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May 9, 2006   


'Wish I wasn't the world's richest man'

Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman of the world's largest software company, Microsoft Corporation, is also the world's richest man. His personal wealth has been estimated at $50 billion (Rs 225,000 crore).

Interestingly, he has been ranked the world's second most influential management guru just behind the legendary Michael Porter, who heads Harvard Business School's Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, and just ahead of our very own C K Prahalad. Amazing for a man who does not have a college degree, having dropped out of Harvard to establish Microsoft.

Chairman Gates has always interesting things to say and we present some memorable Gatesian observations:

  • "I wish I wasn't (the world's richest man). There's nothing good that comes out of that. You get more visibility as a result of it."

  • At a chat show for a television channel in New Delhi in December 2005, he shared the platform with Infosys Chairman N R Narayana Murthy. When the mike was handed over to Murthy to test, he said, "One, two, three..." into it and gave it to the Microsoft czar, who promptly said, "One billion, two billion, three billion..."

  • "I certainly will never be a politician. For every reason. I wouldn't like it, I wouldn't be elected. I'm better at what I'm doing."

  • "My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things."

  • "I like my job because it involves learning. I like being around smart people who are trying to figure out new things. I like the fact that if people really try they can figure out how to invent things that actually have an impact."

  • "I find golf very relaxing. It's a way to get away from work and get outside. It's a lot of fun, and once you get going it's almost kind of addictive."

Bill Gates is greeted by Infosys Chairman N R Narayana Murthy during a visit to Infosys' software facility in Bangalore.
Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

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