Ever since Rishi Sunak was appointed as UK’s PM, headlines about his family, especially that of his wife and in-laws, have made the news. Akshata Murty, Sunak’s wife, is the daughter of Indian billionaire Narayan Murthy and author and philanthropist Sudha Murthy. She married Sunak in 2009 and has two daughters, Krishna and Anoushka. Here are 8 things you probably didn’t know about her.
1. Akshata was born in Hubli, Karnataka, which is the hometown of her mother Sudha Murty. She attended Baldwin Girls’ High School before studying French and Economics from Claremont McKenna College in California.
2. Akshata Murty is a designer. She holds a diploma in fashion designing from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. According to a Vogue India interview from 2011, her design label, Akshata Designs, sources products from artisans in remote Indian villages. The label provides an upfront fee to all artists and even gives them royalties.
3. Murty's stake in Infosys is worth around $700 million, making her richer than the late Queen Elizabeth II, whose personal wealth was estimated at about $460 million by the 2021 Sunday Times Rich List. In 2022, she reportedly made Rs 125 crore in dividends from Infosys alone.
4. Apart from this, Murty is the director of 3 companies-- private and equity firm Catamaran Ventures, the gentleman's outfitters, New & Lingwood and Gym Chain Digme Fitness.
5. She worked at Unilever and Deloitte for a short while before pursuing her MBA at Stanford University where she met Sunak.
6. While Rishi Sunak is a British national, Murthy has retained her Indian citizenship. According to The Independent, her non-domiciled status in the UK means she can earn money from abroad without paying taxes in Britain for up to 15 years. Her non-domicile status and the consequent amount of money she saves in taxes have stirred debates in the past as well.
Responding to the criticism, she took to Twitter in April and announced that she would pay tax in the UK for her international income. “I understand and appreciate the British sense of fairness and I do not wish my tax status to be a distraction for my husband or to affect my family.
For this reason, I will no longer be claiming the remittance basis for tax,” she wrote.
7. Murty and Sunak own at least four properties, including a seven-million pound house in Kensington, London. They also own another house in Santa Monica, California.
8. Their lavish lifestyle has attracted headlines even in the past. Murty and Sunak allegedly spent $400,000 on a swimming pool in their country house just before Sunak first began his bid to become PM.