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narayan murthi

narayan murthi

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Published by: vijaykrishan22 on Sep 28, 2011
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09/28/2011

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Certain points taken out form Mr. Narayan Murthi’s life1-Seize Your Gandhi Moment
 
Murthy, a self proclaimed socialist in the mid '70s was jailed for 72 hours in Bulgaria. The experience taughthim that entrepreneurship and job creation is the way to alleviate poverty.
 
2-You might fail, but get started
 
Learn from mistakes and move on. In 1976, Murthy founded Softronics, a company that lasted a year and a half.When he realised that his first venture wasn't taking off, he moved on.
 
3-Think Big. Don't Hesitate to Start Small
 
In 1981, a determined Murthy started Infosys with Rs 10,000 he borrowed from his wife. In few years, Infosyswent on to become one of the largest wealth creators in the country.
 
4-Cut Yourself a Slice, Not a Large One Always
 
When Infosys was set up, Murthy took a pay cut while salaries of other co-founder's were increased by 10percent. According to Murthy, a leader needs to show his or her sacrifice and commitment.
 
5-Lend a Hand and Throw in a Foot Too
 
After Murthy convinced seven of his colleagues, there was a problem. Nandan's future inlaws were not sureabout him. Murthy met Nandan's uncle and convinced him.
 
6-Own Up, and Then Clean Up
 
In the '80s Infosys developed an application for a German client. Murthy noticed a single character error andinformed the client immediately.
 
7-Trust in God, But Verify with Data
 
In God we trust, the rest must come with data, is perhaps Murthy's favourite statement. When confronted withdifficult decisions, he tends to rely on data.
 
8-Keep the Faith
 
Infosys almost wound up in 1990. Murthy did not want to sell the company. He asked co-founders if theywanted out and offered to buy their shares. All of them stuck together.
 
9-Get Involved
 
Infosys won a contract from Reebok in the early '90s. Seeing the founders involvement, the software, was nick named 'Dinesh, Murthy and Prahlad.' Infy veterans still recall those days.
 
10-Sharing is Caring
 
After the IPO, Infosys decided to share a portion of its equity with employees. This helped them retain talentand gave employees a sense of ownership. Murthy is proud of having given away stocks worth over Rs 50,000crore to employees.
 
11-Treat your People Good, but Your Best Better
 
Murthy always had a thing for good performers. And he rewarded them well. When Infosys decided to give itsemployees stock options, Murthy insisted that some shares be given to good performers through the 'Chairman'squota.'
 
12-Hire a Good Accountant, Even if he is Argumentative
 
A young, argumentative Indian, was asking too many questions at an annual general body meeting of Infosys.More impressed than irritated, he hired Mohandas Pai, who went on to help Infosys list on Nasdaq.
 
13-When in Doubt, Disclose
 
Keep your books clean and leave the cooking to the chef. Murthy's philosophy about being open and transparenthas given the company a lot of credibility. He often says, "When in doubt, please disclose."
 
14-Leave the Family Out
 
Murthy told his wife that only one of them could be with the company. Murthy, along with other founders, saidthat none of their children would work for Infosys. This left no room for nepotism at Infosys.
 
15-Don't be a Pushover
 
In 1994, when General Electric wanted to re-negotiate rates, Murthy said no to selling services any cheaper.This helped Infosys not to be overly dependent on any one client.
16-Make hay While the Sun Shines
 
In late 90's, India's tech companies made use of the Y2K opportunity to make themselves known in the globalmarket. For Infosys, it was a great opportunity to enter into long-term relationships with their customers.
 
17-Brand-aid First, Get Clinical
 
When the sexual harassment case against Infosys' top sales guy Phaneesh Murthy threatened to tarnish thecompany's brand, Murthy decided to quickly react. He let go of Phaneesh, and settled the case out of courtdespite Phaneesh wanting to fight it out.
 
18-Mind your Business, you'll See Things Coming
 
Murthy carries and updates a mental model of Infosys' business all the time. According to him, every leadermust have a model, consisting of six to seven parameters that might affect business.
 
19-Keep it Simple, Not Silly
 
Keep your life simple and straight. That way, you get to work more and worry less. Murthy is known to befrugal with money. Despite being one of the richest Indians, he leads a simple life. However, he does not cutcorners on buying books or brushing up on literature.
 
20-Founders Keepers, but Not Forever
 
Murthy's decision to not allow founders to continue with the company after the age of 65 set another standardfor the company. This way, younger leaders at Infosys had a greater chance at the top positions.
 
21-Talent Spotting and Division of Labour
 
Murthy is known to have an eye for talent and a talent for dividing labour. Nandan was given salesresponsibilities while Kris and Shibu did the tech stuff. N S Raghavan was asked to handle people and Dineshwas assigned quality.
 
22-Hold on to Your People but don't Cling
 
Letting go is never easy but its not good to cling on to your colleagues either. Amongst the founders, Ashok Arora, Nandan Nilekani and K Dinesh have quit Infosys. Infy veteran Mohandas Pai has also left Infosys.
 
23-Give, it only gets you more
 
In 2010, the Murthy's donated $ 5.2 million USD to Harvard University Press for a project that aims to makeIndia's classical heritage available for generations to come. He is also supporter of the Akshaya PatraFoundation.
 
24-Do it First and Do it Right
 
Infosys did many things first. And most things right. For example, it was the first Indian company to list onNasdaq. It was the first Indian company to make it to the Nasdaq 100 list and it was the first Indian company toattain the highest level of quality certification.

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