Humane Technologist: Hoover Medal for Infosys Founder
Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy has been named recipient of the 2012 Hoover Medal. A Siliconeer report.
(Above): N.R. Narayana Murthy accepting the Hoover Medal and Certificate from Columbia University professor Dr. P. Somasundaran and IEEE president Dr. Gordon W. Day, in Seattle, Oct. 23.
The Hoover Medal was established in 1929 to recognize great, unselfish, nontechnical services by engineers to humanity. This medal commemorates the civic and humanitarian achievements of engineers. It is conferred upon an engineer whose professional achievements and personal endeavors have advanced the well-being of humankind. Previous awardees include former presidents Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower and James Earl Carter.
Murthy, who is the 70th recipient since the medal’s inception, was recognized for establishing a foundation that forges outstanding improvements in healthcare, social rehabilitation, rural uplift and education following his formation of Infosys, an innovative company that provides business consulting, technology, and engineering services in over 30 countries.
Murthy received this honor on Oct. 23, at the Global Humanitarian Technology Conference in Seattle, Washington, that brought together communities and individuals interested in applying technology to develop effective solutions for the challenges facing the world’s underserved. Representing Hoover Medal Board was its vice chairman Prof. P. Somasundaran of Columbia University and IEEE President Dr. Gordon W. Day.
One of the world’s most admired business leaders, Murthy founded Infosys in 1981. The Global Delivery Model pioneered and designed by Murthy has become the cornerstone of India’s success in information technology outsourcing. Infosys was the first listed Indian IT services company to reach revenues of 1 billion mark, but more important than the money Murthy has made, is what the success of Infosys has meant to India as a country.
Infosys incorporates a strong values system, promotes fairness to its employees and emphasizes merit, innovation and excellence across its operations. Through Infosys, Murthy has instilled throughout India the hope that even people from humble backgrounds can create a successful company by applying vision, passion and hard work.
Using his own wealth and through the Infosys Foundation and other company programs, Murthy has created opportunity for India’s rural areas and underprivileged population. The Infosys Foundation was established in 1996 to improve healthcare, social rehabilitation, education, art and culture in India. Among the foundation’s many notable accomplishments, it has set up a hospital that serves poor patients, has provided medicine to elderly patients suffering from cancer and other diseases and has distributed funding to ensure that underprivileged patients can continue to receive needed treatment.
The foundation has provided occupational training for destitute women and has provided relief efforts for those affected by natural disasters. Other important contributions include donating books, building libraries and refurbishing school facilities as part of one of the largest rural education programs in India.
The Infosys Science Foundation was created in 2009 to promote science research in India. Murthy believes such research is needed to address the country’s developmental problems. The Infosys Science Award is awarded to honor outstanding researchers who will make a difference to India’s future. Other examples of Murthy’s commitment to engineering excellence include training programs for teachers throughout India, Infosys fellowships that fund doctorate programs at many Indian universities and exposing students to real-world projects at Infosys.
Among his many achievements, The Economist ranked Murthy among the 10 most-admired global business leaders in 2005, and he topped the The Economic Times list of India’s most powerful CEOs for three consecutive years (2004 to 2006). His many awards include CNBC Asia Pacific Lifetime Achievement Award (2011), IEEE Honorary Membership (2010), the Padma Vibhushan from the government of India (2008), the Legion d’honneur from the government of France (2008), Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire from the Queen of England (2007).Murthy received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Mysore, India, and master of technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Murthy is currently the chairman emeritus of Infosys.