Co-founder of Infosys, the second largest India-based IT company, Narayana Murthy has become one of the most recognisable figures in the country’s fast-growing outsourcing sector.

This was highlighted when he stepped down as chief executive in 2011, but was asked to return two years later when it became obvious that the company had lost its way without his leadership.

Described as an occasionally taciturn leader with an eye for detail, Murthy helped Infosys during his second stint in charge to rediscover some of the traits that helped India’s information technology sector flourish. Murthy handed over to his successor a year later.

Key achievements

  • With just $250 start-up capital, the company became a symbol of hope
  • Murthy and his co-founders came to represent something very unusual in India – entrepreneurs with ordinary backgrounds who created world-leading new industries through a mixture of education, innovation and determination
  • Turning around his company’s downturn in just a year.

Lessons for your store

  1. Make employees feel valued and respected – Murthy believed that intelligent people often had bigger egos and were less patient with others, but knew that was bad for a functional business.
  2. Run a clean business – former RBS India boss praised Murthy for his honest and transparent business practices.
  3. Be an inspiration to others – Murthy’s example gave other middle-class entrepreneurs confidence to set up small businesses.