N. R. Narayana Murthy is an IIT Kanpur alumni and the co-founder of one of the most successful IT companies in India called Infosys. He has often been called the father of Indian IT industry. Very few people are aware of the story that Mr. Murthy took a loan of ten thousand rupees from Sudha Murthy, his wife to kick start his dream, in 1981. He is known worldwide to be an IT wizard and influential in taking corporate governance to a different level in India. He is an inspiration to people worldwide and his leadership ideas are being imitated far and wide.
Poverty and social upliftment issues were always a major concern for him. Job creation and finding a unique entrepreneurship idea was the only solution for these social evils, dawned on him when he was jailed for seventy two hours in Bulgaria. He completed his degree in Electrical Engineering from Mysore University and studied Computer Science at IIT Kanpur. He was inspired by his father and his teachers to be curious and articulate. Coming from a low income middle class family, he was taught from early childhood the values of sacrifice, truth and public welfare. His biggest mantra for success is – “Keep your life simple and straight. That way, you get to work more and worry less.”
Mr. Murthy founded Infosys Technologies along with his six friends in 1981. He worked as the CEO of the company for 21 years and was later succeeded by co-founder Nandan Nilekani in 2002. He had retired in 2011 as the Chairman Emeritus. He has joined the company again and promised to bring it around in 36 months. Before starting Infosys he has worked as chief systems programmer for IIM- Ahmadabad. Traditionally the company laid emphasis on high margin business. But now they are adopting a flexible approach to handle rival companies. They are committed to focusing on application, development of BPOs. He will now focus on third stream revenue outsourcing projects. He was the key man to design and implement the Global Delivery Model for IT services outsourced from India.
Besides working for Infosys he also holds other key posts. He serves as a director in independent capacity of HSBC. He also serves as a director on the boards of DBS Bank, Unilever, ICICI and NDTV. He serves on the boards and councils of many educational institutions like Cornell University, INSEAD, ESSEC, Ford and UN Foundation. He holds the post of Chairman of the Governing Board of Public Health Foundation of India. He was chosen as one of the 50 most powerful people in Asia in 2000, in a poll conducted by Asia week.
The list of awards is very long and continuously growing. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2000 and the Ernst and Young world Entrepreneur in 2003. The government of UK felicitated him with the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2007. The Padma Vibhushan in 2008, The Hoover Medal in 2012, by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Philanthropist of the Year in 2013 by the Asian Awards.
He was born on 20th August, 1946 in Mysore. Sudha Murthy, his wife is a social worker and author. She takes a keen interest in the Infosys Foundation. They have two children Rohan and Akshata. They hold positions of Infosys Executive Chairman Assistant. Mrs. Murthy serves Infosys Foundation as chairperson and is a member of Gates Foundation public healthcare unit.
From a very young age Mr. Murthy beleieved that money has real power only when it is used to uplift the whole community, and a not a selected few. Hence, it did not come as shock when he promised to give away a major part of his fortune to NGO’s working to provide basic medical care, knowledge and nourishment. With this purpose in mind the Infosys charter was implemented. With a mandatory requirement to make a difference to the lowest of inadequate, and has not been linked for business purpose of Infosys. The beneficiaries get up to 1% of Infosys’ benefit every quarter, and it in turn reinforces medical centers, orphanages, recovery facilities, school structures, technology facilities and as many as 3,600 collections. He practices simple living and high thinking. And his only indulgence is in buying books.