Hope country remains a progressive democracy: Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

BENGALURU: Terming himself as an “India optimist”, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said he hoped the country of his birth "continues to be a progressive democracy ".

Responding to a question on whether he was surprised by the controversy caused by his remarks in January on the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Nadella said in democracies governments decided immigration policy.

“I think every country is going to define their own policies around immigration and national security. In democracies, it’s people in the governments that decide. I mostly speak from being someone who grew up here, and proud of my heritage of a multicultural India and as an immigrant. And my hope as an India optimist is that this country continues to be a progressive democracy that really helps more and more people find that this is the land of their dreams, and they find opportunity. And I think this is what is true about India today and I am very confident that it will be true of India in the future,” the 52-year-old leader of the world's third most valuable company said on Tuesday.

Cautioning Indian policymakers on the perils of over-regulation, Nadella said the American company would conform to India’s privacy policy when it is implemented. But “policymakers (should) always think through what it means for citizens — for Indian society — (and) also for Indian entrepreneurs.”

Earlier on Monday, Microsoft and Reliance Industries announced a “deep partnership” that the companies said would be a defining one for the coming decade.

“Fundamentally, they have really bet on our platform,” Nadella said. RIL will use various Microsoft products as well as the cloud infrastructure created by the Redmond-based technology firm to offer services to small and medium enterprises.

“The big thing is to give them the technology and help them realise their ambitions,” said Nadella, one of two India-born CEOs leading global technology companies that have market capitalisation of over $1 trillion.