Narayana Murthy and Infosys


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Case Details:

Case Code : LDEN003
Case Length : 8 Pages
Period : 1981-2001
Pub Date : 2002
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Infosys
Industry : Software
Countries : India

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

Narayana Murthy obtained his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Mysore in 1967 and his Master's degree in Technology from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1969. He started his career as head of the computer centre at IIM, Ahmedabad.

In 1972, he went to Paris where he was part of the team that designed a 400-terminal, real-time operating system for handling air cargo for Charles De Gaulle airport. Narayana Murthy was a left-wing activist and mingled with French communists during his stay in Paris but his outlook changed while traveling around Europe. He believed that the only way to pull India out of poverty was to create more jobs, by setting up new companies.

In 1975, he returned to India and joined Systems Research Institute, Pune,(Maharashtra). He then headed Patni Computer Systems Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, (Maharashtra) before founding Infosys in 1981, along with six other professionals. 

The Strategist

From the beginning, Narayana Murthy focused on the world's most challenging market - the US. He had two reasons for this. First, there was no market for software in India at the time. He believed that Indian software companies should export products in which they had a competitive advantage.

In 1987, Infosys entered into a joint venture with Kurt Salmon Associates (KSA), a leading global management consultancy firm. KSA-Infosys was the first Indo-American joint venture in the US.

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