Narayana Murthy has revealed that he was was once denied a job by Wipro, and the development resulted in the birth of Infosys, founded by him and six fellow engineers.
Wipro ex-chairman Azim Premji once admitted to Murthy that not hiring the future Infosys co-founder was ‘one of the biggest mistakes’ committed by Premji, he added.
“Azim once told me that one of the biggest mistakes he committed was not to hire me. If things had turned out differently, there would have been no competition for Wipro,” Murthy told CNBC TV18 in an exclusive interview.
Wipro and Infosys, both based in Bengaluru, are two of India’s largest IT companies. While the former was founded by Premji’s father, MH Hasham Premji, in December 1945, the latter was founded in July 1981 by Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, Kris Gopalakrishnan, SD Shibulal, K Dinesh, NS Raghavan, and Ashok Arora.
In fact, it was a seed capital of ₹10,000, provided by Murthy’s wife Sudha Murty, with which he set up Infosys. He, however, did not allow her to work for the company, admitting in the same interview that he was ‘wrongly idealistic’ and that she was ‘more qualified than all seven of us.’
Also, Infosys was not the first entrepreneurial venture for the 77-year-old billionaire. Before it, he opened Softronics, which failed, and subsequently joined Patni Computer Systems in Pune.