Infosys Founder N.R. Narayana Murthy on Monday, September 11, told budding entrepreneurs not to limit their market to one particular city or a State as they must see the entire world as their market and work on it accordingly to become successful.
During a chat with young entrepreneurs after the launch of Centre of Excellence for Entrepreneurs and Family Business at the MYRA School of Business here, Mr. Murthy, while responding to a question on exploring the opportunities in Mysuru and to become a successful entrepreneur, said the market can be brought to the place where you live provided the product or the services what you provide is of the highest quality.
You need to cater your product or service to the global market. Think that the whole world is your market. But what needs to be kept in mind is the quality for competing globally, he said.
The 45-minute long session was moderated by Adarsh Ramesh, founder and CEO, Desiadda while Shrinkhala Kushwaha, Founder and CSO, InsideOut; Sanjana M.S., Director, Ovobel and Ananth Srinath, Director, Sri Shankara National Centre for Cancer Prevention and Research asked questions to Mr. Murthy.
Arguing that market is key for becoming a successful entrepreneur, Mr. Murthy said his venture way back in 1976 had to be shut down due to the market reasons at that time. Your idea will sell if it has a market since the basic requirement to become a successful entrepreneur is access to the market. Market research, market demand and ability to sell a product or a service is crucial. These factors are more important than a technology, he said, while stressing the significance of sales and finance in a business. “Without sales, the idea has zero value,” he observed.
To a question on the support from educational institutions for driving entrepreneurship, he said the institutions must enrich the aptitude of students to learn faster, solve problems and to think. The institutions must help the youth to learn new things. The industry-academia networking has to become robust. The academia has to reach out to industry and more collaborations are necessary. Also, the industry has to spend more on R and D, Mr. Murthy suggested.
Stating that he doesn’t believe in work-life balance, the Infosys founder said he used to work for 14 hours a day from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. At the same time, he was giving quality time to his family, taking them out for dinner. Quantity of time is not important but quality of time that one gives to their families becomes important since family plays an important role in the success of an entrepreneur. Make sure the time that you spend with your family is of the highest quality, Mr. Murthy said, while responding to a query.
While narrating the journey of Infosys, Mr. Murthy said the leader has to lead by example and walk the talk. A leader has to sacrifice a little for others. Money making was not the priority as he kept an equity of 23 percent in Infosys though being the general manager at that time. “This surprised many and some said I should have kept 51 percent of the equity if not 71 percent. Until my retirement, I had the same salary.”