May 24, 2024 | 10:30 GMT+7

‘Indian Bill Gates’ shares secrets to creating a successful business

Thu Hoàng -

Entrepreneurs are people who seek future opportunities to realize their own dreams, and rather than genetics or the influence of family members they rely on their own desire to find these opportunities, Indian billionaire Narayana Murthy told an event in Hanoi on May 20.

Billionaire Narayana Murthy (left) during his dialogue with Mr. Truong Gia Binh, Chairman of FPT group.
Billionaire Narayana Murthy (left) during his dialogue with Mr. Truong Gia Binh, Chairman of FPT group.

Talking to FPT Chairman Dr. Truong Gia Binh during an event that attracted the participation of various business leaders and experts on May 20 in Hanoi, Indian billionaire Narayana Murthy, founder of tech giant Infosys, recalled that during his university years there were many students who were smarter than him but not all of them became entrepreneurs.

During the dialogue, there were many instances in which the Infosys founder mentioned the “entrepreneurial spirit”, explaining that this stems from the aspiration, ambition, and curiosity that reside within every person.

Entrepreneurs are people who seek future opportunities to realize their own dreams. Instead of genetics or the influence of family members, these people rely on their own desire to find these opportunities.

“Many family-run businesses have heirs who can lead the company to success, but many also drive the business to bankruptcy,” he said.

He added that entrepreneurs are those who create businesses, elevate ambitions, and bring a positive impact to those around them. The success of their business benefits both the entrepreneur and society as a whole.

“It is one’s ambition, aspiration, and surrounding environment that create one’s entrepreneurial spirit,” he believes. “You have to make sacrifices and always be willing to learn new things. That’s the entrepreneurial spirit.”

Entrepreneurs are the first dreamers

The Indian businessman said that entrepreneurs are the first dreamers, who can turn an idea into a business and create jobs. Most entrepreneurs who have achieved success had to experience hardship in their past.

“If I dream of the impossible and dared to head to the future from an incredible idea, why can’t I succeed? That’s the entrepreneurial spirit,” he added.

Mr. Murthy grew up with eight siblings in a two-bedroom home in India. Having lived and worked in France and Eastern Europe, during which time he said there were “unpleasant experiences,” he realized that to address poverty in India it would be essential to create jobs, something that only businesses and entrepreneurs can achieve.

“I wanted to experiment, so I decided to return to India,” Mr. Murthy said. However, he failed with his first business venture from not having fully assessed market demand.

By the 1980s, he once again saw business opportunities in the US, as demand for software services were on the rise, especially with the popularization of computers. Taking advantage of this opportunity, he started another company. He also made a unique decision, by distributing 77 per cent of company shares to subordinates, including programmers and interns.

“Money was not my ideal in life back then,” he told those at the event. “I wanted to prove how crucial successful business operations can be in creating a significant amount of jobs. Solving poverty was my dream and ambition.”

Secrets to success

According to Mr. Murthy, the most important function of a business is selling products along with maintaining reasonable operating and development costs. However, both of these functions require a high-quality workforce with talent and intellectual capacity.

“The main task of every business is to attract and create a suitable environment so that each employee feels comfortable working there,” he believes.

When asked about the secret to successful business leadership, Mr. Murthy mentioned that in the workplace, leaders and employees are not friends and need to take on responsibilities and obligations during office hours.

“Outside of the office, we are friends,” he said. “We can have lunch or dinner together. However, in the office, there needs to be a hierarchy. In developing countries, businesses need to have the capacity to clearly separate responsibilities and personal relationships in the workplace.

He also touched on “respect” as among the secrets to success in business. To prove his point, he cited a meeting he had in 1981, during which members of Infosys were setting the development goals of the company in the years ahead. Many ideas such as being listed on the stock market or posting high profit levels were suggested.

“I was the last person to voice my opinion, and I said that Infosys needs to become the most respected company in India,” he recalled.

Respect helps businesses achieve profitability and gain the trust of customers. To attract the best talent, companies need to turn their existing employees into “ambassadors” to encourage other talented individuals to join the company. For this to happen, employees also need to believe in the business.

“If you want long-term investors, you must adhere to the best principles in corporate governance,” he said. “And all of these lead to respect. Similarly, if you want the government to trust you, your business must become a respected company.”

Mr. Murthy also believes that the tech sector continually holds promise because it is closely linked to socio-economic life, so demand for products and services in the industry is “huge”. “The demand for technology services will always exist because technology is constantly changing and evolving,” he affirmed.

However, software technology service companies need to create differentiated value for customers. Therefore, each company needs an information system that meets standards to satisfy the requirements of its partners.

“Learning from competitors, marketing, being willing to improve ideas, and meeting requirements will also bring success,” the Indian billionaire said. For businesses experiencing high growth, cost control is also important as well as creating jobs and having the resources to take care of employees. Businesses also need to focus on developing green energy and minimizing environmental pollution.


Billionaire Narayana Murthy has become a legend in the IT industry and is often referred to as “Indian Bill Gates” for transforming Infosys from an unknown company into an icon in the country’s software industry.

Infosys became the first Indian company to be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange in the US, in 1999. In 2023, the company posted revenues in excess of $18 billion and had 320,000 employees. It boasts a presence in 50 countries and territories worldwide, with a market value of over $70 billion. According to Forbes, in 2023 Mr. Murthy owned assets worth $4.1 billion, ranking him 711th among the world’s richest individuals.

One of Mr. Murthy’s most influential achievements is pioneering the global IT services delivery model. This allows companies to execute projects in locations with the best talent, most economical significance, and lowest risk.

This model has also revolutionized the global IT services industry by optimizing structures, resources, and job distribution, and improving the speed and quality of services provided.

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