N. R. Narayana Murthy
Murthy in 2014
Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy

(1946-08-20) 20 August 1946 (age 77)[1]
Alma materNational institute of Engineering, Mysore (BE)
IIT Kanpur (MTech)
Known forFounder and Chairman Emeritus of Infosys[2]
Board member ofUnited Nations Foundation[3]
Ford Foundation[4]
SpouseSudha Murthy
ChildrenAkshata Murthy
Rohan Murthy
RelativesRishi Sunak (son-in-law)
Shrinivas Kulkarni (brother-in-law)
Gururaj Deshpande (brother-in-law)

Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy (born 20 August 1946) is an Indian billionaire businessman. He is one of the seven co-founders of Infosys,[5] and has previously served as the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), president, and chief mentor[6] of the company before retiring and taking the title chairman emeritus.[7][8][9] As of April 2023, his net worth was estimated to be $4.1 billion, making him the 711th richest person in the world according to Forbes.[10]

Murthy was born and raised in Shidlaghatta, Karnataka. Murthy first worked at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, as chief systems programmer, and Patni Computer Systems in Pune, Maharashtra. He founded 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.[11][12]

Murthy has been listed among the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time by Fortune magazine.[13] He has been described as the "father of the Indian IT sector" by Time magazine and CNBC for his contribution to outsourcing in India.[14][15] In 2005, he co-chaired the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.[16] Murthy has been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan[17] and Padma Shri awards.[18]

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[19] into a middle-class Hindu family.[20] After completing his school education, he went to the National Institute of Engineering and graduated in 1967 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. In 1969 he received his master's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.[21][22]

In 2007, Murthy received an honorary degree from Lancaster University.[23]


Murthy first worked as a research associate under a faculty at IIM Ahmedabad and then later as the chief systems programmer.[24] There he worked on India's first time-sharing computer system[22] and designed and implemented a BASIC interpreter for Electronics Corporation of India Limited.[25] He started a company named Softronics. When that company failed after about a year and a half, he joined Patni Computer Systems in Pune.[26]

Murthy mentions that being arrested and expelled for no good reason during the communist era 1974 in a border town near the Yugoslav-Bulgarian border, turned him into a "compassionate capitalist" from a "confused leftist/communist". In 1981 he, with six software professionals, founded Infosys[27][28][29] with an initial capital investment of Rs 10,000, which was provided by his wife Sudha Murty.[30] Murthy was the CEO of Infosys for 21 years from 1981 to 2002[28] and was succeeded by co-founder Nandan Nilekani.[30] At Infosys he articulated, designed and implemented a global delivery model for IT services outsourcing from India.[31] He was the chairman of the board from 2002 to 2006, after which he also became the chief mentor.[30][32] In August 2011, he retired from the company, taking the title chairman emeritus.[8][9]

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.[10][33] He is also a member of the advisory boards and councils of several educational and philanthropic institutions,[10][33] 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.[34] He is also the Chairman of the Governing board of Public Health Foundation of India.[35] He is on the Asia Pacific advisory board of British Telecommunications.[33][36]

In June 2013, Murthy returned to Infosys as executive chairman and a director.[37] In June 2014, he stood down as executive chairman, was non-executive chairman until October, when he became chairman emeritus.[38]

Murthy is also on the strategic board which advises the national law firm, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, on strategic, policy and governance issues.[39] He is a member of IESE's International Advisory Board (IAB).[40]

In 2016, Murthy spoke with Harvard Business Review Ascend[41] on the subject of "How To Be a Better Manager".[42]

In 2017, Murthy raised concerns over alleged corporate governance lapses at Infosys, however the company went on to deny these claims.[43]

Personal life

Murty's wife Sudha is an educator, author, and philanthropist who has served as the chairperson of the non-profit Infosys Foundation.[44] They have two children together: a son, Rohan, and a daughter, Akshata.[45] From June 2013 to June 2014, Rohan joined Infosys as an executive assistant to his father.[46][38] In 2009, Akshata married British-Indian Conservative politician Rishi Sunak, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2022 to 2024.[47]

Awards and honours

President Pratibha Patil presenting the Padma Vibhushan to N. R. Narayana Murthy, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in 2008
Year Name Awarding organization Ref.
2000 Padma Shri Government of India [18]
2002 IET Honorary Fellow Institution of Engineering and Technology [48]
2003 Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Jury [49]
2007 IEEE Ernst Weber Engineering Leadership Recognition Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [50]
2007 Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) Government of United Kingdom [51]
2007 Honorary Degree Lancaster University [52]
2008 Officer of the Legion of Honour Government of France [53]
2008 Padma Vibhushan Government of India [54]
2009 Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars [55]
2009 Doctorate of Science (Honoris Causa) Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University [1]
2010 IEEE Honorary Membership Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [56]
2011 NDTV Indian of the Year's Icon of India NDTV [57]
2012 Hoover Medal American Society of Mechanical Engineers [58]
2013 Philanthropist of the Year The Asian Awards [59]
2013 Sayaji Ratna Award Baroda Management Association, Vadodara [60]
2013 25 Greatest Global Indian Living Legends NDTV [61][62][63]
2014 CIF Global Indian Award Canada India Foundation [64]
2022 Kempegowda Award Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) [65]



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Further reading