Major changes in 1991 opened the way to success
In an interview to Moneycontrol to mark the completion of 30 years of economic reforms in the country, Murthy told how the big changes in 1991 had suddenly opened the doors of success for Infosys. Murthy said that in 1991 the size of Infosys was very small. The company’s hopes, ambitions and scope were also not big. The company’s office was in Jaya Nagar, Bangalore. A lot of our time was spent traveling to Delhi to get the import license to buy computers and accessories.
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There was no phone call at the co-founders’ house.
The company’s young employees used to go abroad to work on projects and used to go to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in Mumbai to get foreign exchange for them. In those days, the process of importing computers was very complicated. Banks were not aware of software and term loans and working capital loans were not given to the software industry. Murthy said that even after 10 years of hard work, the financial condition of the co-founders of Infosys was not such that they could buy a house and a car. There was no phone at his house.
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What is Infosys’ opinion on IPO?
He said that when the company applied for a license to import a computer, the process took two to three years and had to go to Delhi several times. In that era, the technology in the US changed every six months, and Infosys getting a license to import computers would bring in a new version with 50 percent more capacity and 30 percent less cost.
Talking on the IPO, he said that Infosys wanted to bring IPO in 1991 but it got delayed due to assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Babri Masjid demolition and Harshad Mehta scam.
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