Wednesday, February 21

“Only Wish I Had…”: Narayana Murthy Shares Regret Not Rewarding Employees Better

Edited by Hiba Anvar

Infosys founder Narayana Murthy during an exclusive interview with Economic Times, expressed his regret for not rewarding his early employees as much as the cofounders. He lamented over not being able to provide significant stock options to several key early supporters whose contributions were pivotal, equal, or even surpassing his own.

“There were several extremely smart early adopters of Infosys whom I could not award the kind of stock I gave to my co-founders. Their contribution was more or as much as mine,” he said.

The veteran engineer added that he should have thought about it ‘very carefully’. “The extraordinary people would also have benefitted,” the billionaire said.
However, he acknowledged that democracy has its limits. He said that the company would have done better if it had created an enlightened democracy.

Murthy’s remark came while attending an event celebrating his wife Sudha Murthy’s anniversary as well as book launch. Narayana Murthy also expressed his regret for not letting his wife formally join Infosys.

Sudha Murthy who has recently received the Padma Bhushan revealed that she initially felt disappointed for not being able to be part of the Infosys. But later she found her purpose in starting Infosys Foundation to engage in social work following the advice of her daughter Akshata Murthy. The Infosys was set up with a seed capital of Rs 10,000 given by Sudha Murthy to her spouse.

Infosys founded in July 1981 in Pune, now headquartered in Bengaluru was co-founded by seven engineers. Besides Murthy, they are Nandan Nilekani, Kris Gopalakrishnan, SD Shibulal, K Dinesh, NS Raghavan, and Ashok Arora.

Narayana Murthy also reminisced about the challenges they faced while establishing Infosys, with Sudha Murthy managing the household responsibilities while he handled the company’s operation.

He also praised the Karnataka State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Cooperation and the Karnataka State Finance Corporation for their swift loan facilitation back then.

In an exclusive interview with NDTV, when asked about his relationship with son-in-law Rishi Sunak, the Prime minister of the UK’s unexpected rise of Rishi Sunak, the businessman said, “As foreigners, we have this respect for not commenting on the affairs of another country. Therefore, we do not comment on those issues. We have very close, harmonious, and affectionate personal relations, but that’s where it stops”.