The lesser known story of Narayana Murthy

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Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy, more popularly known as Narayana Murthy, is the co-founder of Infosys, a multinational corporation that provides services pertaining to technology, engineering, consulting and outsourcing.

Narayana Murthy was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth; in fact, he had to work extremely hard to reach the top. He was born on August 20, 1946, in Mysore, Karnataka. He came from a poor but an educated family.


From his childhood days, Narayana Murthy was academically brilliant. He was passionate about Mathematics and Physics and always had the thirst and the desire to gain more knowledge in these fields. Hence, he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Mysore and later, received his Master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

Although Narayana Murthy was born into a poor family, his dreams were huge. From a young age, he dreamed of starting his own business venture. Narayana Murthy began his career as a chief systems programmer at IIM Ahmedabad. He then started a company called Softronics, which failed after 1.5 years of its inception.


Despite the failures he encountered at an early age, he did not give up his dream of being an entrepreneur. He learnt from his previous mistakes and decided to start afresh in 1981. That year, he, together with six software professionals, put together Rs 10,000 to create a company called Infosys.

From the beginning, the team kept the interests of the company ahead of their own interest. And each of the team members brought complementary strengths to the company.

Today, Narayana Murthy is listed as one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time, alongside Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. In 2000, he was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India for his significant contribution to the country’s IT sector and economy. In 2008, he was awarded Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award.


On June 1, 2013, Narayana Murthy was called out of retirement to lead the company once again. Narayana Murthy, who will turn 67 this year, has taken up the challenge to bring the company back on its feet. He has taken up the positions of an Additional Director and the Executive Chairman of the Board with the company. And he is working closely with the top management to come up with incentives such as giving higher salaries to top performers to improve the performance of the company.

This is a true example of commitment and dedication. Even after his retirement, Narayana Murthy is willing to sacrifice his luxuries to revive the company. Being born into a poor family did not deter Narayana Murthy from pursuing his dreams. This is what we can learn from Narayana Murthy’s determination to succeed – anyone can rise in education and career if he/she puts his mind and heart to it.

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Lack of financial resources is not an excuse for a dull career. William Shakespeare once said, “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in us.” Similarly, just because one is born into a poor family does not mean that he/she will remain poor and unsuccessful for the rest of his/her life.

“If we are passionate about changing our future, our dreams will definitely come true. Life is full of challenges. We all make mistakes but it is important to learn from them and rise in our academic and professional lives.”


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