Narayana Murthy believes in the importance of time and leading by example – so much so that for years, the co-founder of software giant Infosys would reach his office every morning at 6.20 am and work till 8 or 9 pm into the night. Murthy, 76, spoke to Moneycontrol about the time he devoted to building Infosys and how it came at the cost of spending quality time with his two children.
When the interviewer referred to “legendary stories” about how Narayana Murthy would reach the Infosys campus at 7 am, he gently interjected with a correction. “6.20 am,” said Narayana Murthy.
He said that reaching the Infosys campus early in the morning was a routine he followed till the time he retired in 2011.
Murthy has earlier said that his punctuality “sent an indelible message to youngsters about reaching office on time.”
During the interview, he also agreed that building Infosys required sacrifice, and the most important thing he had to sacrifice was time with his two children – Rohan and Akshata.
He credits his wife of 44 years, Sudha Murty, for raising their children.
“I think entrepreneurship is about daring. It's about courage. It's about sacrifice. It's about deferred gratification,” said Narayana Murthy. “The real losers in some sense are our children, both Akshata and Rohan. The reality is that I couldn't spend any time with them. They were looked after entirely by Sudha.
“All their credentials, all their accomplishments, their PhD, their Stanford education, everything is due to her,” added Murthy.
Narayana Murthy started Infosys in 1981 with a loan of Rs 10,000 from his wife. The software giant today has a market capitalisation of around $80 billion and employs over 3.35 lakh employees.