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June 24, 2013

Narayan Murthy and Nandan Nilekani- Success Behind Infosys

Infosys is a multinational company that provides business consulting, engineering, technology and out sourcing services around the globe. Today Infosys is not only a symbol of India’s Information Technology but has also significantly contributed to our country’s development. Infosys is the first Indian firm to be listed on Nasdaq and the first Indian company to offer stock opportunities to its employees. The two entrepreneurs who created and made Infosys into one of the World’s leading company are Nagavara Ramarao Narayan Murthy (usually referred to as Narayan Murthy) and Nandan Nilekani. The success story of these two entrepreneur’s stands to prove that success is not a product of genius minds only, but also hard work, conviction and believing in ones own abilities.

Narayan Murthy

Narayan Murthy was born in 1946 and brought up in Mysore, Karnataka. At the National Institute of Engineering, Mysore, he studied Electrical Engineering and earned M Tech from IIT, Kanpur. His family background was poor but they were well educated. Since childhood he had a liking for physics and mathematics. Before beginning his career at Infosys, Narayan Murthy worked at IIM (Indian Institute of Management) in Ahmedabad and later at Patni Coumputer Systems as chief systems programmer. In 1981 he began Infosys with the help of Nandan Nilekani and five other entrepreneurs; he presided over the company as its CEO from 1981 to 2002. He was then appointed as a chairman till 2011.  In June 2013 he became the Additional Director and Executive Chairman of the board at Infosys. Recently he was listed on the ‘12 greatest entrepreneurs of time’, by Fortune Magazine, along with magnate’s like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. Time Magazine has described him as the ‘Father of Indian IT sector’ for his revolutionary outsourcing techniques in India. As a respected citizen of our country he has been awarded two civilian awards; the Padma Vibhushan and Padma Shri.

He is married to Sudha Murthy, who is a renowned author and social worker in India. She has largely contributed to the unprivileged population of India through her philanthropic work via the Infosys foundation.

Nandan Nilekani

Indian entrepreneur and currently the Chairman of UIDAI, Nandan Nilekani was the co-founder of Infosys and today heads the Government of India’s technology committee. Born in 1955 and brought up in his home town Sirsi, Karnataka; Nandan Nilekani studied at Bishop Cotton Boy’s School and St. Joseph High School in Dharwad till he was admitted intoIIT, Bombay. He served as theCEOof Infosys from March 2002 to April 2007. Before Infosys he too had joined the Mumbai based Patni Computer Systems, where he met Narayan Murthy and along with six man team they began Infosys. Up till July 2009 he held various posts at Infosys including president, managing director and chief operating officer and then left the company to serve as the chairperson of the UIDAI. He is also a member on the board of governors for ICRIER (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations) and the also presides over various advisory boards like the Bombay Heritage Fund and World Economic Forum Establishment. In 2009 he gave a lecture at TED conference regarding his ideas of India’s future. He is married to Rohini Nilekani and they have a son and a daughter who have both recently earned their undergraduate degrees from Yale University.

The Success Story of Infosys

The journey of Infosys began in January 1981. Six months later in July, Infosys was registered as a Private Limited Company which wrote software codes. The six members Nandan Nilekani, N S Raghavan, S D Shibulal, S Gopalkrishnan, Ashok Arora and K Dinesh, headed by Narayan Murthy began working from Raghavan’s home in Matunga, Mumbai. Narayan Murthy was always broke and borrowed dollars 250 from his wife Sudha Murthy to start Infosys. His dream for Infosys was established in an apartment converted office brought on loan in Pune. In 1983, Infosys moved to Banglore and established their first concrete client, Data Basics Corporation from the United States. Beginning their work on a mini computer, Data General 32- bit MV8000 the company soon moved onto using main frames with CAMP application that was designed for Data Basics businesses.

Managing Infosys was a huge struggle, day in and day out. After the Murthy family Nandan Nilekani moved to Bangalore with his family and for several months stayed with Narayan Murthy. Rohini offered to take care of Murthy’s son and Sudha contributed to the Company’s struggle by writing software programmers for Infosys. They abandoned the concept of luxury and worked hard regardless of the facts that they had neither a car nor a phone. Later Narayan Murthy commented that what concerned them was not a life of luxury but a passion to create something new and innovative. Although they struggled they bonded closer together as a family and often went on picnics in Bangalore city. 

Infosys’s preliminary aim was to create an impact on the American Market. Their first joint venture partners were Kurt Salmon Associates. Gopalkrishnan was had shifted to United States and represented the KSA-Infosys venture in America. But after eight years of struggle the venture turned out to be a disappointment when it collapsed in 1989, plummeting Infosys in quick sand. Soon after its first crisis one of the founding partners- Ashok Arora quit the company and the other members begin to have doubts. Finally, t was Narayan Murthy’s passion and motivation to never give up that inspired the young entrepreneurs to stick with Infosys, due to which today it has become one of the World’s leading Information Technology Company.

The Nasdaq Listing

Infosys began getting it’s breakthrough with the help of the American market. Today they gather 70% of their revenue from American Brands like Visa, Reebok, Cisco Systems, Boeing, New York Life and Nordstrom. One of the largest IT services exporters in India, Infosys provided services to three hundred and fifteen large corporations like Nortel and GE and in 1999 they were the first Indian company to be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.


Values are one of the most important building blocks in a person’s private and professional life. The values on which Infosys was build, due to which it is India’s largest and most respected organizations is: The need to generate wealth ethically and legally.


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About Kanika

I have been writing for almost 3 years now for various clients