1. Business

USF honors Narayana Murthy, hailed as the 'father of outsourcing'

Published May 15, 2012

Hailed as the "father of outsourcing," Narayana Murthy has some parental advice for international companies using his technology: Be fair and have a good attitude.

As long as there is a fair trade for the jobs that are outsourced to India, then the practice is not the job-destroying menace so many Americans make it out to be, he said.

Indian consumers purchase American-manufactured goods, and in exchange American companies train employees and create jobs in India.

"A happy world is one where there is international trade between two countries such that there is balance," Murthy said. "As long as there is a balance of payment, (outsourcing) is fine."

Murthy was honored by the University of South Florida on Monday for his leadership and contributions to the international business world.

Almost 40 years ago, Murthy founded India-based Infosys, a global leader in outsourcing technology, with a group of friends and $250 borrowed from his wife.

Now, Murthy is recognized as one of the world's most successful and innovative entrepreneurs.

Murthy spent the day speaking with students and faculty about the importance of being innovative, especially in a time where there is such a need for sustainable products and practices.

"(Young entrepreneurs) have a unique opportunity to make this planet better," he said.

All they need is a simple idea, some money, an ability to read the market and the willingness to make sacrifices, he said.

"Sacrifice today in the hope of a better tomorrow," Murthy said.

Kaushal Chari, chair of the USF information systems and decision sciences department, said Murthy's story is inspiring for students.

"He's a world-class business leader," said Chari, who leads a study abroad trip to India every year for business students.

The only way to improve the quality of life on Earth, Murthy said, is to create more jobs, which means creating more products. In order for India, and even the United States, to become stronger, they need to encourage more entrepreneurship. Outsourcing jobs then serves to make those businesses more efficient.

So the issue, Murthy said, is not where outsourcing is taking the jobs, but rather whether it is serving its overall purpose for the corporation.

"Are the Indian companies making the U.S. companies more efficient or not?" he asked. "It's an issue we have to look at more closely."