The Modest Billionaire

NARAYANA MURTHY: Son of a school teacher. A typical middle class background. Brilliant at academics. Introvert. Did MTech from IIT Kanpur. Got attracted to Computers in 1970. Traveled world over. Got exposed to communism, socialism & capitalism. Foreseen the IT revolution. Quit the job. His first company SOFTRONICS was not successful. Did a job for a brief stint. Started Infosys in 1981. Struggled for 10 years. Got the real break through in 1991 due to liberalization. Infosys got listed at BSE in 1993 & is the first Indian company to have got listed at NASDAQ which happened in 1999. Creator of many middle class millionaires. Owns $1.8 Billions but still maintains a modest lifestyle of Rs 20K per month. Popular as JRD Tata of Modern India.


1. He is a voracious reader & loves meeting people for thought provoking discussions.It is books that made him find his better half. Where ever he visits, he makes sure that he buys a couple of books which he continues till date. His personal library is with a huge collection.

2. He used to stand in a queue for lunch along with his employees. Unimaginably grounded & down to to earth.

3. He is so humble that many of his employees recollect himself holding the door for others to let go before himself.

4. He is so PASSIONATE ABOUT ORGANIZATION BUILDING that he persuaded all other co-founders against the decision to sell INFOSYS at one point of time.

5. He gives priority to CREDIBILITY over PROFITS.

6. He was rated as THE BEST INDIAN CEO for many years & also during his very brief second term which he had taken up post his retirement to steer Infosys out of crisis.

7. He goes any extra mile in making his clients extremely satisfied.

8. He says..”I turned to be an entrepreneur because I am a true patriot who seriously wanted to be the part of the solution. I believe that job creation is the root cause for making our India progress for which entrepreneurs are the pillars.”

9. ” Raise quickly to the occasion” is his call.

10. He says “ I always strive to improve the culture of performance around me.”

11. He recollects his father suggesting: “Cultivate simple & inexpensive habits. The best habits in life are inexpensive.”

12. Infosys got listed when it was with just 7 employees in all. All the co – founders were his junior colleagues when he was working at PCS in Mumbai.

13. His business ideology: “Doing business is about being with high level of integrity.I don’t know anyone who is a demon in office but an angel at home.”

14. His opinion about success: ” Do not equate success with money & power.”

15. His business innovation – 24 hr productivity model.


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