Fairness in every transaction is extremely important, says Narayan Murthy
Founder of Infosys and former CEO & Chairman, N R Narayan Murthy said that fairness to him in every transaction is extremely important and that he would want a stone on his grave that says 'This was a fair person'.
Murthy said this while speaking at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business on April 12 and said that he hoped his enduring legacy would be a commitment to basic human decency.
“Good governance is all about maximising shareholder value while ensuring fairness, transparency and accountability to all stakeholders,” Murthy said, adding that shared trust inside and outside the company gave Infosys “the enthusiasm to achieve the impossible.”
These comments come on the back of reports of Murthy along with other Infosys founders criticizing the Infosys' move to hike the salary of CEO Vishal Sikka and COO U B Pravin Rao.
The Infosys founders had even written to the board in January expressing their concerns over pay hike to Sikka, and the severance package offered to two senior executives.
In his public talk with Dean Scott Beardsley in Darden’s Abbott Auditorium, Murthy presented the story of growing Infosys from six people and a $1,000 pool of capital into a multinational giant at the forefront of an ever-changing sector as a smooth one defined by values and fairness.
The former CEO said a solid foundation with his supportive family, trusting colleagues and encouraging customers helped him remain positive about the company’s journey from inception to IT giant.
Murthy said every decision made by corporate leaders should first pass the basic filter of: “Will this decision of mine enhance respect for my company from society and will this decision of mine enhance respect for me from my employees?”
If such questions became fundamental to corporate decision-making, society would be happier and healthier, said Murthy, who at one point defined success as “the ability to put a smile on the face of people when I enter a room.”
Murthy credited his company’s explosive growth in part to an early ingrained value system that fostered “hope and trust” among its stakeholders and ultimately helped the company become one of India’s most-respected companies.
“Anyone who wants a position at Infosys has to demonstrate intellect and values,” Murthy said. “Nothing else.”
While automation presents opportunities for companies at the presumed expense of huge numbers of employees, Murthy said he believed new solutions would emerge for workers.
“I am a great believer in the power of the human mind,” Murthy said.
“What appears impossible today will be made a convincing possibility because of the human mind, and we have seen how the human mind has transformed this world from the Stone Age to where we are today. I don’t think that’s going to end,” he said.