You Can't Create Wealth By Sharing Poverty - BILLIONAIRE Narayana Murthy - Interview: Rafael Badziag

in dtube •  4 months ago 

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Narayana Murthy is an Indian self-made billionaire and the World Entrepreneur of the Year 2003. He built Infosys, with 240,000 programmers the world's largest software company by number of employees. He made his other 6 co-founders into billionaires and over 10,000 of his employees into dollar millionaires. In this video he recounts what convinced him to capitalism and entrepreneurship. He gives valuable advice on success and gives away some insights from the book "The Billion Dollar Secret".

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Hi guys! Today I have a very special guest with me. This is mr. N.R. Narayana Murthy, who is the founder of a great company Infosys with over 200,000 employees

One of the largest programming / software companies in the world.

When you take the number of the programmers. They have almost 12 billion dollars in revenue

And at some point it had a capitalization of 50 billion dollars, if I am right.


Just an amazing company and mr. Murthy founded this company with only $200 with 7 co-founders.

And he was chosen one of 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time by Fortune magazine and in 2003 he became the World Entrepreneur of the Year.

Meaning generally the best entrepreneur on the planet in that year. Please welcome with me mr. Murthy. It's so nice to have you here today.

It's an absolute pleasure, Rafael. It's always a pleasure to talk to you, because I keep learning from you a lot.

This is a great compliment. Actually you provided so much wisdom for this project and one of the, let's say most striking quotes by you is:

"You can't share wealth by sharing poverty". What do you actually mean with that?

Well, when I was growing up in India, we were all under the influence of Jawaharlal Nehru, our first Prime Minister

And Nehru was influenced by Harold Laski in London and he believed in socialism.

But socialism by and large at that point I meant "sharing poverty"

Sharing whatever little you have. While sharing is a good thing, but our attempt will have to be to increase the size of the pie

To make sure that everybody has more and more material wealth, to make sure that everybody is happier, to make sure that everybody has a decent job

And to make sure that the poorest to the poor have enough to obtain good education, good nutrition, good healthcare and good shelter.

So, therefore when I realized during my journey in France that nations cannot improve by sharing poverty.

They have to create more and more wealth and that is going to only happen by entrepreneurs who convert a good idea into jobs and wealth

Jobs with good disposable income. That's how I realized that you can't improve the country by sharing poverty

You can only improve the country by creating more and more wealth and then sharing.

Yeah. And you are, I think, the best example for that. You have created in India over 200,000 really well-paid jobs

I mean I was in the Infosys campus and it looks like completely different planet. It's so modern and progressive

And right now you generally not only give jobs to these 200,000 employees, but you support by these jobs all their families as well.

So, it's probably over million people already, at least, whose life improved so much and of course, it has a ripple effect on the economy

Because they spend their money, so give jobs to the bakers, to the shoemakers and so on, and so on.

And as far as I know your goal is to create 1 million jobs all over the world, right?

Yes. Of course.

There is another point I would like to make and that is I always believe in democratization of wealth.

Therefore at Infosys we created thousands of dollar millionaires and about 40,000 rupee millionaires

Thereby we democratize wealth. We brought the power of wealth to the hands of a large number of employees. Never before has it been done in India.

And I don't know how many companies in the world have been able to create thousands of dollar millionaires


That's the other thing that we did.

Yeah. As far as I know, Infosys is also the largest educational institution after the Indian state in India, right?

Well, actually Infosys Corporate Training Facility is the worlds largest corporate training facility

No other company anywhere in the world has a corporate training facility as big as ours, as intense as ours, as ubiquitous as ours

In fact, every technical person that joins the company has to undergo at least 8 months of classroom training in a residential facility.

We have 11,800 single room in Mysore, we have 480 faculty members.

We make sure that everybody that we recruit. We recruit about 25,000 engineers every year

We ensure that they all go through this training, so that they come to a certain basic level of technical expertise.

So, you really invest in your people. That's why you are a role model for actually every entrepreneur around the world.

Yes. For example, in the Mysore Facility, just in buildings, we have invested half a billion dollars.


Just in buildings. Then look at the faculty, look at the course content, look at the various professors we get from all over the world.

So, it's a huge investment.

Absolutely. And talking about democratization... it is known in the world that you are a very humble person

And you are probably the most humble person I know from the entrepreneurs

And I saw you waiting in the line in the company canteen in Infosys headquarters in Bangalore together with other employees.

I mean you are a billionaire and your time is so precious. What is your thinking behind that?

Why do you spend or do you waste time waiting with the other employees

Well, we have practiced right from day one, hierarchy of ideas, not hierarchy of men and women.

Therefore we believe that in a meritocracy company like Infosys, it is the ideas that matter.

Therefore the person with the best idea, no matter how high or low he / she is in the corporate hierarchy has to be respected

Because of the power of this idea, therefore deliberately in the corporate, people hierarchy, where we eat, how we interact, how we spend our time together

However in every discussion we use data and facts to determine which idea is the best idea and who is the owner of the best idea

We stand up, cheer, salute and accept that as the idea of the company

Mr. Murthy, why did you want to contribute to The Billion Dollar Secret project? You are such a personality, you are present in the media

Why did you find it valuable and what was your reasoning behind it?

Well, I think that Rafael, you are conducting another unique experiment and that is bringing the ideas of the certain number of successful entrepreneurs

Each entrepreneur has something to contribute to the world in terms of his or her ideas, in terms of his or her actions

And when somebody like you who has the power of wonderful expression brings together the experiences of this large number of successful entrepreneurs

That is an unique experiment and nobody should miss that opportunity.

Therefore I thought you were doing me a favour by inviting me to be a part of that experiment

And I was very very pleased to contribute whatever little I could. Therefore I thank you for your opportunity.

I think you have the power of great expression and it comes together with your way of leadership to make people grow in their eyes when you speak to them

This is what you just did with me and I am so thankful apparently for your contribution to this book.

I mean you an avid reader apparently, from what I know you have a large library at home and this is actually the only luxury you allow yourself

So, you have read so many books. What is different about this one?

This book is unique because it brings together the ideas of several successful entrepreneurs. Most books look at just one entrepreneur.

Whether it is a book of mr. X or mr. Y. It's just one entrepreneur.

What you have done is you have looked at a number of entrepreneurs.

When you put those ideas together, the readers will have an opportunity to learn how different entrepreneurs handle the same situation

What's their perception, each of the attributes of entrepreneurship

And how they showed courage, how they showed sacrifice, how they showed imagination, how they showed perseverance, how they showed excellence in execution

How they led by examples.

Therefore when you have given several examples to demonstrate the power of each of these attributes that make up a good entrepreneur

Then this book has to be something extraordinary

Do you have a favourite story in the book or maybe can you tell a story from your life that you think, in short words

Could help our viewers, my readership to learn from you?

Well, first of all let me say that each of the entrepreneur has his or her own unique story.

Who am I to judge which is better, which is not good? Therefore I respect every one of the entrepreneurs whose stories you have recounted so well in the book

Having said that I can only recount to you my own experience, my own life's experience of how I became an entrepreneur

How I converted myself from the confused leftist to a determined, compassionate capitalist

After working in France I decided to hitchhike my way back to India. I spent about a year on the roads.

Spending about $250 and I was at a place called Niš which is the town between what was then Yugoslavia (now Serbia) and Bulgaria

I arrived there... a kind driver dropped me at Niš on a Sunday night at 9:30 p.m. and I went into the railway station, I went to the restaurant...

I wanted to eat, but the Yugoslavian people said that I needed to have Yugoslavian dinars if I wanted to eat.

I didn't have Yugoslavian dinars, therefore I went and slept on the platform.

Next morning I got up, I went to the town.

You know, in a communist country on a Sunday, particular all state, there were no banks open. These days there were no ATMs.

There were no credit cards. I had to convert my traveler's check to money.

So, therefore I came back and I slept on the railway platform because I wanted to conserve energy. Then at 8:30 Sofia Express came in.

I got onto the train and opposite me there was a boy and a girl. I first tried to speak to them in English, they didn't understand English.

Then I tried Russian. Probably they didn't like Russian, therefore they didn't answer. Finally I tried French and the girl understood French

That boy didn't understand. So the girl started speaking and the boy seemed to have gotted upset with us.

So, he went and brought dishonor on the police and the police took the girl away, the police ransacked my backpack and sleeping bag

And then they took me away and locked me in a small 8x8 ft room... It had just a cold floor, there was no bed or no chair there.

And in the corner there was a toilet, there was a pool as a toilet. There was no water, nothing. There was some toilet paper. That's all.

So, they locked me up and I thought next morning they would relieve me and give me a breakfast

The next morning came, 11 o'clock came, 1 o'clock came, afternoon 4 o'clock... nothing!

So, then I thought I was going to die there, but they locked me up on a Sunday evening at 10 p.m.

On Thursday morning 1 a.m. they oppened the door, they dragged me on the platform in the guard's compartment of a freight train and they locked me up there

And they said my passport will be given back to me when I left Bulgaria and then went to Istanbul

How long didn't you eat? Because it sounds like 3 days, maybe 4.

It was about 110 or 120 hours, somewhere around that, because the last time I had eaten was on Saturday morning around 11 a.m.

And next I got to eat was in Istanbul on Friday morning. It was almost 150 hours. And there was no water also.

So, anyway, they said something which I remember even today. They said: "You come from a friendly country called India, therefore we're letting you go".

They bait you a favor actually to have released you, because you are from a friendly country.

Yeah, exactly. So, it was a long journey I was hungry, I was angry and I introspected a lot.

And finally I was completely cleared of my desire for socialism and communism.

That's when I was transformed from a confused leftist to determine, compassionate capitalist.

And that's the time when my desire to go back to India and conduct an experiment in entrepreneurship became crystallized

Because I had all along realized that the only way that the country can solve povery is through creation of jobs

And the only people who create jobs are entrepreneurs.

Who convert their ideas into jobs and wealth.

Therefore while sitting in the freight train hungry and angry I decided that I would become an entrepreneur when I went back to India

Therefore I'm extremely grateful to the Bulgarian guards for having converted me irretrievably from a confused leftist to a determined compassionate capitalist

So, it was another opportunity in these guys, in that traumatic experience which turned out to change your life

And then, through you, the lives of millions of people in India and not only in India.

One of the important attributes of an entrepreneur is to look at every challenge as an opportunity.

He has to be optimistic. If you have a famous acronym B.O.A.T

Which means belief, optimism, assertiveness and trust.

Trust in yourself.

It's called B.O.A.T.

So, every entrepreneur must have belief in himself, he must be optimistic, he must be assertive in situations when there is need for firmness

When there is need for conviction and he must trust in himself or herself because if you don't have trust in yourself, then nobody else will trust you

So, these are your words. You are acronym.

Right, absolutely. So, this B.O.A.T - belief, optimism, assertiveness and trust in yourself - this is apparently one of the takeaways from the book.

What would you say are the other 2-3 takeaways that you would like entrepreneurs to learn from your story when they read the book?

Not just my story! I have to realize that every story there is as impactful as my story,

Therefore I would say that this extraordinary book communicates certain very important lessons to people.

One - you must dream big, if you wanna change, you must dream big. That's what leadership is all aboute. That's what leadership is all about.

Leaders exemplify what Robert Kennedy once said.

He said: "Most people see things as they are and wonder why. I dream of things that never work and then say "Why not?"".

I think dreaming of things that never work and then say "Why not?" is what entrepreneurship is all about.

Second - your book also communicates that when you have a great idea, when you dream big, most people around you are non-encouraging

That's when you need courage conviction and persistence. That's the other thing that is very, very important

Because courage to walk the untrodden path is what entrepreneurship is all about.

Because as Theodore Roosevelt once said: "Don't walk the path that others suffer. Walk in a direction where there is no path and create a new path".

That's what entrepreneurship.

The third thing that your book communicates is the most important instrument for a leader. It is leadership by example.

And leadership by example, working the top, practicing the [...] is what will convince others to join your entrepreneurial journey

Because they would say if this thing is good for this entrepreneur, it should be good for us, too.

Therefore that's the other thing and I would finally say that an important message that comes through in the book

Is that for a person to be a successful entrepreneur, successful leader, you need to be competent, you need to have intellect

But at the same time you must have an endure in value system.

I would say there is so many more wonderful messages there. I've just taken 3.

Okay. I think this is the best moment to wrat it up. Thank you, mr. Murthy for your wisdom.

Thank you for contributing to this book and it was such a pleasure to have you here and I hope my readers will take example from you

Because you are leading by example. So, they will take example from you and create such wonderful companies

And create so much impact in society, as you did. This is actually the goal of this project to raise the level of entrepreneurship around the world.

So, thank you for being with us today. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

Thank you very much, Rafael. I have no doubt at all, that the readers will find this a unique book

Because as you said before, you bring the stories of so many entrepreneurs.

This is not just one entrepreneur. Therefore there is a lot of learning for people who read this book

My best wishes to the readers, my best wishes to the entrepreneurs, my best wishes to the acts of entrepreneurs.

So, thank you!

Thank you!


To get this unique book The Billion Dollar Secret, go to my website

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That's it for today. I wish you a fantastic day. Let's do something extraordinary today!

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