Monday, June 17, 2024

Infosys’ four decades of excellence: Co-founders Nandan Nilekani, Kris Gopalkrishnan take a trip down memory lane

Indian IT major Infosys, which played a key role in the country’s software sector, has completed over forty years in the industry and is commemorating four decades of excellence. The Bengaluru-based firm is organising a two-day mega event on December 13 and 14 to mark its four decades.
Started by seven people – NR Narayana Murthy, Nandan NilekaniSenapathy GopalakrishnanSD Shibulal, K Dinesh, NS Raghavan and Ashok Arora, in 1981 with a capital of just Rs 10,000, Infosys has now grown into a Rs 6.65 lakh crore company.
In its journey of over 40 years, Infosys has expanded to over 50 countries and has over 3,45,000 employees. Co-founder Nandan Nilekani reminisced how the journey started and also recalled the challenges and successes of the IT major.

Nilekani, who is currently the chairman, has played various roles at Infosys. Speaking on the idea behind the creation of the company, Nilekani said that they wanted to create a professionals’ company, a company of people who had software background and expertise.
“Infosys was India’s first startup,” Nilekani said. The company was moving on to the next level when we imported our first mini-computer – the Data General MV/8000 – which was installed in Bengaluru, the Infosys co-founder recalled.
“I remember, we were very keen to get that machine into Bengaluru as soon as possible. I went to Bombay just to escort that computer down to Bengaluru,” the 67-year-old said.
1981 – the year that Infosys was born – turned out to be a seminal year in Nilekani’s life. In January of that year, he got married and 7 months later in July, he saw the birth of Infosys. “It was a big shift. At that time, my wife Rohini also believed that Infosys was going to work so she gave her full support.”
It was an age when I could take a risk but I think it was a great decision. It took a long time as it was only in 1993 that we were able to go public and really take off. But it was a journey that we thoroughly cherished and enjoyed, he remembered.
The fact that we are able to connect with so many people over the years makes Infosys very special, according to Nilekani.
Another Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalkrishnan spoke about how he became part of the company in 1981 and his 4-decade long journey in the firm. “Murthy asked me whether I would like to join him in a new business he was starting,” Gopalkrishnan said while sharing that he was young and a bachelor then, so he could take risks and became a part of the startup.
No company can become successful until it has employees who share the same values as its. Gopalkrishnan has opined that recruitment has to be a very carefully undertaken initiative. “You have to make sure that you recruit people who can fit into the culture of the organisation, who can deliver value, play the role that they are assigned to play so it is important to recruit the right people,” he said.
When we listed on NASDAQ in 1999, we were sort of confident that this is an entity that will survive, grow, the co-founder said.
Sudha Murthy’s contribution to Infosys
Founder Narayana Murthy’s wife Sudha Murthy also played a significant role in the creation of Infosys. In 1981, when Narayana and the others were setting up Infosys, they didn’t have the money to do so. However, it was Sudha who came to their rescue and gave Narayana Rs 10,000 to setup the firm.
“Well, what happened was my colleagues didn’t have any money at that time. We had to put in that Rs 10,000. We borrowed it from Sudha that particular day, and within a month or two, others chipped in with their amount,” Narayana Murthy had said in an interview.

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