Life and times of Narayana Murthy on his 68th birthday

Aug 20, 2014, 12:05 IST | Priyanka Dhavle

On the 68th birthday of N R Narayana Murthy today, we take a look at the life and times of this IT czar from Bangalore

N R Narayana Murthy
N R Narayana Murthy

Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy, the well known IT industrialist, is credited with building the vast software services company, Infosys.

Born on 20 August 1946 in Sidlaghatta, Karnataka, he graduated from the National Institute of Engineering in 1967 with a degree in Electrical Engineering and later on did his master’s from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1969.

Murthy started his career at IIM Ahmedabad as chief systems programmer. He started a company called Softronics but when it failed he joined Patni Computer Systems in Pune.

He met his wife Sudha Murthy while she was employed as an engineer at TELCO in Pune and later the two got married. She is the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation and a member of public health care initiatives of the Gates Foundation. She is also a writer and has many books to her credit. They have two children, Akshata and Rohan Murthy.

In 1981, he along with six software professionals started Infosys at Pune with an initial capital of Rs 10,000, provided by his wife Sudha Murthy. It was co-founded by Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, N S Raghavan, S Gopalakrishnan, S D Shibulal, K Dinesh and Ashok Arora after they resigned from Patni Computer Systems. In 1983, the company's corporate headquarters was relocated to Bangalore.

He served as its CEO for 21 years from 1981 to 2002, was later succeeded by co-founder Nandan Nilekani and as chairman from 2002 to 2011. In 2011, he stepped down from the board and became Chairman Emeritus. However, in June 2013, Infosys had to bring its iconic founder out of retirement to strengthen the company that has slipped to number three in the Indian IT league since he left in 2011.

During his tenure the company not only saw exponential growth but also sparked an outsourcing revolution world wide. Murthy has been listed among the 12 greatest entrepreneurs by Fortune magazine.

Apart from juggling responsibilities at Infosys, he also serves on the boards of diverse entities including Ford Foundation, HSBC, Cornell University and Wharton School.

He is being awarded with Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan, the country's second highest civilian honour.

A look at some of his inspiring quotes:

A clear conscience is the softest pillow in the world.

In God we trust, everybody else must bring data to the table.

Love your job, but never fall in love with your company because you never know when the company stops loving you.

Our assets walk out of the door each evening. We have to make sure that they come back the next morning.

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