Top Honors for International Business Leader

N.R. Narayana Murthy to receive Global Leadership and Free Enterprise Awards May 14.


USF College of Business Professor Kaushal Chari, (right), talks with N.R. Narayana Murthy during a USF study abroad trip to India in 2010.  


By Barbara Melendez

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (May 8, 2012) – International business leader Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy will be at USF May 14 to be awarded two of its highest honors, the Global Leadership Award and the College of Business Free Enterprise Award.


A founding father of the outsourcing revolution that has brought groundbreaking change and prosperity to India, Murthy is the man ahead of Sam Walton in 10th place on Fortune Magazine’s 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time – a list that includes Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. His name has appeared regularly in the rankings of top businessmen and innovators published by India Today, Business Standard, Forbes, Business Week, Time, CNN, Fortune and Financial Times.


Together with six engineers – and a mere $250 investment – Murthy founded  Infosys, a global leader in consulting, outsourcing and technology, which Forbes listed as among the world’s most innovative companies. He served as the CEO for 21 years, as chairman for another nine years and is now chairman emeritus.


Almost a full year into his retirement, Murthy still holds board memberships with HSBC, DBS Bank (Singapore), Unilever, ICICI Bank (India) and NDTV. He is also a member of the advisory boards and councils of several educational and philanthropic institutions including Cornell University, the Ford Foundation, the UN Foundation, the Indo-British Partnership and he is a trustee of the Infosys Prize and the Rhodes Trust. His list of awards and honorary doctorates in India and abroad is extensive.


Murthy’s message is that, "It is all about sacrifice today, fulfillment tomorrow," as quoted in Forbes. He added, “hard work, lots of frustration, being away from your family, in the hope that someday you will get adequate returns from that."


The person who played a large role in bringing USF to Murthy’s attention is College of Business Professor Kaushal Chari, chair of the Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences. Chari has taken students to Infosys headquarters in Bangalore to interact with the company’s staff and was privileged to meet with the world-renowned businessman, ambassador and philanthropist.


“Our relationship with the company grew after K. Dinesh, one of the founders, was impressed with a research study we did here at USF and when I saw their campus, I knew our students would benefit from a trip there,” Chari said. “My students and I were extremely fortunate to have lunch with Mr. Murthy. The speech he gave was very inspiring.”


One student in particular who made that trip is Robert Kennedy. A senior majoring in management information systems, he has a picture of Murthy as the screen saver on his phone to motivate him on a continual basis.


“He really gave me some good ideas and some core values as I’m looking to open my own business in the near future,” Kennedy said.


Murthy will have a very busy day at USF – from morning until evening. He is scheduled to have breakfast with a small group of students, meet and greet engineering and business faculty, and then give brief remarks with a question and answer period. This will be followed by yet another reception and the College of Business’ annual Free Enterprise Luncheon where he will receive the college’s Free Enterprise Award. After that he will be the guest of honor at the Patel Center for Global Solutions’ Sustainability Conference where he will be presented with the Global Leadership Award by USF President Judy Genshaft. In the evening he will be hosted by Chari at his home for a private dinner with influential members of the Indian community.


For more information about Murthy’s visit, contact Lorie Briggs at or (813) 974-7280.


Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563.