N. R. Narayana Murthy is the co-founder of Infosys, one of the largest Indian IT companies that provide services in the field of technology, engineering, consulting, and outsourcing.
N. R. Narayana Murthy was born on Tuesday, 20 August 1946 (age 73 years; as in 2019), in Shidlaghatta, Chikkaballapura district in Karnataka. His zodiac sign is Leo. He completed his schooling from Sharada Vilasa Boys High School, Mysore. He did his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Mysore, and later, completed his Master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.
Height (approx.): 5′ 4″
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Family, Caste & Wife
Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy was born into a Brahmin Hindu Family. His father N. Rama Rao, was a high school teacher. His mother’s name is Padavathamma Murthy. He has seven siblings. Murthy met Sudha Murthy (then Sudha Kulkarni) through a common friend, Prasanna (key person of Wipro) in Pune. He invited Sudha on a dinner along with her friends. They started hanging out together for movies, restaurants, and parties. Soon, they became good friends and one day Murthy proposed her for marriage, he said,
I want to tell you something. I am 5’4″ tall. I come from a lower-middle-class family. I can never become rich. You are beautiful, bright, intelligent and you can get anyone you want. But will you marry me?”
Sudha liked his honesty, but she wanted her parent’s approval first. She arranged Murthy’s meeting with her parents. Murthy was stuck in traffic and could not reach on time for the meeting which made Sudha’s father very angry. After 2 hours of the decided time of the meeting, Murthy booked a taxi and reached at Sudha’s place wearing a bright red shirt. Sudha’s father asked him about his goals, Murthy said he wanted to become a politician and open an orphanage. Sudha’s father was unimpressed by his answer and said,
I don’t want my daughter to marry somebody who wants to become a communist and then open an orphanage when he himself didn’t have money to support his family.”
After almost three years, Murthy got a job as a general manager. Sudha’s father finally accepted Murthy’s proposal of marrying her. On 10 February 1978, he got married to Sudha at his home in Bangalore in the presence of both the families. He shared the expenditure of marriage with Sudha which was only Rs. 800. The couple is blessed with two children Akshata Murty and Rohan Murty.
After completing his Master’s degree, he started working as a research analyst at IIM Ahmedabad, and later, he worked there as a chief programmer. He got the opportunity to work on India’s first time-sharing computer system, and he designed and implemented a BASIC interpreter for Electronics Corporation of India Limited.
Later, he started a company, Softronics, but the company failed. In 1977, he joined Patni computers in Bombay (now Mumbai), as a general manager. He worked there for almost four years, but he wanted to start his own company. He had no money to start the business, and then his wife Sudha gave him Rs. 10,000 to start the business.
In 1981, Murthy, along with six other software engineers, started Infosys at Pune with an initial capital of $250. The seven founders of Infosys includes N.R. Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, S. Gopalakrishnan, S. D. Shibulal, K. Dinesh, N. S. Raghavan, and Ashok Arora.
In 1983, Infosys was shifted from Pune to Bangalore. Murthy served as the CEO of Infosys from 1981 to 2002, and then became the chairman of the board from 2002 to 2006. On August 2011, he retired from Infosys with the title Chairman Emeritus.
On 1 June 2013, he returned to Infosys as an Executive Chairman and Additional Director. In 2014, he left the position of Executive chairman and continued as Non-Executive till 10 October 2013, and he was designated as Chairman Emeritus on 11 October 2013. With the efforts of Murthy and other six co-founders, Infosys has become one of the largest Indian IT company with more than 800 customers in 30 countries.
On 29 March 2019, its market capitalisation was recorded as $46.52 billion. Apart from being the co-founder of Infosys, Murthy has served as an independent director on the corporate board of HSBC and director on the boards of DBS Bank, Unilever, ICICI, and NDTV. He is also a member of the advisory boards and councils of various educational and philanthropic institutes.
- In 2013, Murthy’s company Infosys was fined $34 million for visa fraud by unlawfully using B-1 visa holders to work as skilled labour which is only allowed for H-1 B visa holders.
- In 2017, Infosys board said that harsh attacks of Narayana Murthy against the board have resulted in its CEO and MD, Vishal Sikka, quit his position.
Awards & Honours
2000: Padma Shri from the Government of India
2003: Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award
2007: IEEE Ernst Weber Engineering Leadership Recognition by Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
2007: Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by the Government of United Kingdom
2008: Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India
2008: Officer of the Legion of Honor by Government of France
2011: NDTV Indian of the Year’s Icon of India by NDTV
2013: The Asian Awards for Philanthropist of the Year
Note: He has many more accolades to his name.
His net worth is $2.47 billion.
- His favourite subjects in school were Maths and Physics.
- He cleared the IIT entrance exam after completing his schooling, but due to his poor financial condition, he could not join IIT in Madras.
- He loves to buy the latest gadgets.
- His hobbies include reading books and listening to old Hindi and Kannada songs.
- He is the author of various books like A Better India: A Better World, A Clear Blue Sky: Stories and Poems on Conflict and Hope, and Behtar Bharat, Behtar Duniya.
- Murthy appeared in Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai (2002), an Indian award-winning talk show which was aired on Zee TV.
- In 2006, his name was listed in Time Magazine as one of the Asian heroes. He earned this feat for bringing revolutionary changes in India since its independence in 1947.
- In 2019, Sanjay Tripathy announced that he will make a Bollywood film on the life of N. R. Narayana Murthy.