Global Leader to Shed Light on India’s Rise in IT
N.R. Narayana Murthy, named by Time magazine in 2004 as one of the top 10 most influential leaders shaping technology, is coming to the University of Illinois campus September 14 to talk about the amazing success story of the Indian software industry.
As the featured speaker for the 21st Arnold O. Beckman Lecture in Science and Innovation, Murthy will talk at 4 p.m. in the Foellinger Auditorium on the south end of the U of I Quad. CSL is one of the event's co-sponsors.
Murthy is chairman and chief mentor of Infosys Technologies Limited, a leader in information technology services based in Bangalore, India. He also served as the Infosys CEO for 25 years before handing over leadership to a fellow co-founder in 2002.
Murthy was among the first computer engineers to emerge from the USAID program at the Indian Institute of Technology in the 1960's -- a program credited in laying the foundation for India's emergence as an IT giant. He co-founded Infosys in 1981 with six other software professionals and $250 in capital.
Credited with numerous innovations, Murthy introduced stock options to employees, creating millionaires at all levels of the company. He also welcomed competition from multinational corporations, working on the assumption that his company could learn from the successful businesses of others.
Perhaps most importantly, Infosys became known for its high standards in business ethics. It was the first and still the only company in the world to publish financial statements according to the accounting standards of eight countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, the U.K and the U.S.
Among his many awards, Murthy was named “World Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2003 by Ernst and Young. He was also one of two leaders honored as Asia’s “Businessman of the Year” by Fortune magazine in 2003; and in 1999, BusinessWeek named him one of its nine “Entrepreneurs of the Year.”
In his U of I talk, Murthy will focus on how process discipline, global benchmarking, innovation in software technology and the highest standards of corporate governance have placed Indian firms at the forefront of software services. He will analyze the journey so far, and he will describe how Indian software companies can sustain their competitive advantage in a rapidly changing world.
Murthy based the philosophy behind his company’s corporate governance system on simple precepts. Among them:
The softest pillow is a clear conscience.
When in doubt, disclose.
Don't use corporate resources for personal benefit.
Put long-term interests ahead of short-term ones.
A small slice of a large pie is better than a large slice of a small pie. Share the profits with your employees.
Murthy certainly practices what he preaches, writing a check each month to cover personal calls made on the company phone and personal use of the photocopy machine.
In addition to his campus talk, Murthy will appear on WILL radio’s Focus 580 talk show at 10 a.m. on September 14.