Chilly winter morning in a software office in Bengaluru suburb, a discussion was going on regarding selling Infosys for an enticing amount of $1 Million (about ₹ 7.4 Crores).
9 years before, when Infosys was setup in 1981, they formed the company with a working capital of ₹10,000 with a major contribution from Mrs.Sudha Murthy by selling her gold from marriage. Once they started they realized with that amount, considering all costs & expenses, it would not last for more than a month. So they decided, they would lead a austere life, in-turn lay a solid foundation and much needed support to run Infosys. Their simple mantra was spend less than what you earned, that’s all.
Business then was very tough in India. To import a computer 💻, they took 3 long years, more than 20 trips to Delhi, the capital city, to obtain licence. Also, there was no telephone connection and it would take 2 years to do the same. To run a company during those times of slow bureaucracy and long-winded procedures,was a battle in itself. So they decided that other 6 co-founders barring Murthy to do the software development and work from US. That way, they would reduce the hassle and allow Murthy to hold the fort from India.
In 1990, the co-founders with the prospect of selling Infosys, with all the hard work & struggles that had to endure over the years, were hopeful to see the money now. There was a heated debate and everyone was giving their opinion and future plans of what’s in store for Infosys after selling it. Narayan Murthy, didn’t speak a single word and was listening in all the way and let his younger colleagues to have a say. So after 4 hours, when he got the opportunity to speak, he spoke about his humble beginnings, when he started off in a small apartment in Bombay. He believed then that it was his darkest hour before the dawn and then took a audacious decision to set up Infosys. Now that his colleagues were hell bent in selling Infosys, he offered to buyout all his colleagues without having a penny in his pocket. Everyone was stunned hearing this. Here was a man who could walk the talk, and never compromised any which way to sell his dreams. It paved the way to his colleagues to reconsider their decision.Patience paid off and in 1991, post liberalization, Infosys paved the way for showcasing Indian tech talent and software excellence to the world creating new possibilities.In 1999, Infosys became the first Indian company to be listed on NASDAQ, touching $100 Million 💼🎷
Today, Infosys has grown from a company of seven workers to a global corporation, an Indian behemoth,employing more than 2,14,000 people, with revenues of billions of dollars.🎯
A nice video to conclude – All the struggles that went in to build Infosys during difficult times, similar to the ones we see today to build a Indian unicorn 🦄, starting up from humble beginnings.
Signing off!! Until then Do good, Be Valued & Set an Example 🙂
-Harsha, Once an Infoscion, always an Infoscion 😇