Bangalore: Only performance would make India a superpower, and there is no external enemy to it, feels software icon N R Narayana Murthy.

"We Indians must recognise as we have done at Infosys, that we are our own enemies", says Murthy, who is stepping down as non-executive Chairman and Chief Mentor of Infosys on August 20 this year when he turns 65.

"There is no external enemy," he said in an article titled, "Goodbye, folks. March on with values...", in the Bangalore-headquartered, NASDAQ-listed firm's 2010-11 annual report.

"Our failures are because of our lack of commitment to our cause, our inability to accept meritocracy and our indifference to honesty and want of a good work ethic amongst our leaders," he said.

Performance alone is the key differentiator, he said. "This stems from my belief that performance leads to recognition, recognition brings respect and respect brings power."

‘Employees got stock options of Rs 50k crore’

Infosys Chief Mentor N R Narayana Murthy has said the company has given away Rs 50,000 crore (at current stock prices) of stock options to its employees since inception.

Murthy said, "I do not know of any Indian company that has given away as much as Rs 50,000 crore (at current stock prices) of stock options to employees. Today, every Indian employee at every level who joined us on or before March 2010 is a stockholder of Infosys", he said.

Murthy said Infosys had demonstrated that businesses can be run legally and ethically; that it was possible for an Indian company to benchmark with the global best; and that any set of youngsters with values, hard work, team work and a little bit of smartness can indeed be successful entrepreneurs.

"The crucial things we have to do in the future are: recognise our weaknesses, be open-minded about learning from people better than us; learn from our mistakes and not repeat them; be humble, honest and courteous; benchmark with the best in every dimension; use innovation to perform at global levels; and create a worthwhile vision and improve every day,” Murthy said.

‘Infosys turned bureaucratic at times’

At times during its 30-year journey, Infosys turned bureaucratic, its business ethics got jeopardised and some of its leaders failed to take bold decisions, its outgoing Chairman N R Narayana Murthy has said.

In an emotional letter to Infosys' shareholders, which would be his last as the company's chairman, Murthy has also said he was sad about exit of some of his colleagues from India's second largest IT Company.

Listing out 'the moments of great dilemmas and sadness' during his 30-year tenure at Infosys, the company's founding member said, "Accepting the resignation of a senior colleague and dealing with the instance where our code of ethics was jeopardised were tests of adherence to our values".

The letter from Murthy, who would be succeeded by eminent banker K V Kamath as Infosys Chairman with effect from August 21, has been published in the company's annual report for 2010-11. Thereafter, Murthy will serve as Chairman Emeritus.

Murthy further said, “Occasional incidents of the organisation turning bureaucratic, the inability of some of our leaders to take quick and firm decisions, and the government-company interface becoming less business-friendly from time to time are things that make me sad".

Possibly hitting towards the recent incidents when two directors, K Dinesh and T V Mohandas Pai, resigned from the company, Murthy said: "Being accused of violating our own high standards of business ethics recently made me lose several nights of sleep".

Pai had reportedly said that he did not agree with the company practice of seniority getting a priority over meritocracy in deciding the leadership team.

He said he had to explain to his colleagues when he refused to do business with a Fortune-10 company which contributed 25 per cent of the company’s revenue.

He asserted Infosys has demonstrated that business can be run legally and ethically and it was possible for an Indian company to benchmark with the best in the world.

‘Leaving Infosys like daughter's marriage’

N R Narayana Murthy, the founder of Infosys feels leaving Infosys was like parents sending away their daughter after her marriage.

"The best analogy that I can think of for this separation between Infosys and me is that of one's daughter getting married and leaving her parents' home," Murthy said in an emotional letter to Infosys' shareholders.

Having nurtured the country's leading IT firm for the last 30 years, Murthy would be succeeded by eminent banker K V Kamath as Infosys' Chairman with effect from August 21 and would thereafter become 'Chairman Emeritus'.

Murthy, in his letter published in the company's annual report for 2010-11, went on to say that he had to go through tough times explaining to his son and daughter about whom he loved more -- Infosys or the family.

Murthy said that his children do not believe him, even today, that he loved them more than anything else.
"When I was spending 16-hour days in the office and was away from home for as many as 330 days in a year, it was hard for my children to believe in my commitment to the family," he said.

Terming the Infosys journey as an integral part of his life, Murthy said that most of his colleagues tell him that "Infosys is an inseparable part of me and I am an inseparable part of Infosys."

"I have been the Number One actor in every major decision taken in the company. I have rejoiced in every significant milestone of the company. I have commiserated in every false step that this company has taken," he asserted.

Giving the analogy of a daughter's marriage, Murthy said: "Yes, the parents will be there when she needs them and they will be happy that she is starting a new life in an exciting new environment."

He went on to explain in his letter the entire journey of the company to become one of the leading technology majors of the country.

Wishing the current management of the company luck for the future, Murthy said that he would be always there, whenever needed by Infosys.

JPN/Agencies