NR Narayana Murthy, the founder of Infosys, is one of India's most celebrated entrepreneurs. Indian IT sector has been benefitted by contributions of many stalwarts but clearly, Murthy, 72, remains a hot favourite among the tech professionals. According to Forbes, Murthy is estimated to be worth $2.3 billion.
In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Murthy said a successful entrepreneur has to demonstrate austerity, strategic intentions, leadership example and should have the ability to put together a team that has complementary strengths.
"Almost every one of the investments that we have made, we have based it on the value system of the entrepreneurs," Murthy said.Murthy, who served Infosys for around 21 years, said he supports entrepreneurs who are from an early stage such as angel funding, series A etc...
The primary ingredients that Murthy look for in an entrepreneur are the following:
According to Murthy, if entrepreneurs conducted themselves with an admirable level of good governance, then customers will like them, there will be repeat business, good employees will join them, good investors will invest more and more, the government will look at them with sympathy and most importantly, if they earn the goodwill of the society, then every one of these constituents will definitely be kind to them.
On corporate governance, Murthy said it is all about maximising shareholder value while ensuring fairness, transparency and accountability to customers, employees, vendors, government and society.
"Therefore, corporate governance principles will have to be followed right from the beginning... Nobody says you become a well-established company and then follow corporate governance, it is like saying you finish your degree, you start your job and then you start your values, so that doesn't happen," Murthy said.
On problems facing by angel tax issue, Murthy said senior level bureaucrats and politicians are all sympathetic to startups.
"The problem is really not at that level. They are well-intentioned, they want India to become stronger, and they are all very enthusiastic," he added. "However, what happens is, we are an oral culture... We do not believe in writing our rules and regulations in a way that there are no doubt that there are no possibilities of misinterpretation. Therefore, unfortunately, at the lower level where the standard of English and perhaps in some cases standard of Hindi also is very poor, they tend to misinterpret this."
Talking on loss-making IPOs of startup in the market, Murthy said he don't understand the logic behind it.
"Our view was that we would go public in 10 years. We founded the company in 1981 and we wanted to go public in 1991 and finally, we went public in 1993. However, our view was very clear. We have to have a very clear five-year plan where the revenue will grow at better than average industry growth rates, where our profitability will be better than the average industry profitability rate and that is the time for us to go public," Murthy added.
First Published: IST