Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy, also known as N. R. Narayana Murthy, is a widely known Indian industrialist, software engineer and one of the seven founders of Infosys Technologies, a global consulting and IT services company based in India.
Narayana Murthy was born into a Kannada Madhva Brahmin family in Mysore on August 20, 1946. He graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from the National Institute of Engineering, University of Mysore in 1967 from the government school, and received his master`s degree from IIT Kanpur in 1969. His first position was at IIM Ahmedabad as chief systems programmer where he worked on a time-sharing system and designed and implemented a BASIC interpreter for ECIL (Electronics Corporation of India Limited).
After IIM Ahmedabad, Narayana Murthy joined Patni Computer Systems in Pune. Before moving to Mumbai, Murthy met his wife Sudha Murthy in Pune who during that time was an engineer working at Tata Engineering and Locomotive Co. Ltd. in Pune. In 1981, Narayana Murthy founded Infosys with six other software professionals. He served as president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies, India from 1992 to 1994. Narayana Murthy is the brother-in-law of serial entrepreneur Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande and the uncle of former NASSCOM Chairman and MphasiS chief Jerry Rao.
Narayana Murthy served the chair as the founder CEO of Infosys for 21 years, and was succeeded by co-founder Nandan Nilekani in March 2002. He is the chairman of the governing body of the International Institute of Information Technology - Bangalore, and has been the Chairman of the Governing Body of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. In addition, he is associated with a host of Indian companies like the Board of Directors of INSEAD, Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania`s Wharton School, Cornell University Board of Trustees, Business Advisory Council of Great Lakes Institute of Management - Chennai, Singapore Management University Board of Trustees and the Board of Advisors for the William F. Achtmeyer Center for Global Leadership at the Tuck School of Business. Narayana Murthy also sits on the Board of Governors of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), a graduate school of business that is located in the Philippines and is also the Chairman of the Board of Members of School of Management, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) located in Bangkok, Thailand. This renowned Indian entrepreneur is also the chairman of the Asia Business Council, an organization headquartered in Hong Kong.
Narayana Murthy is an eminent member of the Advisory Boards and Councils of various well-known universities like the Corporate Governance initiative at the Harvard Business School, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Yale University and the University of Tokyo`s President`s Council. Narayana Murthy serves as an independent director on the board of the DBS Bank of Singapore - the largest government-owned bank in Singapore. Being a director on the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India, he is the co-chairman of the Indo-British Partnership, as a member of the Prime Minister`s council on trade and industry, as a member of the Asia Advisory Board of British Telecommunications plc and as a member of the Board of NDTV, India. Narayana Murthy is also an independent director on the board of the European FMCG giantUnilever. He is an IT advisor to several Asian countries; also an Independent Director on the board of HSBC.
Narayana Murthy has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. In 1999, Business Week named Narayana Murthy one of the nine entrepreneurs of the year and he was also featured in the Business Week`s `The Stars of Asia` (for three successive years - 1998, 1999 and 2000). In 1998, the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, one of the foremost institutes of higher learning in India, awarded him the Distinguished Alumnus Award, and in 1996-97, he was awarded the JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award. In 2000, he was awarded the Padma Shri, a civilian award by the Government of India. Narayana Murthy was the first recipient of the Indo-French Forum Medal (in the year 2003), awarded by the Indo-French Forum, in recognition of his role in promoting Indo-French ties. He was voted the World Entrepreneur of the Year - 2003 by Ernst and Young. In 2001, Narayana Murthy was declared by TIME / CNN as one of the twenty-five, most influential global executives, a group selected for their lasting influence in creating new industries and reshaping markets. He was awarded the Max Schmidheiny Liberty 2001 prize (Switzerland), in recognition of his promotion of individual responsibility and liberty. Narayana Murthy was one of the two people honoured as Asia`s Businessmen of the Year for 2003 by Fortune magazine.
TIME magazine`s "Global Tech Influentials" list (August 2004) named him as one of the ten leaders who are helping shape the future of technology. Narayana Murthy is also honoured as the first recipient of the Indo-French Forum Medal (2003) that was awarded by the Indo-French Forum in recognition of his role in promoting Indo-French ties. In the following years, Narayana Murthy was showered with many more awards and honorary titles. In December 2005, Narayana Murthy was voted as the 7th most admired CEO/Chairman in the world in a global study conducted by Burson-Marsteller with the Economist Intelligence Unit. The Economist ranked him 8th among the top 15 most admired global leaders (2005). Narayana Murthy was ranked 28th among the world`s most-respected business leaders by the Financial Times (2005). He was recently awarded the Commander of the British Order (CBE) by the British government.
Narayana Murthy is currently the non-executive Chairman and Chief Mentor of Infosys. After stepping down as CEO of Infosys in 2002, he has broadened his scope of activities to social services as well as promoting India in the global market. His corporate and social vision has been appreciated globally and he is the recipient of several awards including Padma Vibushan (in 2008) - India`s second highest civilian award.