Rishi Sunak, the son-in-law of Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy, will be the next prime minister of the United Kingdom.
Sunak was born in Southampton, England, to parents of Indian descent in 1980 and married Akshata Murthy in 2009. Murthy is an Indian national, and IT services giant Infosys is the family business: her father is CEO as well as founder. She owns just under one percent of the org, making her a paper billionaire.
Sunak has also done well as an investment banker and hedge fund maven. The couple, with a net worth of £730 million ($825 million), were ranked by The Sunday Times Rich List as the 222nd richest people in Britain.
That wealth became an issue earlier this year when it was revealed that Murthy used legal but cynical tax minimization practices even as Sunak ran the UK economy as Chancellor of the Exchequer – a gig that entails a sharp focus on ensuring all due taxes are gathered.
Murthy re-arranged her affairs to pay more tax in the UK, and a nascent scandal was deflated.
The couple’s combined fortune has now been celebrated – at least by the fictional cat-in-residence at the UK PM’s official home, Number 10 Downing Street.
Rishi Sunak is becoming Prime Minister. His family is loaded so caviar and lobster on the menu for me from tomorrow.
— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) October 24, 2022
Cat jokes aside, Sunak’s anointment has led to enthusiastic expressions of support from India.
Prime minister Narendra Modi went a little beyond the usual staid congratulations to a national leader by linking Sunak to the Hindu holiday of Diwali.
Warmest congratulations @RishiSunak! As you become UK PM, I look forward to working closely together on global issues, and implementing Roadmap 2030. Special Diwali wishes to the ‘living bridge’ of UK Indians, as we transform our historic ties into a modern partnership.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 24, 2022
Former Infosys Chief Finance Officer V Balakrishnan reportedly called the event “a historic moment” and the appointment of a “migrant” to the role a sign of “a mature democracy.” (Though Sunak was in fact born in the UK and is not a migrant.)
One local newspaper even gave Sunak the nickname “son-in-law of Bengaluru.”
Sunak becomes the first British prime minister of South Asian descent, as well as the first non-white person to hold the office, after the previous leader, Liz Truss, was outlived by a head of lettuce. Do not fear, Truss’s legacy lives on within The Reg online standards where the length of her tenure inspired a new unit of measurement.
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While Akshata Murthy has no involvement in the operations of Infosys anymore, the company has contracts around the UK, among them a £22 million gig to swap out SAP R/3 systems with Oracle Fusion for East Sussex County Council. Infosys has also, for years, held a major core technology contract with UCAS, the admissions service for UK higher education.
The Reg imagines those contracts will shortly – rightly or wrongly – attract increased scrutiny. ®