N. R. Narayana Murthy is a co-founder of Infosys Limited.
Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy was born on 20th August 1946 in Sidlaghatta, Mysore, Karnataka.
He was born in a middle-class family and his father was a government school teacher.
Narayana Murthy was a very bright student since his childhood.
He even cracked the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) entrance examination but was unable to join IIT for his graduation because his family was not in a position to afford the IIT fees.
So, Narayana Murthy completed his graduation in Electrical engineering in 1967 from National Institute of Engineering located in Mysore.
As Narayana Murthy hailed from a very middle class family, he frequently experienced financial struggles.
So, he worked as a part-time tutor during his graduation days.
And in 1969, Narayana Murthy post-graduated in Electrical engineering from IIT-Kanpur.
After completing his post-graduation, Narayana Murthy was offered great jobs by many big companies like Hindustan Machine Tools Limited (HMT), Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) and Telco but he rejected those offers.
And started his career as a chief systems programmer in the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad.
Here, Narayana Murthy received a monthly salary of just 800 rupees but he learned many life lessons during his stint at the IIM-Ahmedabad.
He describes this period as the golden period of his life.
Later, Narayana Murthy resigned for that job.
His first failure-
Narayana Murthy later started a company by the name Softronics in 1975 but the company faced huge losses and was subsequently shut down.
He later joined Patni Computer Systems in Pune, Maharashtra.
Birth of Infosys-
Narayana Murthy later resigned from the Patni Computer Systems to start his own startup company along with his friends.
Fortunately, his wife Sudha Murthy (Sudha Murty) also supported his decision.
So, after gaining a work-experience of a total of two years in IIM and Patni Computer Systems, Narayana Murthy decided to start Infosys along with his six friends.
Finally, on 2nd July 1981, Infosys Consultants Private Limited was co-founded by Narayana Murthy along with his six friends namely Nandan Nilekani, Senapathy Gopalakrishnan, S. D. Shibulal, N. S. Raghavan, K.Dinesh and Ashok Arora in Pune.
All these friends were software engineers in Patni Computer systems (PCS).
They wanted to utilise their coding skills and work experiences in the IT industry by establishing a software company.
Also, from 1975 the demand for the customized software solutions were soaring.
In the initial days they struggled a lot for the investments.
Apart from investments, the company also suffered from the faulty government policies.
At those times, the government created a hostile environment for the entrepreneurs.
It used to take a very long time and a tiresome procedure to register a company or to import any material or machinery.
Narayana Murthy had to wait for one long year for a telephone connection.
Despite many setbacks, he did not let despair occupy his mind but instead focused solely on realising his passion.
They did not have sufficient money to run Infosys, so Narayana Murthy was helped with a sum of 10,000 rupees by his wife, Sudha Murthy.
Those 10,000 rupees were the savings from the salary of Sudha Murthy.
She also worked as a system analyst to support the family.
A small room in Narayana Murthy’s house was converted into an office.
Until 1983, Infosys didn’t have even a single computer.
The company was shifted in 1983 to the Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru.
As Infosys was a very new start-up, it didn’t receive any orders from any clients, so it formed a joint-venture with Kurt Salmon.
This joint venture broke down in 1989.
This incident took Infosys to a very bad position, so even after eight years, Infosys was again subjected to its initial days struggles.
At this period of crisis, a co-founder of Infosys, Ashok Arora left Infosys.
As at that time, Infosys was struggling financially, all the co-founders of the company tried very hard to save their funds by minimising their expenses to the maximum extent possible.
They used to stay in the cheapest hotels and travel by foot or by public transport.
They were very saddened to realise that all their college friends were well-settled but these people were still broke, even after eight long years.
Slowly but surely-
Thanks to their consistent and sincere efforts, Infosys started to grow slowly but surely.
Luckily the liberalization in 1991 reformed many defective government policies by which Infosys grew rapidly and from then, Infosys never looked back again.
In 1993, Infosys issued Initial public offering (IPO) but this IPO was undersubscribed.
Fortunately, Infosys was bailed out by Morgan Stanley, which bought 13 percent stakes in Infosys.
During this time, the revenue of Infosys reached over 5 million dollars and the company had around 200 employees.
Reaping the fruits of hard work-
In 1999, the company registered revenue of 100 million dollars and in 2004, it registered one billion dollars as revenue and the revenue rose to 10 billion dollars by 2017.
In 2020, its revenue is a whopping US$13 billion.
As Infosys grew in size, its number of employees also multiplied, now Infosys employs 242,371 people.
Welfare of workers-
Infosys also takes great care in the welfare of their workers and it was the first Indian company to employ Employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) to its workers.
In ESOP, the shares of Infosys are gifted to its employees, by which many employees of Infosys became millionaires.
Now, Infosys has expanded to 46 countries and has locations and development centres in several countries in the United States, Australia, South America, South Africa, Europe, etc.
In India, Infosys is headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka and its United States headquarters is located at Fremont, California.
Immune to economic recession-
Even at the times of economic recession when many companies were laying off their employees, Infosys never stopped recruiting new talents.
Main pillar of success-
The main pillar in the success of Infosys is their business driven by values.
Because of the values, Infosys has one of the highest client retention rates; the majority of its revenue gets generated through its old clients.
Narayana Murthy organises seminars to his employees on various topics mainly focusing on values and other important things like how to behave with clients, how to build trust, etc.
He was the CEO of Infosys for 21 long years starting from the inception of Infosys till 2002.
Narayana Murthy was later succeeded by Nandan Nilekani.
Now, the current CEO of Infosys is Salil Parekh.
Narayana Murthy also offered his valuable services to Infosys as a chairman and a chief mentor till 2011.
Narayana Murthy is blessed with two children, a son Rohan Narayana Murthy and a daughter, Akshata Murthy.
Narayana Murthy is against nepotism, every one believed that his son would be made the next CEO of Infosys but Narayana Murthy said that his son will achieve success in his career based on his own talent.
Under the leadership of Narayana Murthy, Infosys reached great heights and thanks to his dedication, he made a 250 dollar start up to a billion dollars company.
The first Indian company-
In 1999, Infosys created history by getting listed in NASDAQ, the second-largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalization.
Infosys is the first Indian company to get listed in NASDAQ.
It took just 18 years for Infosys to achieve this amazing feat.
Revving up the revenue-
In 1999, Infosys revenue was 100 million dollars and in 2002, the revenue touched 500 million dollars.
In 2004, Infosys touched one billion mark, in 2006, it was valued at two billion dollars and later its revenue grew to 9.5 billion dollars in 2016.
This explains the growth rate of Infosys.
Now, Infosys is the second biggest IT Company of India, only after TCS.
Most respected company-
In 2002, the Business World Survey listed Infosys as India’s most respected company.
Narayana Murthy always longed to contribute to society, so Infosys Foundation was started in 1996.
This foundation works for the development in several areas like education, health and also plays a pivotal role in rural development.
To reform the Indian Education system, Narayana Murthy launched Infosys’ Global Education Center (GEC) at its Mysore Campus.
This is one of the world’s largest corporate universities, which is spread over a vast 337 acres of land.
Sudha Murthy actively participates in the programs of Infosys Foundation.
This foundation helps by teaching technical skills to students and also provides meals to the poor students.
And this foundation also constructs infrastructure like roads, and provides electricity, etc. for the cause of rural development.
Infosys also played a very important role in the development of India.
Narayana Murthy has also authored a book by name- A Better India: A Better World, in which he explains the problems faced by India in the present times and also suggests solutions to solve those problems.
For his contributions, Narayana Murthy was awarded with many awards.
In 2000 he was awarded Padma Shri and in 2008, he was awarded with Padma Vibhushan.
Wise words of Narayana Murthy-
The first customer or client is very important to any company or startup and from day one a company must work on building its reputation.
Once Narayana Murthy said that the biggest obstacle to our development is not the obstacles in the outer world but our own thoughts.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How did Narayana Murthy start Infosys?
Narayana Murthy resigned from his job at Patni Computer Systems to start Infosys.
On 2nd July 1981, he along with his six friends namely, Nandan Nilekani, Senapathy Gopalakrishnan, S. D. Shibulal, N. S. Raghavan, K.Dinesh and Ashok Arora started Infosys Consultants Private Limited in Pune.
As Narayana Murthy didn’t have enough funds to rent an office, he converted a small room in his house to an office.
Why Narayana Murthy started Infosys?
Narayana Murthy started Infosys because he and his friends wanted to use their coding skills and work experiences in the IT industry by establishing their own company.
What is Narayana Murthy doing now?
Now Narayana Murthy is serving as the chairman emeritus of Infosys.
Also he is busy doing philanthropic activities.
In April 2020, Narayana Murthy committed to offer funds to Akshaya Patra Foundation for COVID-19 relief work.
What according to Narayana Murthy can change the life of a person?
According to Narayana Murthy, the biggest obstacle to a person’s development is not the obstacles of the outer world but his own thoughts.
So, if you want to change your life, you should improve your thinking, as better thinking leads to better actions and better actions yield better results.
And ultimately, better results change the life of a person.
Where does Narayana Murthy live?
Narayana Murthy lives in Jayanagar, Bangalore, India.
What made Infosys successful?
Infosys is one of the very successful Indian multinational corporations.
The reasons for its success are-
• Business driven by values. This helped Infosys to have one of the highest client retention rates.
• Recruiting talented people.
• Economic liberalisation policies of India.
• Being frugal in the initial days.
What is the full form of Infosys?
There is no full form of Infosys.
It is believed that the word Infosys came from combining the first four letters of Information- Info and first three letters of Systems- sys.
What is the rank of Infosys?
In the Forbes Top 100 Digital Companies list, Infosys secured the 71st position.
Who are Infosys’s competitors?
The main competitors to Infosys in India are-
• Tata Consultancy Services
• HCL Technologies
• Tech Mahindra
• Oracle Financial Services Software
• Larsen & Toubro Infotech
Featured image credit- Rupeshsarkar/Wikimedia Commons