Birthday: August 20, 1946
Age: 74 Years, 74 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Leo
Also Known As: NRN, Narayana Murthy, Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy
Born in: Mysore
Famous as: Founder of Infosys
Quotes By N. R. Narayana Murthy
IT & Software Entrepreneurs
Spouse/Ex-: Sudha Murthy
father: N. Rama Rao
mother: Padavathamma Murthy
children: Akshata Murthy, Rohan Murthy
education: University of Mysore, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, National Institute of Engineering
awards: Padma Shri - 2000
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) - 2007 Padma Vibhushan - 2008
Officer of the Legion of Honor - 2008
One of the brilliant minds behind the founding of the Indian multinational corporation Infosys Ltd., N. R. Narayana Murthy, is an industrialist counted amongst the greatest Indian industrialists of the contemporary time. Infosys is a major IT company which provides business consulting, information technology and outsourcing services, and Murthy has played a tremendous role in ensuring its success. From an early age Murthy displayed signs of greatness and received his education from one of the top technological institutions in India. Before venturing to become an entrepreneur he had worked with Patni Computer Systems in Pune. He had always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur and hoped to form a big company which would create job opportunities for the country’s youngsters. Blessed with a brilliant mind and astute business sense, he formed Infosys with six other software professionals including Nandan Nilekani and N. S. Raghavan with an initial capital of just Rs. 10, 000. Over the years the company grew manifold to become one of the top IT services companies based in India. His company’s contribution to the growth of the IT sector in India has been immense and the ‘Time’ magazine described him as the “Father of Indian IT Sector”. He has been honored with several awards for his contribution to the Indian industrial sector.
Childhood & Early Life
He was born on 20 August 1946, in Sidlaghatta, Karnataka, in a middle-class family.
His uncle was a civil servant and Narayana’s father wanted him to follow the same route. But the young boy had other plans; he wanted to be an engineer as that was the “in” thing in India in those days.
He appeared for the entrance test for the India Institute of Technology (IIT) after completing his schooling and cleared it with a high rank and a scholarship. However the scholarship was not enough to completely cover his educational expenses and his father could not afford to pay the fees.
On his father’s advice he joined a local engineering college, the National Institute of Engineering and graduated in 1967 with a degree in Electrical Engineering.
He then went to the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur and earned his master’s degree in 1969. While at the IIT he had a chance meeting with a famous computer scientist from the US and was thoroughly impressed by the scientist’s talks. This influenced Narayana to pursue a career in the IT sector in future.
He was flooded with job offers on completion of his course as at that time there were just a few computer science graduates in India. He had job offers from HMT, Telco and Air India, all of them offering high salaries.
However, he rejected all these offers to take up a job in India Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, when one of the IIM’s professors personally came to talk to the bright young man about an interesting job opportunity at the institute.
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He took up the position of a chief systems programmer at the IIM, Ahmedabad. There he worked on installing a time-sharing computer system—India’s first, making IIM the third business school in the world to install a time-sharing system after Harvard and Stanford.
The work at the IIM was hectic but extremely fulfilling. He used to work 20 hours a day and learned a lot. Even today Murthy feels that joining the IIM was the best decision he had ever made in his professional life.
He worked overseas in the 1970s, and the years he spent in Paris had a deep influence on him. Initially a staunch leftist who supported Communism, he eventually changed his views and concluded that compassionate capitalism and the large-scale creation of jobs was the only practical method of eradicating poverty.
He learned a lot from the western countries, but ultimately wanted to settle in India and start a company in his homeland. He started a company called Softronics which failed after just a year and a half. So he joined Patni Computer Systems in Pune.
Eventually he decided to become an entrepreneur again and teamed up with six other software professionals to found another company, “Infosys Consultants Pvt Ltd." (now known as Infosys Ltd.) with a capital of Rs. 10,000 in Pune in 1981. The company’s headquarters was shifted from Pune to Bangalore in 1983.
Murthy became the CEO of Infosys and served in this position from 1981. In 2002, co-founder Nandan Nilekani succeeded him as the chairman.
He became the Chairman of the Board in 2002 and the Chief Mentor in 2006. He retired from the company in August 2011, taking the title Chairman Emeritus.
He has served as a director on the boards of DBS Bank, Unilever, and ICICI. He is a philanthropic and serves on the advisory boards and councils of several institutions like Cornell University, Ford Foundation, the UN Foundation and the Indo-British Partnership.
The performance of Infosys suffered in his absence and thus he returned to the company as Executive Chairman and Additional Director in June 2013. He stepped down as the Executive Chairman in June 2014.
Murthy is best known as one of the co-founders of Infosys Ltd., one of India’s largest IT services company with offices all across the globe.
Under his leadership Infosys became the first Indian company to be listed on the Nasdaq. It also became the first listed Indian company with revenue of $1 billion a year.
Awards & Achievements
He was honored with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award, for his distinguished contribution to industry in 2000.
In 2008, the Government of India bestowed upon him the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of India, for his exceptional services to Informational Technology in India.
In 2013, he became the first recipient of the Sayaji Ratna Award (SRA Award) which was established to mark the 151st birth anniversary of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, the erstwhile ruler of Baroda.
Personal Life & Legacy
He is married to Sudha Kulkarni and has two children with her, a son Rohan Murthy and a daughter Akshata Murthy. His wife is a published author in Kannada and English, and also a renowned social activist.