‘We became the first Indian company to be listed on…’: Narayana Murthy on his proudest moment

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NR Narayana Murthy, a distinguished leader in India’s Information Technology (IT) sector, is well-known for founding Infosys in 1981 and for his role as the company’s CEO until 2002. 

The software behemoth, during its 43-year journey, has received numerous national and international accolades for its innovative work in the IT industry.

Murthy, alongside prominent figures such as Nandan Nilekani and Kris Gopalakrishnan, played a critical role in the company’s growth, ensuring Infosys remains one of the country’s top IT firms today. Among all his achievements, Murthy takes the most pride in Infosys becoming the first Indian company to be listed on Nasdaq.

Speaking at the India Today Conclave 2024, Murthy recalled sitting under bright lights on Nasdaq’s high stool when Infosys made history. He conveyed that this unprecedented feat by an Indian company was his proudest moment.

“When I sat in front of those scorching lights on a high stool in Nasdaq when we became the first Indian company to be listed on Nasdaq. I think that was, in some sense, we were doing something that had not been done at all by an Indian company,” Murthy said at the India Today Conclave 2024 on Friday.

Asked about any regrets, Murthy expressed that the firm might have missed out on some daring initiatives due to its operation as a “true democracy”. While seeing this lack of bold action as a possible limitation on the company’s growth, he does not necessarily see it as a regret.

“I don’t know if I have any regrets, because right from day one, we operated as an enlightened democracy. There were certain highly daring things that we didn’t do. We could have done them if we didn’t operate like a true democracy. So to some extent, maybe our growth was somewhat less than what we could have achieved. It’s not a regret, but it’s one,” he said.

Infosys was listed on Nasdaq in March 1999. Murthy, at that time, said the listing would attract the best talent and provide a sturdy platform for future acquisitions.

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