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Daughter of India's Billionaire, Fashion Designer: Meet Akshata Murty, UK PM Rishi Sunak's Wife

By: News Desk

Edited By: Jessica Jani

News18.com

Last Updated: October 25, 2022, 09:44 IST

New Delhi, India

As per reports, Akshata holds a 0.91% stake in her father's company, worth about 700 million dollars. (Reuters file photo)

As per reports, Akshata holds a 0.91% stake in her father's company, worth about 700 million dollars. (Reuters file photo)

Murty is the daughter of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy and was born in India

Rishi Sunak is making history as he is set to become the 57th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the first person of colour to lead the country. The Indian-origin former Finance Minister is also UK’s first Hindu premier.

As Sunak is poised to move into Downing Street No. 10 along with his wife Akshata Murty and their two daughters, Krishna and Anushka, the spotlight is not just on him, but on the family as well. Akshata Murty is the daughter of Indian billionaire and Infosys founder Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murthy and was born in India.

Sunak, who was born in Southampton in 1980 to Indian parents who had moved to the UK from east Africa, had pursued a business degree at Stanford University, where he met Akshata, The Guardian reported.

Who is Akshata Murty?

Murty, 42, is the daughter of Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy, often described as the Bill Gates of India. As per reports, Akshata holds a 0.91% stake in her father’s company, worth about 700 million dollars.

Murty earned a diploma at a fashion college before working at Deloitte and Unilever and studying for an MBA at Stanford University, where she met Sunak.

She runs her own fashion label, Akshata Designs, and is also the director of a venture capital firm founded by her father in 2010, as per The Guardian. She is listed on LinkedIn as director of the capital and private equity firm Catamaran Ventures, the gym chain Digme Fitness and the gentlemen’s outfitters New & Lingwood.

Speaking about her design label, Murty had told Vogue India in 2011 that she worked with artists in remote Indian villages to create her designs, which were about “authenticity, craftsmanship and protecting a rich heritage".

Austere Upbringing

Despite her family’s immense wealth now, Murty comes from humble beginnings, and was brought up austerely. In a letter to his daughter, published in a 2013 compilation, Narayana Murthy recalled how he heard the news of her birth in Hubli in April 1980 from a colleague because the family could not afford a telephone, as BBC report said. “Your mother and I were young then and struggling to find our feet in our careers," he wrote.

When she was just a few months old, Murty had been sent to live with her paternal grandparents as her mother, Sudha Murty, and her father advanced their careers in Mumbai. A year later, Murthy would go on to co-found Infosys.

Sudha Murthy, her mother, a prolific author and a powerful social voice in India, ensured an austere upbringing for her children Akshata and Rohan. There was no television at home and she had they go to school in an auto-rickshaw like their classmates, as per AFP.

Murty’s parents had approved of her choice of husband with Sunak, who came from comparatively humbler beginnings as an immigrant doctor’s son. In a letter, Murthy had said Sunak was “all that you had described him to be — brilliant, handsome, and, most importantly, honest", AFP reported.

Courting Controversy

Her stake in Infosys worth around 700 million dollars, made Murty richer than the late Queen Elizabeth II, whose personal wealth was estimated at about 460 million dollars by the 2021 Sunday Times Rich List.

In April this year, it was revealed that Murty was a non-domiciled UK resident, meaning she avoided UK taxes on her international earnings in return for paying an annual charge of 30,000 pounds, The Guardian had reported. It is estimated that she could have saved close to 20 million pounds in taxes due to this.

Following public outcry over this, her spokesperson announced she would start paying UK taxes on her overseas earnings. “I do this because I want to, not because the rules require me to," she tweeted.

“My decision… will not change the fact that India remains the country of my birth, citizenship, parents’ home and place of domicile. But I love the UK too."

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first published:October 25, 2022, 09:44 IST
last updated:October 25, 2022, 09:44 IST
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