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N.R. Narayana Murthy with Bill Gates on NDTV 'Changing India'

On December 7, 2005, the Indian television channel NDTV 24x7 broadcast an interview with Bill Gates, Chairman and Chief Software Architect of Microsoft Corporation, and N.R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman and Chief Mentor, Infosys Technologies on its 'NDTV - Changing India' series.

Anchor Prannoy Roy compared the similarities between the two leaders, their respective careers on the path to excellence and their contributions to the software industry and society.

Excerpts from N.R. Narayana Murthy's responses:

On the Infosys journey "At Infosys, our vision has been to become a globally respected corporation. Now we are well respected in India, but that still we are in the very early part of our marathon. We have to yet become one of the most respected companies in the United States, in Japan, in Germany, in Australia, in UK, etc. So, I think that's still a long marathon."

On becoming a talent powerhouse "I have always believed that leadership does not succeed in a vacuum, you need lot of good people to lead. You need people who are smarter than you, you need people who have the same level of passion or a higher level of passion, energy, aspiration."

On the challenges faced by an IT services company "The biggest challenge that a software services company like Infosys has is scalability. Scalability in quality and productivity, scalability in satisfying customers, scalability in attracting and retaining the best-quality employees, scalability in training people because in our business, 'learnability' is really the main component."

On the four concerns on an IT leader's mind "The biggest thing that I worry about is whether we are continuing to be open-minded to learn from other people. Second, whether we have created, or we continue to create, a meritocracy. an environment of fairness and justice. Third, whether we are embracing speed -- are we doing things faster today compared to yesterday, last year, etc? Fourth, innovation -- are we bringing better ideas to the table today compared to yesterday, last year, last month?"

On outsourcing "[On] the whole outsourcing issue, it is for us to work harder and convince corporations, people, decision-makers, law-makers that there is indeed value to the US in outsourcing. If there is an outcry, if there is dissatisfaction, if there are dissident voices, I look at it as our failure. So I keep telling all my colleagues that look we have to do a better job in convincing them [about] the merits of this, that's it. We have always taken that approach, because I tell all my colleagues that, look, the day you say market is wrong you are finished. At the end of the day market is right."
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Published with permission of NDTV 24X7

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