History Of How Infosys Was Born


Infosys Technologies is among those few Indian companies that has changed the way of world looks for Indian IT sector. India is no longer the land of snake charmers and beggars. It is now perceived as an Economic giant, bursting with brilliant Software Engineers and many ambitious Entrepreneurs. It is a symbol of India’s Information Technology pride and glory. Infosys had many first of its name: It is the first Indian firm to be listed in NASDAQ; the First to Offer Stock Options to its Employees. The company crossed $1 Billion in revenues for the first time in 2004. Infosys is a foundation that inspires awe and respect globally. On July 2, Infosys completed its 25 Years of existence and accomplishments.

Infosys Mysore

Tough Days

“Murthy was always broken. His friends used to go out for dinner while he stayed and said, “I don’t have money with me, to pay for my share.” For three years, I maintained a book of Murthy’s debts to me. He never returned the money to me and finally I tore it up after our marriage. The amount was around Rs. 4,000.” – Sudha Murthy

Murthy always wanted to do something in his life, but he never had the money. Murthy got married to Sudha on February 10, 1978, while he was working with Patni Computers.

The Start of an Indian IT Era

The idea of creating Infosys was born on the morning in January 1981. On that blissful day, N R Narayana Murthy and his fellow software engineers sat in his apartment argued how they could start a company which writes program codes. Murthy had a very big dream but no money to fulfil it. So his wife Sudha gave him Rs. 10000 which she had been saving without his knowledge.

Actually it was not started in Bangalore, but in Pune where Infosys had set its first office. The house that Murthy and Subha bought with a loan became the first office of the company. As Murthy headed Infosys, Sudha took up a job of System Analyst with the Walchand Group of Industries to support her husband.

After six months, Infosys was registered as a private limited firm on July 2, 1981. Infosys’s Co-Founder N S Raghavan’s home in Matunga, North-central Mumbai, was their registered office. The company was then known as Infosys Consultants Private Limited.

In 1983, the company shifted to Bangalore where it got its first client, Data Basics Corporation of the United States. Infosys purchased its first mini-computer in 1983. It was a general 32-Bit MV8000. Next year Infosys switched from mini to main frame with a camp application for Data Basics Customer.

What was the Starting Capital of Infosys?

It was US $250. Murthy borrowed $250 from his wife to start the venture. The front room of Murthy’s house was Infosys’ first ever office, although their main office was Raghavan’s house.

Also read “Pros & Cons Of Starting Career With Infosys” and “Which Is The Best Infosys DC In India“.

Murthy and his six buddies who joined hands with him to launch Infosys?

  1. Nandan Nilekani
  2. N S Raghavan
  3. S Gopalakrishnan
  4. S D Shibulal
  5. K Dinesh
  6. Ashok Arora

Murthy is now retired from his position as Chief Executive Officer and Vishal Sikka is the current Chief Executive Officer And Managing Director of the company. Gopalakrishnan, Nilekani, Shibulal and Dinesh are all joint Directors of the firm. Raghavan had retired as Joint Managing Director in 2000. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Advisory Council of the N S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning in Indian Institute Of Management, Bangalore. Ashok Arora worked for Infosys till 1988 and left after selling his shares then unlisted company back to other promoters. He moved on to the United States where now he works as a consultant.

Infosys Founders & CEOs

Days Of Huge Struggle

When they started moving ahead with Infosys, The Founders – Murthy, Nilekani , Shibulal and others took a resolute decision that their wives will not be involved in the running of the company. So after Murthy, it was Nilekani and his wife Rohini who shifted to Bangalore but they had no house there to stay. So Nilekani stayed with Murthy at their Jayanagar house in Bangalore.

Rohini took care of Murthy’s son while Sudha helped writing software programme for Infosys. There was no luxury in their life, only struggle, day in and day out. They didn’t even afford a car, not even mere phones. The only thing that made them keep going was their passion to create something new and innovative stuffs. Despite of their struggles, The Murthys, The Nilekanis and their other partners took time out to go for picnics in Bangalore.

Also read “10 Reasons To Join Infosys” and “Vishal Sikka’s Words To Those Exiting Infoscions“.

The Crisis and How Infosys Began to Grow

The first few years of Infosys were not very smooth. The founders – Murthy, Nilekani, Dinesh, Shibulal and Gopalkrishnan – were indulged into writing codes because they wanted to make a slight impact on the American Market. So the company finally got its first joint venture partners as Kurt Salmon Associates. Gopalakrishnan, who had spent a lot of his time working in the United States, represented as Public face of the KSA-Infosys venture In America. But their Joint venture collapsed in 1989, leaving Infosys in lurch.

The collapse of KSA Joint Venture led Infosys to its first ever crisis. The company was on the verge of collapsing. One of the founder partners – Ashok Arora was dejected with the way the company was running, and decided to quit while the others had no idea about what to do. But Murthy had the courage of conviction. “If you want to leave, you can. But I’ll stick to it and get it done” Murthy told them. His other partners were – Nilekani, Gopalakrishnan, Shibulal, Dinesh and Raghavan – who decided to stay. Thus, they began to sow the seeds of Infosys’ enormous growth.

Also read “Things That You Don’t Know About Infosys” and “5 Changes In Infosys Work Culture After Vishal Sikka’s Entry“.

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