A few well-known quotes:
I have always said that the real power of money is the power to give it away. - Narayan Murthy
I come from a religious family where education is important, money is not; charity is important, holding is not... - Sudha Murthy
I take pleasure in giving. I feel that I have a reasonably good amount of money for all of which I don't have much use. So I thought I should share it with my poorer countrymen . - Sudha Murthy, wife of Infosys' Narayana Murthy
And then JRD turned almost a soothsayer to say, 'If you make lots of money you must give it back to society as you have received so much love from it.' - Sudha Murthy
I am trustee of this money and not the owner. I always thought this money belongs to someone else. The money goes to someone else. - Sudha Murthy
Narayana Murthy set up his own company with $250, with a bunch of friends from office. The start-up went on become one of the largest (not the largest - that slot goes to TCS) IT service companies in India. Its name has spread far and wide. Narayana Murthy and Infosys have won bagfuls of awards for performance. Infosys has fared well on the stock markets too, with rags to-riches-stories of Infosys drivers earning lakhs courtesy stock options. All in all, it's a glory story. Infosys, the shining pinnacle of Indian corporate excellence. No one disputes any of this.
With success comes hubris. This seems to have hit Narayana Murthy too. One tends to believe that I am successful, so I must be right. Whatever I think, say and do must be right. Because if I was wrong, I couldn't be successful, my company couldn't be successful. So I am right. Since I am right, I have a right to lecture the world on what is right. So I write, even if it is trite.
NEEDED, A VALUE SYSTEM WHERE PEOPLE ACCEPT MODEST SACRIFICES FOR COMMON GOOD
As it is said in the Vedas: Man can live individually, but can survive only
collectively. Hence, our challenge is to form a progressive community by
balancing the interests of the individual and that of the society. To meet
this we need to develop a value system where people accept modest
sacrifices for the common good.
A value system is the protocol for behaviour that enhances the trust,
confidence and commitment of members of the community. It goes beyond the
domain of legality - It is about decent and desirable behaviour.
He is an Indian businessman who gets excited about how capitalism can help the world's poor, but it wasn't always so. As a young man, Narayana Murthy was a firebrand socialist and travelled to France, where he canvassed for François Mitterand, the late French president.
But along the way, Murthy became a convert to free enterprise, so with six chums and $250 he set up a software and information technology company, operating out of the bedroom of his modest house near Bombay.
Today, that company, Infosys, is one of India's biggest exporters, employing 46,000 people and with turnover estimated to top $2 billion (£1.2bn) in 2005. The company is listed on both the Mumbai stock exchange and New York's Nasdaq, where it is valued at $20bn. But after 25 years building up Infosys into a global force, Murthy, who is sometimes referred to as the Indian Bill Gates, will step down next spring, when he will be 60.
THEY are rich, have a good sense of humour and come across as down to earth. Even after 30 years of making it big in the global IT scene, both Mr Bill Gates, Chairman and Chief Software Architect of Microsoft Corporation, and Mr N. R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman & Chief Mentor of Infosys Technologies, are still chasing a dream — to change the way the world is today.
Be it the motivation factor or the defining moment in their lives — be it admitting to having split personality or just the way events have unfolded in their lives, the striking similarities between the two IT honchos were there for all to see and hear on Wednesday at an event organised by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).
"There are days when I attend a meeting in the morning, discussing how to make more money and in the afternoon, I would be sitting in another meeting to give away the money that I made," confessed Mr Gates when asked about his split personality. Last year, Microsoft donated more than $47 million in cash and $363 million in software to non-profit organisations throughout the world. For Mr Murthy, the power of money is to give it away. "Mr Gates is from a highly developed country, while I am from a poor country and therefore, it is easier for me to get a split personality. I don't have to go too far," said Mr Murthy. The Infosys Foundation is carrying out projects in the areas of healthcare, education and rural upliftment.