In this article, You will explore the story of Sudha Murthy along with the role of Narayan Murthy, her husband, in her life and the impact of their philanthropic work on the wellness of communities.
Gain insights and inspiration from the best thoughts of Sudha Murthy and understand the importance of the lessons learned through her story in making a positive difference in the world.
Picture this-A small town girl with big dreams who defied all odds to become first an Electrical Engineer, a renowned philanthropist, an author, a great leader, and a Padma Bhushan awardee. And also, a Mother in law of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, whom she is least interested in associating, is the kind of humility Sudha Murthy process.
It’s not every day that you come across someone who has dedicated their entire life to positively impacting society, but this small-town girl we now know as Sudha Murthy is just that!
Sudha Murthy is the epitome of hard work, dedication, and a commitment to social justice. Born in a small town in Karnataka, she became an engineer and later co-founded the Infosys Foundation with her husband.
Through the foundation’s work, she has positively impacted society in areas such as healthcare, education, and rural development. Sudha Murthy is also a successful author of many books, such as
She is known for her relatable and socially conscious writing and has been recognized for her contributions to literature and society with several awards and honors.
Sudha Murthy has accomplished much in her academic career. She earned a degree in electrical engineering from the B.V.B. College of Engineering and Technology in Hubli, Karnataka, India. She then went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, one of India’s most prestigious engineering institutions.
She was one of the few women in her batch, and it was a significant achievement for her to have completed the degree in a male-dominated field.
After completing her degree, when Sudha Murthy applied for a job at TELCO, a leading automobile company in India, the general manager suggested that TELCO did not hire women for shop floor jobs because of safety concerns and even advised her to apply for a clerical job instead.
Sudha Murthy was disappointed but not discouraged. She wrote a letter to the chairman of TELCO, J.R.D. Tata explained her situation and requested him to reconsider her application.
She received a reply from him, encouraging her to pursue her dreams and assuring her that TELCO did not discriminate based on gender.
Impressed by her persistence and determination, J.R.D. Tata offered Sudha Murthy a job as a computer programmer at TELCO, making her the first woman engineer to be employed at the company.
While Sudha Murthy has carved out her impressive legacy, it’s essential to recognize what role her husband and co-founder of Infosys, Narayana Murthy, has played in her life and career.
Their love story is not just one of romance but of mutual respect, admiration, and a shared passion for improving the world.
There are numerous accounts where Narayan Murthy and Sudha Murthy stood by each other as pillars and got each other through their life’s worse and worst days.
Quoting a few incidents here:
In an earlier interview, Sudha Murthy recalled one of the days when the idea of Infosys was only in the making-
We were living a comfortable life in Bombay with a regular paycheck, and I didn’t want to rock the boat. But Murthy was passionate about creating good quality software. I decided to support him. Typical of Murthy, he just had a dream and no money. So I gave him Rs 10,000, which I had saved for a rainy day, without his knowledge, and told him, This is all I have. Take it. I give you three years’ sabbatical leave. I will take care of the financial needs of our house. You go and chase your dreams without any worry.
Ever heard of “We come from different worlds, but together we create a new one.“
Well, I cannot possibly find a better example of this than the power couple – Narayan and Sudha Murthy.
The complementarity of Narayan and Sudha Murthy is the one we can only dream about.
Another dreamy quotation of Mr. and Mrs. Murthy’s relationship was their love for books. Sudha Murthy once quotes, “Murthy and I are two opposites that complement each other. Murthy is sensitive and romantic in his way. He always gifts me books addressed ‘From Me to You. Or ‘To the person I most admire, etc. We both love books.” recalls Sudha Murthy.
Sudha Murthy and Narayan Murthy split their marriage expenses.
We married with only our two families present for ceremonies in Narayana’s house in Bangalore as Murthy wanted to tie the knot with me before going to the US. I got my first silk saree. The wedding expense came to only Rs 800, with Murthy and me bearing Rs 400 each.
Splitting the marriage expenses, even at that time, was something that was considered quite a thing to matter.
Even now, it is quite a thing, nobody does this even today.
Sudha Murthy is known for her hard work and dedication towards her work, and many incidents signify her value for hard work.
One such incident that comes to mind is her early days at TELCO (now known as Tata Motors).
During her early days at TELCO, Sudha Murthy noticed that a machine was malfunctioning and causing a delay in production. She reported the issue to her supervisor, who dismissed it as minor and told her to ignore it. However, Sudha Murthy didn’t give up and decided to investigate the matter herself.
She spent the next few days studying the machine and eventually discovered a minor defect causing the problem. She came up with a simple solution to fix the issue, and within a few hours, the machine was up and running again. This led to a significant increase in productivity and saved the company a lot of money over time.
The value of hard work lies in personal growth and contribution to society that can result from dedicated effort and perseverance.
Sudha Murthy strongly advocates education and has always emphasized its importance.
One such incident that comes to mind is when Sudha Murthy visited a remote school in a village in Karnataka.
During her visit, she noticed that the children in the school were not motivated and lacked interest in studying. She decided to interact with them and asked them what they wanted to become when they grew up. To her surprise, many had never thought about their future and had no aspirations.
After her talk, the children were visibly inspired, and their attitude toward education changed utterly. They started attending school regularly and showed a renewed interest in learning.
In her interviews, Sudha Murthy has often spoken about the importance of education in breaking the cycle of poverty and empowering individuals. She believes education is a tool for social and economic empowerment and is passionate about spreading this message to the masses.
Educating individuals to make informed decisions about their health can help prevent diseases and promote healthy behaviors, leading to improved overall well-being.
Sudha Murthy is known for her philanthropic work and has always emphasized giving back to society. In one of the interviews of Sudha Murthy with NDTV, she spoke about the need for individuals to contribute to the betterment of society.
During the interview, Sudha Murthy shared her experiences of giving back and how they enriched her life. She talked about how small acts of kindness could make a big difference and how everyone had the power to make a positive impact in their way.
Another such instance where she talked about the Importance of giving back was, in a conversation with students at IIT Delhi, Sudha Murthy spoke about how giving back had enriched her life in ways she could never have imagined. She said,
When you give back, you receive much more. The satisfaction and happiness you get from helping others are truly priceless.
Giving back is not only a moral responsibility but also a way to support our well-being and the well-being of others.
Sudha Murthy is known for her simple and down-to-earth lifestyle. She has often shared incidents from her life that highlight her values of simplicity and humility.
One incident that stands out is when Sudha Murthy and her husband, Narayana Murthy, were invited to a dinner party in the United States. Sudha Murthy wore a simple saree, and her husband wore a suit.
However, when they arrived at the party, they found everyone dressed in designer outfits and expensive jewelry. Sudha Murthy felt out of place and uncomfortable, and when she saw the hostess struggling with a broken zip on her dress, she offered to help.
Sudha Murthy went to the hostess’s bedroom and fixed the zip, and while she was there, she noticed a closet full of designer clothes and accessories. She realized the hostess struggled to maintain her expensive lifestyle and was probably in debt. Sudha Murthy felt grateful for her simple life and the contentment it brought her.
This incident shows Sudha Murthy’s value for simplicity and her ability to find joy in the small things in life. She also demonstrates her willingness to help others, regardless of their social status or wealth.
Embracing simplicity is a valuable tool for promoting wellness, reducing stress, and achieving a greater sense of balance and harmony in our lives.
Several incidents from Sudha Murthy’s life signify the power of perseverance. One such incident occurred in the late 1990s; Sudha Murthy visited Hyderabad and was deeply moved by the plight of the orphaned and destitute children living on the streets. She decided to do something to help them and set up an orphanage.
Sudha Murthy faced many challenges in setting up the orphanage. She had to find a suitable location, raise funds, and deal with bureaucratic hurdles. She also faced opposition from some people who did not believe in her vision or doubted her ability to run an orphanage.
Despite these challenges, Sudha Murthy persevered and eventually managed to set up the orphanage. She raised funds from various sources, including her savings, and worked tirelessly to make the orphanage successful. She also faced many setbacks along the way, including natural disasters and financial crises, but she did not give up.
Today, Sudha Murthy’s orphanage, called the Srujana Foundation, provides food, shelter, education, and healthcare to hundreds of orphaned and destitute children in Hyderabad. The foundation also runs various social welfare projects, including a healthcare program for the elderly and a vocational training program for women.
This incident shows Sudha Murthy’s power of perseverance and her commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. Despite facing many challenges and setbacks, she did not give up on her goal of helping the less fortunate and worked tirelessly to achieve her vision.
By continuing to work towards our goals, even in the face of obstacles, we can develop greater resilience, confidence, and satisfaction in our lives.
The power of education is undeniable. It is the key to unlocking one’s full potential and can change a person’s life.”
Sudha Murthy is a firm believer in the transformative power of education. As a highly educated individual, she has emphasized the importance of education in shaping one’s future and realizing one’s full potential. She believes that education not only provides individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in life but also helps to build character and instills values such as discipline, perseverance, and empathy.
We must never forget where we come from and the values that have shaped us into who we are today.”
Sudha Murthy often speaks about staying grounded and connected to one’s roots. She believes that one’s upbringing and cultural values play a crucial role in shaping their identity and should never be forgotten.
By embracing one’s heritage and traditions, individuals can stay true to themselves and maintain a strong sense of identity and purpose.
Giving back to society is not only a responsibility but also a privilege.”
Sudha Murthy is a strong advocate for giving back to society and believes that it is a responsibility and a privilege. She has devoted much of her time and resources to various philanthropic causes, such as education, healthcare, and rural development. She believes that giving back to others is not only a moral obligation but also brings a sense of fulfilment and purpose.
The most valuable life lessons are often learned through failures and setbacks.”
Sudha Murthy recognizes that failures and setbacks are an inevitable part of life and valuable opportunities for growth and learning. She believes that adversity builds resilience and can lead to tremendous success in the long run. Through her experiences of overcoming challenges and obstacles, she has learned that perseverance and a positive attitude are crucial to overcoming adversity and achieving one’s goals.
We must always be grateful for what we have and strive to impact the world around us positively.”
Sudha Murthy emphasizes the importance of gratitude and making a positive impact on the world. She believes that it is vital to appreciate what we have and to use our resources and talents to make a difference in the lives of others.
By focusing on the needs of others and working towards a greater good, we can find purpose and fulfillment in our own lives.
Sudha Murthy’s success story is inspiring and reflects her commitment to hard work, education, philanthropy, and social justice. She has made a lasting impact on the lives of countless people through her philanthropic work and writing and continues to inspire others to make a positive difference in the world.
Her inspiring journey is a testament to the power of hard work, perseverance, and giving back to society through which we can all positively impact the world and promote wellness in our lives and communities.