N. R. Narayana Murthy

Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy (born 20 August 1946), commonly referred to as Narayana Murthy, is an Indian IT industrialist and the co-founder of Infosys, a multinational corporation providing business consulting, technology, engineering, and outsourcing services. Murthy studied electrical engineering at the National Institute of Engineering, University of Mysore, and MTech at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.

Before starting Infosys, Murthy worked with Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad as chief systems programmer and Patni Computer Systems in Pune (Maharashtra). He started Infosys in 1981 and served as its CEO from 1981 to 2002 and as chairman from 2002 to 2011. In 2011, he stepped down from the board and became chairman Emeritus. On 1 June 2013, Murthy was appointed as Additional Director and Executive Chairman of the board for a period of five years.

Murthy has been listed among the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time by Fortune magazine. He has been described as Father of Indian IT sector by Time magazine due to his contribution to outsourcing in India. Murthy has also been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan and  Padma Shri awards.

Early life and education

Narayana Murthy was born on 20 August 1946 in Sidlaghatta, Kolar District Karnataka. After completing his school education, he went to the National Institute of Engineering and graduated in 1967 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. In 1969 he received his master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur.


Murthy started his career at IIM Ahmedabad as chief systems programmer. There he worked on India’s first time-sharing computer system and designed and implemented a BASIC interpreter for Electronics Corporation of India Limited. He started a company named Softronics. When that company failed after about a year and a half, he joined Patni Computer Systems in Pune.

Murthy and six software professionals founded Infosys in 1981 with an initial capital injection of Rs 10,000, which was provided by his wife Sudha Murthy. Murthy served as the CEO of Infosys for 21 years from 1981 to 2002 and was succeeded by co-founder Nandan Nilekani. At Infosys he articulated, designed and implemented the Global Delivery Model for IT services outsourcing from India. He was chairman of the board from 2002 to 2006, after which he became Chairman of the board and Chief Mentor. In August 2011, he retired from the company, taking the title chairman Emeritus.

Murthy serves as an independent director on the corporate board of HSBC and has served as a director on the boards of DBS Bank, Unilever, ICICI and NDTV. He also serves as a member of the advisory boards and councils of several educational and philanthropic institutions, including Cornell University, INSEAD, ESSEC, Ford Foundation, the UN Foundation, the Indo-British Partnership, Asian Institute of Management, a trustee of the Infosys Prize, a trustee of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and as a trustee of the Rhodes Trust. He is also Chairman of the Governing board of Public Health Foundation of India. He serves on the Asia Pacific Advisory Board of British Telecommunications. In 2005 he co-chaired the World Economic Forum in Davos.

On 1 June 2013, Murthy returned to Infosys as Executive chairman and Additional Director. On 12 June 2014 it was announced that Murthy would step down as Executive chairman effective 14 June. He would continue as Non-Executive chairman till 10 October. On 11 October, Murthy will be designated as chairman Emeritus.

Murthy also serves on the strategic board which advises the national law firm, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, on strategic, policy and governance issues.

Personal life

His wife, Sudha Murthy née Kulkarni, a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from the B.V.Bhoomaraddi College of Engineering & Technology, Hubballi, stood first in her class and received a gold medal from the Chief Minister of Karnataka. Thereafter, she completed an M.E. in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Science, standing first in her class and receiving a gold medal from the Indian Institute of Engineers now an Indian social worker and author. She actively continues her philanthropic work through the Infosys Foundation. He has two children, a son Rohan Murty and a daughter Akshata Murthy. Rohan is a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows. On 1 June 2013, he joined Infosys as an executive assistant to his father. He left Infosys effective 14 June 2014. Akshata completed her MBA from Stanford Business School, and is married to Rishi Sunak a British Conservative MP .

Awards and honours

Year Name Awarding organization Ref.
2013 25 Greatest Global Indian Living Legends NDTV
2013 Sayaji Ratna Award Baroda Management Association, Vadodara
2013 Philanthropist of the Year The Asian Awards
2012 Hoover Medal American Society of Mechanical Engineers
2011 NDTV Indian of the Year’s Icon of India NDTV
2010 IEEE Honorary Membership Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
2009 Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
2008 Padma Vibhushan Government of India
2008 Officer of the Legion of Honor Government of France
2007 Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) Government of United Kingdom
2007 IEEE Ernst Weber Engineering Leadership Recognition Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
2003 Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Jury
2000 Padma Shri Government of India