India: The inside story of Mindtree shakedown

Photo by livemint.com

Late one Sunday evening in March this year, V.G. Siddhartha, who was in Mumbai, texted Mindtree Ltd’s executive chairman Krishnakumar Natarajan in Bengaluru about his decision to sell 20.3% shares the founder of the Café Coffee Day had held for close to two decades in the information technology (IT) outsourcing company to Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T). An agitated Natarajan, who knew that the company risked an ownership change, spoke to his friend and another co-founder Subroto Bagchi, who was in Bhubaneswar, more than 1,700km from Mumbai.

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