Infosys Technologies's Chairman Narayan Murthy retired on Sunday, after 25 years at the helm of affairs at Infosys. He is definitely attained the status of an Icon in the hearts of many middle class Indians and ignited the Entrepreneurial fire in most of us. The history of Infosys will remain as one of the great examples of Indian Entrepreneurship. And his equally iconic wife Sudha Murthy's well known charity efforts affected lots of needy individuals.
Though I loved the way Murthy and Infosys grown in to a $2B in annual revenues, I always felt Infosys did not stand firm on its values and did not stand up to its reputation if not just hype, regards to community and infrastructure. And I don't understand quite well what they mean when they say some thing. Because they just don't match up.
- Narayan Murthy went on to say on television (CBS 60 Minutes) that Indian education system at large is the best and compared IITs with MITs in a way to glorify IITs and tried to convince that IITs are much better than MIT and likes. But I don't understand then why his daughter Akshata and son Roshan are both studying in the United States. Infact, many kids from elite business families are studying abroad.
- In Bangalore, Infosys is one of the leading corporates who utilized the infrastructure and used up in full all incentives provided by the Government. Yet, it jus kept on watching and often shouting in news papers about infrastructure when the problem grew to an alarming level. It did not help even when Infosys top management was given the key role to play in bulding infrastructure. Instead, Infosys threatened to go out of Bangalore over infrastructure issues.
- I always felt un-ethical for Infosys (and most other IT firms) to lobby with the Karnataka State government and buy 100s of acres of land from farmers at Government price of Rs.9 Lakhs which is absurdly lower than market price of Rs.40 Lakhs. They should have gone to farmers and should have paid a decent price if not total market price as farmers deserved. Story is quite same with all other IT firms in almost all states. Whether they contribute any thing back to the community and infrastructure is a big big question, but they have literally on a mission to "grab" land every where. And so far they have succeded in almost every where.
The iconic status could have done much better if he had just walked his talk.