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The amazing Infosys story

July 11, 2006

The crisis, and how Infosys began to grow

The first years of Infosys were not smooth. Most of the founders -- Murthy, Nilekani, Dinesh, Shibulal and Gopalkrishnan -- were into writing codes. And they wanted to make an impact in the American market.

So Infosys got its first joint venture partners in Kurt Salmon Associates. Gopalakrishnan, who had spent time working in the United States, was the public face of the KSA-Infosys venture in America. But the joint venture collapsed in 1989, leaving Infosys in the lurch.

Gopalakrishnan relives the memories of those days. "We had nothing after eight years of trying to bring up a company. Those who studied with us had cars and houses," he says.

The collapse of the KSA joint venture led Infosys to its first crisis. The company was on the verge of collapse. One of the founder-partners -- Ashok Arora -- was dejected with the way the company was going, and decided to quit.

The others did not know what to do. But Murthy had the courage of conviction. 'If you all want to leave, you can. But I am going to stick (with it) and make it,' Murthy told them.

The other partners -- Nilekani, Gopalakrishnan, Shibulal, Dinesh and Raghavan -- decided to stay.

And thus began to germinate the seeds of Infosys' enormous growth.

Photograph: The Murthys' Jayanagar house in Bangalore, where Nandan Nilekani and his wife stayed after they moved to the city to pursue their dream: Infosys.

Also read: How Infosys plans to fight the war for talent

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