N R Narayana Murthy – popularly called as NRN by his fellow Infoscions is undoubtedly the father of Indian IT industry and probably the first one to put India on a global map in terms of outsourcing. He is currently the chairman Emeritus of Infosys and is also involved in his own VC firm – Catarman Ventures. Narayana Murthy’s life is full of inspiration and perspiration. Let’s have a look at some of the little known facts about NRN.
Borrowed Money for Infosys
However unbelievable it may sound, but the Infosys of today was started from borrowed money of NRN’s wife Sudha Murthy. With a meagre amount of Rs 10,000 NRN was able to create a giant like Infosys.
Couldn’t attend IIT even after clearing the exam.
NRN belonged to a middleclass family. His father was a government worker. Even after clearing the prestigious IIT’s entrance exam he could not attend it due to lack of financial means, But this did not deter him from pursuing his dreams and he finally did his masters from IIT Kanpur.
Narayana Murthy is famous for his simple lifestyle. In spite of having tremendous wealth he was never seen boasting it. He lives in a simple house in Bangalore, but his vision and values are beyond comparison.
Travelling Economy class
Unlike many people of his stature, Narayana Murthy prefers to maintain a low profile. He flies economy class and stays at Infosys’s guest houses rather than five star hotels. Unlike him, most of his senior managers fly in business class and stay at lavish hotels. NRN feels it’s a personal choice and he never forces his juniors to follow him.
From Communist to Capitalist
Nrayana Murthy used to be a hard core communist at heart. Once during his visit to Russia he was jailed for 72 hours and then he changed his mind and became a capitalist. He still believes he is a social capitalist and feels a country can only prosper by creating more business opportunities.
NRN has had his share of failures. His first venture Softronics which was started in 1976 was not a successful one and he had to shut down its operations after a year and a half. After that he moved on to Infosys.
NRN had immense self-belief and faith. During the year 1990 there was a time when Infosys was on the verge of a shutdown. A major client had cancelled the partnership and revenues were going down. Mr. Murthy decided not to go for a sell off and gave an option to his co-partners to either stay together or to walk out with their share. All of them stayed together at that time.
Hiring Mohandas Pai
In an Annual General body meeting, a young accountant was asking too many questions to NRN. Instead of getting frustrated Narayana Murthy hired that CA and he became instrumental in helping Infosys getting listed in NASDAQ.
No Family member in Infosys
It was a decision initiated by Narayana Murthy and was supported by all the board members. They had decided that no one from their family will ever join Infosys as it would lead to bias and favouritism. This decision has helped Infosys to come out as one of the most ethical companies.
NRN is a great lover of books and literature. Although being a techie at heart he prefers to read quietly in his free time. He also loves classical music and enjoys them with his wife during weekends.
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