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When Infosys's value system got shaky in 2014, and Narayana Murthy raised his voice

The Infy co-founder thinks it is important to voice anguish, anxiety and disappointment.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 19, 2019, 11.38 AM IST
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Narayana Murthy​ said that fairness, transparency, accountability​are the core value of Infosys leadership.

Narayana Murthy said that fairness, transparency, accountabilityare the core value of Infosys leadership.

N R Narayana Murthy takes the value system of his company (built over 33 strong years) very seriously. When he was asked about how he objectively criticises certain aspects of an organisation he has built, the Infosys co-founder was quick to cite an example.

At a Leadership Summit at St Xavier’s College in Mumbai, the 72-year-old big boss stressed that he would fail in his duty singularly if he doesn't stand up against the erosion of Infy's value system.

Also read: Narayana Murthy credits Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram for India's economic reform & tech boom

Excerpts from his speech:

"First of all, there is not a single word that I have spoken in public about the business strategy or actions of the executive. Not one. However, when it is a question of the value system we have built for over 33 strong years, making huge sacrifices… when you see that value system being thrown in the dustbin, then automatically the leaders in our country have to stand up and express their anguish and disappointment. Otherwise, we would allow those institutions to decay.

"Let me give you some data points for what happened. During 2014, over a base salary of Rs 35 crore per year, the CEO was given a 55 per cent increase; the COO 30 per cent increase and no middle-level fellows were given salary increase. Sadly, the security guards in various campuses were told to work an extra day. I got a mail from a guard in Mangaluru who told me they were asked to work on Saturday without any increase in salary or overtime. I think that is a serious violation of values. Therefore, if someone like me, who built the company from scratch with six junior colleagues, if I do not stand up for the erosion of the value system, then I would have failed in my duty singularly.

"When a core value of Infosys leadership [fairness, transparency, accountability] are thrown to the dust, then you must stand up and voice your anguish, your anxiety, your disappointment. That’s why this country is in the state it is. No one wants to displease anyone else by saying this is wrong. If you look at what is happening in different parts of the country today, people should stand up and say this is not the kind of country that our forefathers fought to get freedom for. Nobody is doing it. At least in the case of Infosys, as the founder of the company, it was my responsibility and duty to stand up for those values."

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Speaker Of The Evening

8 Aug, 2019
The Lalit Doshi Memorial Lecture (LDML), instituted in the name of the eponymous former civil servant, has been hosted in Mumbai annually since 1995. On Monday, August 5, Uday Kotak became the 25th speaker to deliver it. The LDML speaker club is an illustrious one (even though the absence of any female speakers in the list is jarring). Here’s a look at what past speakers have spoken about in the address:
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