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The Story of an Infinitely Successful Company- Infosys. How a 250 dollars startup became a 11 billion dollars company?

The Infosys logo
The Infosys logo (Picture credit: WikimediaCommons

Welcome to Youth Motivator. I would like to tell you the success story of Infosys.
Infosys was started with an investment of just 250 dollars, but now its revenue has reached 11.8 billion dollars.
The man behind this applaudable success of Infosys is N. R. Narayana Murthy.
Let us study his life story as he is of one of the greatest entrepreneurs ever.
This article is also the biography of Narayana Murthy.


Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy was born on 20th August 1946 in Sidlaghatta, Mysore, Karnataka.
He was born in a middle-class family; his father was a government school teacher.
Narayana Murthy was a very bright student since his childhood.
He even cracked the prestigious IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) entrance examination, but was unable to join IIT for his graduation because his family was not in a position to afford the IIT fees.
So, Narayana Murthy completed his graduation in Electrical engineering in the year 1967 from National Institute of Engineering located in Mysore.
As Narayana Murthy hailed from a very middle class family, he frequently experienced financial struggles.
So, he worked as a part-time tutor during his graduation days.
And in the year 1969, he post-graduated in Electrical engineering from IIT-Kanpur.

Starting his career in an IIM-

After completing post-graduation, Narayana Murthy was offered great jobs by many big companies like HMT (Hindustan Machine Tools Limited), ECIL (Electronics Corporation of India Limited), Telco but he rejected those offers and instead started his career as a chief systems programmer in the IIM (Indian Institute of Management) in Ahmedabad.
Here, Narayana Murthy received a monthly salary of just 800 rupees, but he learned many life lessons during his stint in the IIM -Ahmedabad.
Murthy describes this period as the golden period of his life.
He later resigned that job.

His first failure-

Narayana Murthy later started a company by name Softronics in 1975, but the company faced huge loses and was subsequently shut down.
He later joined Patni Computer Systems in Pune, Maharashtra.

The birth of Infosys-

Narayana Murthy later resigned from the Patni Computer Systems to start his own startup company along with his friends.
Fortunately, his wife Sudha Murthy also supported his decision.
So, after gaining a work-experience of a total of two years (in IIM and Patni Computer Systems), he decided to start Infosys along with his six friends.
Finally, on 2nd July 1981, Infosys Technologies Limited was co-founded by Narayana Murthy along with his six friends, namely Nandan Nilekani, Senapathy Gopalakrishnan, S. D. Shibulal, N. S. Raghavan, K.Dinesh, and Ashok Arora in Pune.
All these friends were software engineers in Patni Computer systems (PCS).

They wanted to utilise their coding skills and work experiences in the IT industry by establishing a software company.
Also, from the year 1975, the demand for the customized software solutions were soaring.

The starting struggles-

In the initial days they struggled a lot for the investments.
Apart from investments, the company also suffered from the faulty government policies.
At those times, the government created a hostile environment for the entrepreneurs.
It used to take a very long time and a tiresome procedure to register a company or to import any material or machinery.
And importing a computer would easily take a period of around three years.
Narayana Murthy had to wait for one long year for a telephone connection.
Despite many setbacks, he did not let despair occupy his mind but instead focused solely on realising his passion.
They did not have sufficient money to run Infosys, so Narayana Murthy was helped with a sum of 10,000 rupees by his wife, Sudha Murthy.
Those 10,000 rupees were the savings from the salary of Sudha Murthy.
She also worked as a system analyst to support the family.

Starting small-

A small room in the Narayana Murthy’s house was converted into an office.
Until the year 1983, Infosys didn’t have even a single computer.
The company was shifted in the year 1983 to the Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru.
As Infosys was a very new start-up, it didn’t receive any orders from any clients, so it joint-ventured with Kurt Salmon.

Struggling for the second time-

This joint venture was successful, until the year 1989, when it broke down.
This incident took Infosys to a very bad position, so even after eight years, Infosys was again subjected to its initial days struggles.
At this period of crisis, a co-founder of Infosys Ashok Arora left Infosys.
As at that time, Infosys was struggling financially, all the co-founders of the company tried very hard to save their funds by minimising their expenses to the maximum extent possible.
They used to stay in the cheapest hotels and travel by foot or by public transport.
They were very saddened to realise that all their college friends were well-settled but these people were still broke, even after eight long years.

Slowly but surely-

Thanks to their consistent and sincere efforts, Infosys started to grow slowly but surely.
Luckily liberalisation in the year 1991 reformed many defective government policies, due to which Infosys grew rapidly and from then, Infosys never turned back again.
In the year 1993, Infosys issued IPO (Initial public offering), but this IPO was undersubscribed.
Fortunately, Infosys was bailed out by Morgan Stanley, which brought 13 per cent stakes of Infosys.
At this time, Infosys reached revenue of 5 million dollars and the company had around 200 employees.

Reaping the fruits of the hard work-

In the year 1999, the company registered revenue of 100 million dollars and in 2004, it registered one billion dollars as revenue and the revenue rose to 10 billion dollars, by the year 2017.
As Infosys grew in size, its number of employees also multiplied, now Infosys employs 228,123 people.

The welfare of the workers-

Infosys also takes a great care in the welfare of their workers and it was the first Indian company to employ ESOP (Employee stock ownership plan) to its workers.
In ESOP, the shares of Infosys are gifted to its employees, by which many employees of Infosys became millionaires.

The global expansion-

Now, Infosys has expanded to more than 45 countries and has locations and development centres in several countries in USA, Australia, South America, South Africa, Europe, etc.
In India, Infosys is headquartered in Bangalore and its US headquarters is located at Fremont, California.
Infosys provides IT solutions to many reputable organisations in the world like United Nations Foundation, HSBC, IIT-Bangalore, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, etc.

Immune to the economic recession-

Even at the times of economic recession when many companies were laying off their employees, Infosys never stopped recruiting new talents.

The main pillar of success-

The main pillar in the success of Infosys is their business driven by values.
Because of the values, Infosys has one of the highest client retention rates; the majority of its revenue gets generated through its old clients.
Narayana Murthy organises seminars to his employees on various topics mainly focusing on values and other important things like how to behave with clients, how to build trust, etc.
Narayana Murthy was the CEO of Infosys for 21 long years starting from the inception of Infosys till the year 2002.
He was later succeeded by Nandan Nilekani.
Now, the current CEO of Infosys is Salil Parekh.
Narayana Murthy also offered his valuable services to Infosys as a chairman and a chief mentor till the year 2011.
And he also worked as the Chairman Emeritus from 2011 to May 2013.

His family-

Narayana Murthy is blessed with two children, a son Rohan Narayana Murthy and a daughter, Akshata Murthy.
Narayana Murthy is against nepotism, every one believed that his son would be made as the next CEO of Infosys, but Narayana Murthy said that his son will achieve success in his career based on his own talent.
Under the leadership of Narayana Murthy, Infosys reached great heights, thanks to his dedication; he made a 250 dollar start up to 11.8 billion company.

The first Indian company-

In the year 1999, Infosys created history by getting listed in NASDAQ, the second-largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalization.
Infosys is the first Indian company to get listed in NASDAQ.
It took just 18 years for Infosys to achieve this amazing feat.

Revving up the revenue-

In the year 1999, Infosys revenue was 100 million dollars and in 2002, the revenue touched 500 million dollars.
In 2004, Infosys touched one billion mark, in the year 2006, it was valued at two billion dollars and later its revenue grew to 9.5 billion dollars in the year 2016.
This explains the growth rate of Infosys.
Now, Infosys is the second biggest IT Company of India, only after TCS.

The most respected company-

In the year 2002, the Business World Survey listed Infosys as the India’s most respected company.


Narayana Murthy always longed to contribute to the society, so Infosys Foundation was started in the year 1996.
This foundation works for the development in several areas like education, health and also plays a pivotal role in the rural development.
To reform the Indian Education system, Narayana Murthy launched Infosys' Global Education Center (GEC) at its Mysore Campus.

This is one of the world's largest corporate universities, which is spread over a vast 337 acres of land.              
Sudha Murthy actively participates in the programs of Infosys Foundation.
This foundation helps by teaching technical skills to students and also provides meals to the poor students.
And this foundation also constructs infrastructure like roads, and provides electricity, etc. for the cause of rural development.
Narayana Murthy has also authored a book by name- A Better India: A Better World, in which he explains the problems faced by India in the present times and also suggests solutions to solve those problems.


For his contributions, he was awarded with many awards, like in the year 2000 he was awarded Padma Shri and in the year 2008, he was awarded with Padma Vibhushan.
Now, Infosys is a very big global player in the field of IT and this company has also played a very important role in the development of India.
So, the dreams will definitely get realised not by just dreaming and wishing but by working relentlessly towards the direction of the dreams.
So, we have observed how Narayana Murthy has realised his Infosys dream with the help of his friends.
His dream has not only made him and his friends happy but is also providing employment opportunities to the lakhs of people and is helping the society in a great way.

His wise words-

The first customer or client is very important to any company or startup and from day one a company must work on building its reputation.      
Once, Narayana Murthy said that the biggest obstacle to our development is not the obstacles in the outer world but our own thoughts.

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