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Doyen of Indian IT, Murthy to hang up boots at Infosys board

Thirty years after he and his six friends pooled in a few hundred dollars to set up the now iconic Infosys, N R Narayana Murthy is getting ready to leave the boardroom of the country's second largest software firm.

twitter-logo PTI   Bangalore     Last Updated: April 30, 2011  | 20:56 IST

Thirty years after he and his six friends pooled in a few hundred dollars to set up the now iconic Infosys, N R Narayana Murthy is getting ready to leave the boardroom of the country's second largest software firm.

The departure of Murthy - often referred to as the father of India's booming IT sector - as Chairman in August will mark the end of an era, that not only saw the stunning growth of Infosys but also sparked an outsourcing revolution world wide.

He would turn 65 in August. However, Murthy will become the company's chairman emeritus after he steps down from the current role.

Known to be a humble person with a global vision, Murthy remained at the helm of Infosys for two decades after its inception in 1981. His tenure witnessed the company transform itself into a $6 billion exporter and listing on the prestigious Nasdaq Stock Exchange in the US in 1999.

Serving as the company's Chairman and Chief Mentor since 2006, Murthy's retirement comes at a time when Infosys is wrestling with the need for a dynamic leadership to tide over tough business conditions, and increasingly competitive environment at home and abroad.

He was the Executive Chairman from 2002-2006.

Infosys can see active boardroom participation of Murthy till he officially hangs up his boots in August 2011 but many feel that this socialist visionary's charm and value for brand Infosys could never be replicated.

"Murthy articulated, designed and implemented the Global Delivery Model which has become the foundation for the huge success in IT services outsourcing from India," says the company's website.

In a testimony to Murthy's impact on the economy, Time magazine had named him among the Indians who are leading the country into its "next six decades".

"If any one person can be called the father of India's booming IT sector, it's N R Narayana Murthy, who with six other software engineers founded Infosys Technologies in 1981," Time had said.

Awarded with Padma Vibhushan, the country's second highest civilian honour, Murthy did his masters programme in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

Apart from juggling responsibilities at Infosys and at his venture capital initiative Catamaran Investment Private Ltd, Murthy also serves on the boards of various entities including HSBC, Ford Foundation, Cornell University and Wharton School.

Known to keep away from controversies, Murthy is synonymous with simple ways of life.

"Humble and self-effacing, Murthy is known to fly economy class and lives in a modest home in Bangalore - proof, say his fans, that you can combine business success with Gandhian humility," Time magazine had said.

Living a dream of creating a software behemoth, Murthy would surely be leaving the Infosys boardroom with the satisfied smile of a successful entrepreneur.

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