Infosys Celebrates 25th anniversary

N.R. Narayana Murthy

‘Infosys is... a child who has made all of us proud not only just by her achievements but as much by her humility, grace, value system and courtesy’ - N. R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman and Chief Mentor, Infosys

Excerpts from the speech made at the 25th anniversary celebrations of Infosys Technologies Limited in Mysore, India

It is a matter of great pride to see your child grow up, embrace a good value system, seek high aspirations, and achieve more than what you ever thought was possible. My young friends, Infosys is one such child; a child who has made all of us proud not only just by her achievements but as much by her humility, grace, value system and courtesy.

There is a set of people I want to thank on this occasion. First, of course is you, the Infoscions and the ex-Infoscions. You embraced high aspirations and a great value system and I am proud that you have proved that a plausible impossibility is better than a convincing possibility. Your dreams, your aspirations, and your hard work would have all come to naught if it were not for a set of extraordinary people with equally high aspirations, courage, dreams and perhaps even nobler objective than we had when we founded Infosys. In fact, they carried the hopes and dreams of millions of Indians and worked against all odds to make what seemed impossible, possible.

I am referring to our late Prime Minister Shri Narasimha Rao, the current Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Shri P. Chidambaram and Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia - the architects of the 1991 economic reforms. While Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurated our Mysore Global Education Center, I am glad we have the other two here today - PC and Montek, as they are affectionately called all over the country. A warm welcome to them and, of course, to our young, dynamic Chief Minister, Mr. Kumaraswamy.

Infosys is a shining example of the success of the economic reforms. It is a company that has created 55,000 plus high quality, high disposable income jobs, contributed more than $2 billion a year to our exports, raised the image of India by conducting business legally and ethically and, of course, by earning many laurels abroad as Nandan pointed out. Let the critics of India's economic reforms realize by this shining example that there is no alternative to creation of jobs to solve the problem of poverty. Let them understand by this noble example that there is no alternative to high aspirations, courage, confidence, and excellence in execution in competing with the global best to leave a better society for our children. Friends, by celebrating this 25th year of Infosys we are celebrating the success of these architects of economic reforms of India, and the courage, aspiration, enthusiasm, energy and hard work of every one of the Infoscions and ex-Infoscions. We are all celebrating the success of the wives and children of Infoscions whose sacrifices just render our own sacrifice into little, insignificant ones.

Friends, as I stand here, several images pass through my mind. Waiting at the entrance to the Reserve Bank of India month after month after month with my friend Mr. Anil Bhatkal - who is here today - I have, sometimes with my wife Sudha and a few times with little Akshata, my daughter, waited for 4 to 6 hours to obtain part of our own hard-earned dollars to support my six [co-] founders. [it] is an experience that I cannot forget and would not wish it for anybody else.

When, in 1992, the young librarian asked by the then Head of Education & Research Dr. Vishwanathan about a library book, referred to me the borrower as that gentleman who sits in the corner, it was then that I knew that our jobs had been done in demolishing hierarchy in the organization. When the first telephone was established at the house of P. Bala who was in-charge of our computer center and not in the house of the CEO, I knew we had created a customer-focused organization. When we spent 1.5 times our revenue in 1992 to build India's first campus, I knew we had started on a journey of worthy dreams. When we politely refused General Electric's unreasonable conditions in 1995 and walked away from their business when they formed 25% of our revenues and 8% of our profits, I knew we had built a courageous and principled organization. When Mr. Ramachandrappa, an attendant at Infosys told me recently and invited me to the fabulous house that he had built, I knew our experiment in democratization of wealth had achieved success and indeed had served a great purpose. When Infosys Foundation financed and fulfilled the dream of higher education of a bright but poor Hanumantappa belonging to a disadvantaged community in Karnataka, I knew our hearts were in the right place. When I stood up in front of 1500 investors and accepted that we had indeed erred in investing some of our free cash flows in the secondary market and lost it, I knew we had fulfilled our pledge to be transparent with our investors. Friends, I can go on and on and on, but what is important is to remember that we have bigger challenges and rewards ahead of us. I will not be there when all of this is achieved, but I know that we have a wonderful set of people led by Nandan, Kris and others. But we all have to remember one thing and that is aspirations, courage, principles, and innovation and relentless focus on execution will carry you all to that great success that you all want to achieve.

My fellow Infoscions, I have a tradition of ending my speech with positive news. This speech too is no exception. I would like to announce that the trustees of Infosys employees Welfare Trust, which is an independent [body], has decided and communicated to us that they will be distributing a part of the corpus of the Trust amount to Rs. 126 crores (that is Rs. 1.26 billion) to all of its beneficiaries, that is the employees of Infosys, to commemorate the silver jubilee celebrations of the company.

The trustees have also decided that each of the beneficiaries will get a certain amount depending on the tenure in the company. The exact details will be communicated by the trustees separately to all the beneficiaries.

Thank you very much.

Experience the making of Infosys

Seminal moments in the first 25 years - 1981-2006.

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In the Headlines

At 25, Infosys is India's most admired, best-known brand
USA Today, July 30, 2006

Infosys kicks up growth mode
USA Today, August 2, 2006

Bell rings for freedom of markets in India
The Times, August 1, 2006