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Narayana Murthy's Candid Confession, The Untold Story of Infosys' Early Heroes

Beyond the Balance Sheet, Narayana Murthy's Call for Equitable Rewards

12 February 2024

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Kunal Tyagi

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  • Narayana Murthy regrets not adequately rewarding early employees of Infosys, acknowledging their pivotal contributions.

  • His transparency highlights the importance of equitable treatment and recognition within organizations.

  • Murthy's reflections delve into societal norms, work culture, and the interconnectedness of business and politics, offering valuable insights for aspiring leaders.

In a recent public appearance during the launch of a book, Narayana Murthy, the renowned founder of Infosys, expressed regret over not adequately rewarding many of the company's early employees. He candidly acknowledged their significant contributions to the success of Infosys and admitted that their role was as pivotal as that of the co-founders. Murthy's introspection sheds light on the often-overlooked aspect of recognizing and appreciating the efforts of all individuals involved in a venture's early stages.


Despite his regrets, Murthy's transparency regarding his decisions and their consequences is commendable. His acknowledgment serves as a reminder of the importance of equitable treatment and recognition within organizations, especially during their formative years. It prompts reflection on how such oversights can impact morale, loyalty, and overall organizational culture.


Murthy's reflections extend beyond the realm of corporate leadership, delving into societal norms and values. His openness about engaging in tasks like cleaning toilets to instill values of respect and equality in his children challenges prevalent stereotypes and social stigmas. By sharing these personal anecdotes, Murthy contributes to breaking down barriers and fostering a more inclusive society.


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Moreover, Murthy's remarks highlight broader issues concerning work culture and societal expectations. His advocacy for hard work, exemplified by his own commitment of over 85 to 90 hours per week during Infosys' early years, raises questions about work-life balance and the glorification of excessive work hours. It sparks conversations about the evolving nature of work and the need for more sustainable practices in today's fast-paced world.


Furthermore, Murthy's recognition of the pivotal role played by individuals such as former prime ministers and policymakers in shaping India's economic landscape underscores the interconnectedness of business, politics, and society. His appreciation for the contributions of others reflects humility and a nuanced understanding of collective progress.


In essence, Narayana Murthy's reflections offer valuable insights into leadership, accountability, and societal norms. His willingness to acknowledge mistakes and engage in self-reflection sets a powerful example for aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders. As we navigate the complexities of a rapidly changing world, Murthy's words serve as a reminder of the importance of integrity, inclusivity, and continuous learning in driving meaningful change.


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