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Honorary degree citation - N. R. Narayan Murthy

By: Sudhir Mudur, June 2009

Mr. Chancellor, it is my honour to present to you N.R. Narayana Murthy: IT pioneer, global CEO, and visionary.

On ne saurait sous-estimer l’importance de la contribution de M. N.R. Narayana Murthy au domaine du génie logiciel. Ses innovations ont en effet transformé le paysage des technologies de l’information en Inde, son pays natal, et dans le monde entier.

An electrical engineer by trade, Mr. Murthy graduated from the University of Mysore in 1967 and completed a Masters of Technology at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

From modest beginnings, Mr. Murthy and six other software professionals started Infosys Technologies Ltd. in 1981 with an initial investment of just $250. Under Mr. Murthy’s leadership, the company experienced tremendous growth and became one of India’s largest IT companies with over 100,000 employees.

This enthusiasm for success helped Infosys not only revolutionize technology, but also become a leading international enterprise.

In 1999, Infosys became the first Indian company to be listed in the United States and on NASDAQ. It was also one of the first Indian companies to offer stock options to its employees; Mr. Murthy strongly believes in the responsible distribution of wealth. He is also the creator of the Global Delivery Model, which laid the groundwork for the successful outsourcing of IT services from India.

Mr. Murthy served as CEO for twenty years before retiring in 2006 and remains involved in the company as Non-Executive Chairman.

Aside from his pioneering work in the development of global technology at Infosys, Mr. Murthy has also been engaged in numerous advisory boards and councils at prominent universities, banks, and international bodies, such as Harvard Business School, the United Nations Foundation and the DBS Bank of Singapore.

Mais, M. Murthy est bien plus qu’un homme d’affaires et un prodige de la technologie. Au cours des années, il s’est appliqué à améliorer les conditions de travail de ses employés afin de maximiser leur potentiel.

He is quoted as saying, “I want Infosys to be a place where people of different genders, nationalities, races and religious beliefs work together in an environment of intense competition but utmost harmony, courtesy and dignity to add more and more value to our customers day after day.”

Here at Concordia, we can certainly appreciate Mr. Murthy’s efforts to create an inclusive and diverse atmosphere. In our Faculty, we are fortunate to have students and teachers from all corners of the globe. Though we might see the world from slightly different perspectives, we work together and find common understanding. Our diversity strengthens our ties to one another and the university.

With his outstanding record, it is little wonder that Mr. Murthy has been recognized innumerable times as one of the world’s most influential executives. He was ranked eighth on the Economist’s list of 15 most admired global leaders and was voted World Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young in 2003. Mr. Murthy also joined the ranks of Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi, and the Dalai as one of Time Magazine’s Asian heroes for bringing about revolutionary change in Asia over the last 60 years.

There’s no denying that Mr. Murthy has achieved great heights and has helped shape the future of technology. Despite his success, Murthy stays true to his “simple living, high thinking” philosophy. He has a reputation for being self-effacing and acting like a father figure to his employees. Mr. Murthy leads by example and remains grounded; he is a role model for aspiring technology and business leaders, for Concordia students, and for us all.

Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and honour to present to you N.R. Narayana Murthy so that you may confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

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