IT MAY be the biggest comeback in India since Indira Gandhi emerged from disgrace to be re-elected as prime minister in 1980. Infosys, the country’s technology icon, has announced that Narayana Murthy, its founder (pictured), who retired in 2011, is coming back to save it. Mr Murthy is a legendary figure in the subcontinent who created India’s best company in a flat in 1981 and in the process helped created its best industry, too.
But since he left Infosys has struggled, with a succession of humiliating profit warnings and the pong of raw panic from its top ranks. The firm’s ascent in the 1990s and 2000s took place as India regained its poise. Its descent into farce over the last few years has mirrored India’s woes—on May 31st the country announced its worst annual GDP figures for a decade.
In hindsight, there were two clues regarding Mr Murthy’s return. At the end of 2012 the 66 year old stood down as a director of HSBC, the bank, a prestigious but time consuming role. In an interview on May 7th, a month after another gruesome set of results at Infosys, he damned his successors with faint praise and declined to rule out an intervention. By that point, presumably, behind the scenes, discussions were taking place.