Anil Thakraney: Oops! Phaneesh did it again!

21 May,2013

By Anil Thakraney


As the saying goes, the first time you make a mistake, it’s an accident. The second time you make the same mistake, it’s a choice. Going by this logic, iGate’s President & CEO, Shri Phaneesh Murthy, who’s been sacked over sexual harassment charges, is clearly a habitual sex offender. There’s no way of ensuring this man keeps his penis zipped up at office.


Readers will remember the tech hero had been sacked from Infosys in 2002, following a sexual harassment accusation by his executive secretary, Ms Reka Maximovitch. That case was settled out of court, and it cost Infosys a fat packet. One assumed that the man, having burnt his fidgety fingers, would have learnt a hard lesson. Murthy got a second chance to start his career when he joined iGate in 2003, and he did fabulously out there. According to trade press reports, he took iGate’s revenues from $2 million to $750 million inside ten years. And that’s a remarkable achievement in the highly competitive IT sector. Well, all that talent and success couldn’t stop him from having a sexual encounter with a subordinate all over again, and the man is fired, all over again!


We can safely assume Phaneesh Murthy isn’t an idiot. His career record tells us so, and add to that the fact that he happens to be an IIT/IIM alumnus. Why on earth would a man with such powerful credentials make the same stupid blunder the second time? To be fair, we haven’t yet (at the time of writing this post) heard from the man himself, so let’s see what he has to say in his defence.


However, two things need to be said right away. Since he’s done it again, Phaneesh seems to suffer from some kind of a sexual disorder, and he must get his head (and other body parts) sorted out. And two, this is yet another wake up call for the entire corporate world, as incidents of sexual harassment at workplace keep happening regularly.


The moot question is: Why would you hit on a subordinate, fully aware of the legal ramifications? Is there scarcity of women outside your workplace? The only reasonable explanation seems to be this: Everyday interaction with the same person, close physical proximity to that person, and if there’s sexual attraction, even otherwise intelligent men can (and often do) slip. Which is why, unless we all work from out of our respective homes, incidents of sexual harassment will never cease.


So then it all boils down to just one thing: ‘Dimag jhakaas hai par sala character dhila hai’. In Phaneesh’s case, that should read ‘Sala character bahut hee dhila hai’. I feel sorry for his wife, she deserves better than this.


Anil Thakraney is a senior journalist and commentator based in Mumbai. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia. The views expressed here are his own.


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2 responses to “Anil Thakraney: Oops! Phaneesh did it again!”

  1. kaustubh says:

    the investigation says: he did not harass the woman concerned. please read the press statement by iGate carefully.

  2. anwesh says:

    My point of view is he should learn not to succeed…because every time he is at the pinnacle of success is when his tool starts assuming “larger than life” proportions…to keep it down he has to be kept down as well -;)

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