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N. R. Narayana Murthy

Narayana Murthy CIF (cropped).JPG
Narayana Murthy in 2014
Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy

(1946-08-21) 21 August 1946 (age 77)
Alma mater National Institute of Engineering
IIT Kanpur
Known for Founder and Chairman emeritus, Infosys
Board member of United Nations Foundation
Ford Foundation
Spouse(s) Sudha Murty
Children Akshata Murty
Rohan Murty
Relatives Rishi Sunak (son-in-law)
Awards Padma Vibhushan (2008)
Legion of Honour (2008)
Padma Shri (2000)

Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy CBE LH (born 21 August 1946) is an Indian billionaire businessman. He is the founder of Infosys, and has been the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), president, and chief mentor of the company before retiring and taking the title chairman emeritus. As of October 2022, his net worth was estimated to be $4.5 billion, making him the 654th richest person in the world in 2022 according to Forbes.

Murthy was born and raised in Shidlaghatta, Karnataka. He graduated from the National Institute of Engineering, University of Mysore with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.

Before starting Infosys, Murthy worked at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad as chief systems programmer, and Patni Computer Systems in Pune, Maharashtra. He started Infosys in 1981 and was the CEO from 1981 to 2002, as well as the chairman from 2002 to 2011. In 2011, he stepped down from the board and became the chairman emeritus. In June 2013, Murthy was appointed as the executive chairman 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 the "father of the Indian IT sector" by Time magazine and CNBC for his contribution to outsourcing in India. In 2005, he co-chaired the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Murthy has been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan and Padma Shri awards.

Early life and education

N. R. Narayana Murthy was born on 20 August 1946 in Sidlaghatta, a city in India's south-western state of Karnataka into a middle-class Kannada Madhwa Brahmin family. 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 Kanpur.


Russian President during a visit to the Infosys company
Murthy (far left) with Vladimir Putin in 2004

Murthy first worked as a research associate under a faculty at IIM Ahmedabad and then later as the 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 mentions that being arrested and expelled for no good reason during the communist era 1974 in a border town between the Yugoslav-Bulgarian border, turned him into a "compassionate capitalist" from a "confused leftist/communist", leading him to create Infosys. Murthy and his six software professionals founded Infosys in 1981 with an initial capital investment of Rs 10,000, which was provided by his wife Sudha Murthy. Murthy was 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 a global delivery model for IT services outsourcing from India. He was the chairman of the board from 2002 to 2006, after which he also became the chief mentor. In August 2011, he retired from the company, taking the title chairman emeritus.

The Founder, Infosys, Shri N.R. Narayana Murthy calling on the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on December 05, 2014
Murthy with Narendra Modi in 2014

Murthy is an independent director on the corporate board of HSBC and has been a director on the boards of DBS Bank, Unilever, ICICI and NDTV. He is also 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 the Chairman of the Governing board of Public Health Foundation of India. He is on the Asia Pacific advisory board of British Telecommunications.

In June 2013, Murthy returned to Infosys as executive chairman and a director. In June 2014, he stood down as executive chairman, was non-executive chairman until October, when he became chairman emeritus.

Murthy is also on the strategic board which advises the national law firm, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, on strategic, policy and governance issues. He is a member of IESE's International Advisory Board (IAB).

In 2016, Murthy spoke with Harvard Business Review Ascend on the subject of "How To Be a Better Manager".

In 2017, Murthy raised concerns over alleged corporate governance lapses at Infosys, however the company went on to deny these claims.

Personal life

His wife, Sudha Murthy, is a businesswoman, educator, author and the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation.

Murthy has two children, a son, Rohan Murty, and a daughter, Akshata Murty. In June 2013, Rohan joined Infosys as an executive assistant to his father. He left Infosys in June 2014. In 2009, Akshata married Rishi Sunak, who later became MP for Richmond, Yorkshire, and then Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Awards and honours

The President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil presenting the Padma Vibhushan to Shri N.R. Narayana Murthy, at an Investiture-I Ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on May 05, 2008
President Pratibha Patil presenting the Padma Vibhushan to N. R. Narayana Murthy, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in 2008
Year Name Awarding organization Ref.
2014 CIF Global Indian Award Canada India Foundation
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 Honour Government of France
2007 Honorary 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
2002 IET Honorary Fellow Institution of Engineering and Technology
2000 Padma Shri Government of India


  • A Better India: A Better World, Penguin Books, 2009
  • A Clear Blue Sky: Stories and Poems on Conflict and Hope, Puffin Books India, 2017
  • The Wit and Wisdom of Narayana Murthy, Hay House, 2016
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