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Narayan Murthy’s Speech at NYU (Part 6)

Posted on Monday, Jul 9th 2007

Based on my life experiences, I can assert that it is this belief in
learning from experience, a growth mindset, the power of chance events, and self-reflection that have helped me grow to the present.

Back in the 1960s, the odds of my being in front of you today would have been zero. Yet here I stand before you! With every successive step, the odds kept changing in my favor, and it is these life lessons that made all the difference.

My young friends, I would like to end with some words of advice. Do you believe that your future is pre-ordained, and is already set? Or, do you believe that your future is yet to be written and that it will depend upon the sometimes fortuitous events?

Do you believe that these events can provide turning points to which you will respond with your energy and enthusiasm? Do you believe that you will learn from these events and that you will reflect on your setbacks ? Do you believe that you will examine your successes with even greater care?

I hope you believe that the future will be shaped by several turning points with great learning opportunities. In fact, this is the path I have walked to much advantage.

A final word: When, one day, you have made your mark on the world, remember that, in the ultimate analysis, we are all mere temporary custodians of the wealth we generate, whether it be financial, intellectual, or emotional. The best use of all your wealth is to share it with those less fortunate.

I believe that we have all at some time eaten the fruit from trees that we did not plant. In the fullness of time, when it is our turn to give, it behooves us in turn to plant gardens that we may never eat the fruit of, which will largely benefit generations to come. I believe this is our sacred responsibility, one that I hope you will shoulder in time.

Thank you for your patience. Go forth and embrace your future with open arms, and pursue enthusiastically your own life journey of discovery!

[Part 1]
[Part 2]
[Part 3]
[Part 4]
[Part 5]
[Part 6]

This segment is part 6 in the series : Narayan Murthy’s Speech at NYU
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Narayan Murthy’s Speech at NYU (Part 1) - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Sunday, July 29, 2007 at 10:32 PM PT

Thanks for Posting!

snehal Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at 11:29 AM PT

It is a personal pride to be hailing from the same home town. A lot more so to see the closing paras where Mr.Narayana Murthy upholds the 5000 year old Epic Srimad Bhagavatam, which is considered as The Most Spiritual and Cultural God-spoken Epic humans can read and act upon.
In summary what each of us need to recognize is the immense Humility that Mr.Narayana Murthy possesses and to which we have adequate witnesses and beneficiaries. Can say a lot more, but the summary does say it all. May the Lord give Mr.Narayana Murthy longest life of healthy and peaceful living.

HNS Murthy Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 11:53 PM PT

Very inspiring story. I think he can be named as the Father of the Indian software business. The part I like most out of his speech is the utilization of chance events for your own good.
Very good reading for educated budding entrepreneurs.

Madhuka Friday, May 9, 2008 at 12:03 AM PT


We thank God, as He has a greater purpose for you which we see here … in bringing consciousness to a wider world!
How about doing a series on my Tutor Dr. Mashelkar to add to all the other great ones … In him I recognized as a kind and great soul then … but did not see what a full role model he was from his young life in India to what he is today … as he left too early just after a couple of terms but after giving me invaluable guidance in Chemical Engineering … he left to answer his calling from India’s – 5 Year Planning Board – back in 1974/75.

Best regards,

Kirti Patel.

KP Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 3:33 PM PT

Great work done..

harsha marnayakanahally Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 3:53 AM PT

Wow. What a speech! Very inspiring.

Rahul Rao Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 10:47 PM PT

Truly inspiring speech! Mr. Narayan Murthy is one of the most respected entrepreneurs in India – for Infosys Technologies and personally for his foresight to how things should be!

I got an opportunity to interact with Mrs. Sudha Murthy (wife of Mr. Murthy) at one of the Kaleidoscope Talks at Microsoft Research. She heads the Infosys Foundation – an organization funded by Infosys Technologies for the upliftment of the poor and society in India.

Gaurav Parashar Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 7:05 AM PT

It was a fortunate moment for me to read his speech which has worked as a motivating story for me..My sincere respect and regards to him.Words are not sufficient to thank him for his contribution.I would like to meet him personally ever I get a chance.
I wish to meet him.
May god give him a long healthy life.
Sincere Regards

Shalini Friday, July 10, 2009 at 10:17 AM PT

Wow. Its great men like these that inspires scores of young and budding entrepreneurs.
Great speech. Great Man


Thank you very much for posting his speech.


Geoffrey Lobo Sunday, July 26, 2009 at 5:42 AM PT

Dear Sramana, Reading this was soulful, thanks for posting this, could relate to everything in the speech in my own personal life and am amazed at the simple and clear thougths.

sabareesan Sunday, October 18, 2009 at 9:44 PM PT

mind blowing ,i should agree.
awsome speech .
The very structured way he gave his speech
says a lot about the man.

vamsi talupula Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 2:46 PM PT

awesome speech the best to read when depressed and when u feel it is d end of life u can start afresh after reading this…..hats off to u and to ur wife Mrs Sudha Murthy who has indirectly helped u to come to this level….

satish pv Friday, January 22, 2010 at 9:51 PM PT

These words I like to memorize it all to tell as much persons as much I can this is the words should reach all the students of India

ismail Friday, April 16, 2010 at 3:03 PM PT

I thanks to my god,for giving such a pathmaker to my motherland india.

Shivkumar.R.B Friday, June 11, 2010 at 9:25 AM PT

Respected Mr. Narayan Murthy

I am deeply moved and touched by your humility and manner in which he conducted his life. This speech is so much motivating,it has moved me beyond my thoughts. Thank you Mr. Murthy for being our inspiration and moving us.

God Bless, Wishing you great health.


nitin Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 1:56 AM PT

Superb speech!!! Mind blowing….

May god bless with good health.


Ramesh Monday, October 11, 2010 at 11:44 AM PT

humbleness at its best .

sunil Friday, November 19, 2010 at 3:56 AM PT

This is one Indian man who has my RESPECT..Salute SIR Murthy from Mclean, Virginia. The last bit was the best about giving back what you earned. This is what makes great leaders like Mr Murthy and Bill Gates unlike most schmucks who just sit on their money till their buried 7 feet under.

Mark Shcneidman Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 2:12 PM PT

life important story.. exm……impossible is possible………………many thanks posted…….

parthi Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 2:09 PM PT

Awesome read, feels really proud that I work for Infosys. One of the very few people who have made our country proud…on the lines of Mahatma Gandhi, Sachin Tendulkar et al

Nitin Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 4:10 AM PT

Hello sramana mitra,
Good peice of collection, Has thrown more light on how one can live the most elegant and graceful way.

Just Great……..
S. Varadharajan.

S.Varadharajan Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 4:44 AM PT

Now I opine Mr. Murthy is more a teacher than an achiever. He is full of humility, simplicity and much more. Utilization of his teaching ability in proper level will be of tremendous help for our country.

– Subimal

Subimal Friday, July 15, 2011 at 9:39 PM PT