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Mr. Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy
Founding Member, Infosys Technologies.
Nationality: Indian
Born: August 20, 1946, in Karnataka, India
Education: University of Mysore, B.Tech, 1967; Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, M.Tech, 1969.
Career: Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India, 1969–1971, Chief Systems Programmer; SESA, Paris, 1972–1974, Systems Engineer; Systems Research Institute, Pune, India, 1975–1977, Project Leader; Patni Computer Systems, Mumbai, India, 1977–1981, Head-Software Group; Infosys Technologies, Bangalore, India, 1981–2002, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; 2002– 2006, Chairman and Chief Mentor.

Mohan Tanniru, Dean - School of Business Administration at the Oakland University is looking forward to welcoming Mr. Narayana Murthy the founder of Infosys Technologies Limited. In an exclusive chat with; Dr. Tanniru spoke about the upcoming event to honor Mr. Murthy with an honorary doctoral degree from Oakland University’s. Murthy will receive the honorary degree during its December 13 commencement ceremony.

A luncheon honoring Narayana Murthy is being cosponsored by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) and will be held at 12:00 noon on Friday, December 12 at the Troy Marriott. The cost for the luncheon is $40. Additional guests are $40 each. The luncheon is open to faculty, business people and the Indian community. With a busy schedule and numerous offers from universities worldwide Mr. Murthy has graciously agreed to attend the event on December 12th.

Mr. Narayana Murthy in his earlier interviews:
"If we want to sell capitalism to the people," Murthy explained to the New York Times, "we have to practice a lifestyle that does not seem unattainable. We want more and more people to become entrepreneurs. If the tea stall owner in a small village can say, 'Hey, these guys can do it; so can I,' and get his business into the next orbit, then our job is done" (December 16, 1999). He told the Ivey Business Journal, "Great leaders make people believe in themselves" (September/October 2001).

Dr. Tanniru explained that the University has bestowed the honor on highly accomplished leaders with a global vision and commitment to the community. On an additional note, the dean exclaimed that Mr. Murthy has consistently exhibited his desire to promote Infosys as a company that cares about its people and a socially responsible organization. He balanced profitability with compassion and has built a premier organization with about 100,000 employees. 

Here are some excerpts:

Technology has transformed communication but has made limited impact on health care especially in relation to patient treatment Technology has indeed helped develop tools and gadgets to help make better, quicker treatment decisions. Human diagnosis capabilities cannot be substituted. A GPS may ask you to make a left turn or right turn but people still think before taking a turn while driving. Technology is a great enabler but not the ultimate decision maker. The progress in IT alone will not be able to do that. There needs to be world-class manufacturing, world-class financial services, healthcare, education, etc. Only then can we make progress. IT alone cannot do that.

Can technology help combat terrorism?
Certainly there are a lot of opportunities for Indian software companies to help the Indian government tackle terrorism. Coordination and cooperation is necessary. Government and Academia is essential to formulate an action plan.

Tell us about Dr. Narayana Murthy and his normal day?
A normal day is quite abnormal for me. I travel approximately 20 – 23 days in a month. My day starts with a breakfast at 7 a.m. and ends with a review of the board meeting reports at 11 p.m. When I am not traveling I spend time at the Infosys office reviewing a number of strategic matters including education, group programs, software engineering advancement efforts, risk management etc. It is good not to be involved in the day-to-day activities as it helps me focus on strategic aspects of the business. I strive to bring new strategic ideas that could augment the business.

Q. With several activities, how do you find family time?
I speak to my wife frequently especially when I am at Infosys. Both my children live in the US. My daughter, a Stanford graduate lives in San Francisco while my son is doing his PhD at Harvard.

Q. What are your thoughts about the recent corporate bail-outs in America? Do you see this as a form of Socialism?
I believe that these are extraordinary times, normal rules and protocols may not apply. It is important to do what is good for workers and middle income groups. However, it has to be done without throwing out the principles of capitalism and cautious of “not-so-good” effects of socialism

Today’s CEO’s are bombarded with information. Information overload curtails effective decision-making and in some cases in making the wrong decisions.
It is important to simplify things. Internet has done a great job of making things easy for users. Simple applications will provide the inside information instead of providing information in a cryptic manner. Executives do come across a lot of data but I feel that they will quickly acquire the skills needed to absorb relevant information and make appropriate decisions.

You have received numerous invitations from various Universities. You chose to accept the invitation from Oakland University.
I believe that when somebody is showing affection it is absolutely essential to reciprocate with courtesy. I am grateful for the honor Oakland University has extended to me. I feel great being here today.

What is your personal five year goal?
I serve on numerous corporate boards, Universities, charitable foundations etc. My hope is to add significant value to these organizations by making a positive contribution.

Mohan Tanniru was recently appointed dean of Oakland University School of Business Administration. He first joined OU in 1997 as a professor in Management Information Systems (MIS). From 1997-2002, he was the director of its Applied Technology in Business Program and co-director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in information technology. During this time, he raised over $2.5 million for student scholarships, faculty support and research conferences.

N. R. Murthy, longtime leader of the software-development company Infosys Technologies, became one of India's, and the world's, most highly esteemed managers. Though a wealthy man and a prime mover in India's booming software-outsourcing industry, he continued to live modestly and practice "compassionate capitalism," a philosophy that used free-market systems to create a better life for society as a whole. Mr. Narayana Murthy has definitely come a long way from being a socialist student to a capitalist entrepreneur.

Even though Murthy became one of India's most successful entrepreneurs, he remained committed to what he called "compassionate capitalism," spreading wealth to employees and Indian society in general, not just senior executives. Infosys paid high wages for the local market and was the first Indian company to offer stock options to its employees. The company built a 42-acre campus in Bangalore with employee exercise and relaxation facilities and cafeterias that were partly subsidized by the corporation. As an admired global leader, highly respected business leader and as an Asian hero who has brought about revolutionary changes in Asia, Murthy has a long and varied list of accomplishments.

To name a few: The ET Businessperson of the Year Award [2000-2001], The Max Schmidheiny Award – 2001. Mr. Murthy has been featured in the Asiaweek Power 50 (June 2000) - a list of Asia's Most Powerful People, He has been named by Business Week as one of the Top Entrepreneurs of the Year 1999. He was chosen as the Business India's "Businessman of the Year 1999", the Indian corporate world's most coveted award. Business Week chose him as one of "The Stars of Asia" for three successive years, in 1998, 1999 and 2000. He has been awarded the JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award for 1996-97. He also received the Padma Shri from the Republic of Indiain the year 2000. Mr. Murthy has also been conferred with the Distinguished Alumni Award for the year 1998 by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, He is the Co-Chairman of the Indo-British Partnership, He is a member of the Asia Society's International Council and Board of Councilors of the University of Southern California School of Engineering. He is also on the Wharton Business School's Asian Executive Board.

About the event: Luncheon December 12, 2008 at Troy Marriott, Troy from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. Includes Panel on the Future of IS Leadership in a Global Economy - Panel members: Mr. N.R. Murthy (honoree), Mr. John Crary (VP-CIO, Lear), Mr. Fred Killeen (CTO, GM), Mr. Raj Vattikutti (Covansys); moderator, Mike Grieves (OU). Please visit for more information.

Some information about Oakland University
Oakland University business school partners with a number of companies in the SE Michigan area to provide top notch students. 

An exclusive.

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