Everyone knows Narayana Murthy as the one who made Infosys what it is today. But not so much about the hard work and sacrifices he went through to get there. There were plenty of reasons for them to quit and give up during the journey. But they persevered and succeeded. More than management and strategic implementations, it is his values that he stood for, that helped him & Infosys reach where they are today. Scroll down to read about the legacy of Infosys.
Immediately after he graduated from IIT Kanpur , he left to London where he took up a job. After 3 years of excelling at his job, he returned to India with a mission of starting his own company. He started an IT Software consulting firm named Softronics Ltd. Unfortunately, the company ran out of money, had to be shut down and Narayan Murthy faced his faced entrepreneurial failure here. But instead of giving up, he took this as a LEARNING EXPERIENCE that made him tough and unwavering. After the failure of his first venture, he then started to work for Patni Computers. This is where he met his wife – Sudha Murthy.
In 1981, Narayana Murthy quit his job, borrowed 10,000Rs from his wife and started Infosys along with 6 other software professionals. Though they had the will and brains to make their dream come true, the team struggled for years with challenges after challenges due to India’s hostile business environment. Computers had to be imported, data communication facilities were required, easy travel abroad & offices abroad were needed. But none of these were easily possible back then. It took 2 years to import a computer; it took 2 years to get a telephone line in Bangalore. There were no data communication lines there. It would take around 10 days to get approval from the Reserve Bank Of India to travel abroad. Infosys survived the struggle period by sending all its founding members in the US to take up assignments while Narayana Murthy stayed back in India and did all the groundwork, trying to get his dream company to rise up beyond the odds. Instead of focusing on the Indian market, which had a very close economy back then and getting distressed by the shortcomings, he focused on the global market and made India only the base for his dream company According to his wife – Sudha, Murthy was always broke. He always owed her a lot of money. But she trusted in him and more on his vision that he was chasing. KSA’s collapse in 1989 pushed Infosys into a major crisis. One of the founder-partners — Ashok Arora – quit as he couldn’t cope up with the startup struggles and ran out of patience and sold his shares to the other founding partners for a mere 25 lakhs. Murthy stepped in and told the other members… ‘If you all want to leave, you can. But I am going to stick with it and make it,’ After 8 years of trying to build a company, they had nothing with them when all their colleagues and friends had houses and cars which they owned. It was only in 1991, when Dr. Manmohan Singh, under the patronage of Narasimha Rao reformed the economy, that things changed for better.
Infosys touched US$ 100 million in 1999. It also became the first IT company from India to be listed on NASDAQ. Infosys’s growth is a huge mirror to the IT growth in India. It is his leadership skills and vision that made a prominent impact on the company. The share price of the firm surged to Rs 8,100 by 1999, making it the costliest share of the time. Termed as the “Father of Indian IT Sector”. He has been honored with several awards like Padma Shri,, Padma Vibhushan, Sayaji Ratna Award, to name a few.
Narayana Murthy’s success story is a shoutout to all aspiring entrepreneurs that massive wealth can be created legally and ethically too. His company has been incidental to creating many middle-class millionaires in the country. “Performance leads to recognition. Recognition brings respect. Respect enhances power. Humility and grace in one’s moments of power enhance the dignity of an organization.” These are the golden words of Narayana Murthy that he stands for. His values are an inspiration for everyone who strives to be successful someday.