.
Amritraj: What was your fascination with Math at an early age?
Narayanan: That was because of the teacher. We had a fantastic teacher in primary school. She used to give us all these puzzles, talk about great mathematicians like Hardy and Ramanujan. We wouldn’t understand much of it those days. The names stuck, but some of the number theories were fascinating. We understood probably 1-2% of what she tried to teach us, but then the fascination with that subject grew. She was the one who said that the basis for science is mathematics. So, those were some of the things because of which I was attached to mathematics …
Find out more about Mani Ratnam in this uncut version of the interview.
Written By : The Label Team