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The Journey of Infosys : From $250 to NASDAQ

Niranjan Bhombe

11 March 2022

Niranjan Bhombe

Infosys public limited journey began in February 1993

On March 11, 1999 Infosys became the first Indian-registered company to be listed on NASDAQ. NASDAQ is an American stock exchange based in New York City. Initially NASDAQ was National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations, now it is a public company called NASDAQ Inc. Infosys was founded by seven engineers in Pune, Maharashtra, Bharat with an initial capital of $250 in 1981. Infosys is an Indian multinational information technology company that provides business consulting, information technology and outsourcing services.

In 1999 when Infosys made a successful debut on the NASDAQ, its Chairman N.R Narayan Murthy said, “This is a small step for NASDAQ but a giant leap for Infosys and Bharat’s software industry.” The WIRED, a monthly American magazine wrote, “The historic ceremony marked a dizzy new height for Infosys, started in 1981 with $250 as capital. It now commands a market value of more than $2 billion, and symbolizes the aspirations of Bharat’s firms to emulate global leaders in the technology industry.”

In a statement issued in Bangalore, Murthy said the NASDAQ listing will help Infosys attract the best employees and provide currency for future acquisitions. “In addition, we anticipate that our presence on NASDAQ will provide potential customers all over the world a greater degree of comfort and confidence in the company," he said.

March 11 2022 marks, 23 years to this path breaking event which put Bharat’s Multinational IT companies on the global map. Today, Infosys is the second-largest IT company in Bharat after Tata Consultancy Services by 2020 revenue figures and the 602nd largest public company in the world according to Forbes Global 2000 ranking. Its annual revenue reached US$100 million in 1999, US $1 Billion in 2004 and US $10 billion in 2017 and finally on 24 August 2021, Infosys became the fourth Indian company to cross $100 billion in market capitalization.

Infosys was founded in 1981 by N. R. Narayan Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, S. Gopalakrishnan, S. D. Shibulal, K. Dinesh, N. S. Raghavan, and Ashok Arora. Narayan Murthy served as the CEO of Infosys for 21 years from 1981 to 2002 and was succeeded by co-founder Nandan Nilekani. Murthy has been listed among the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time by Fortune magazine. He has been described as the "father of the Indian IT sector" by Time magazine and CNBC for his contribution to outsourcing in Bharat. Murthy has been honored with the Padma Vibhushan and Padma Shri awards. Currently, Infosys is headed by Salil Parekh who is the CEO since 2018, Nandan Nilekani is the chairman of Infosys since August 2017.

Infosys public limited journey began in February 1993, when an initial public offering (IPO) of Infosys was floated at ₹95 per share. The IPO was undersubscribed but Morgan Stanley bailed it out and for it received a 12% stake in the company. Since Infosys began trading on the NASDAQ its share price surged to ₹8,100 by 1999 making it the costliest share at the market at the time. The stock listing was shifted to the NYSE (New York Stock exchange) Euronext to give European investors access to Infosys shares.

Now Infosys limited is headquartered in Bangalore, Karnataka, Bharat. It commands a work force of 259,619 employees as of 2021. Out of its total workforce, 229,658 are software professionals and remaining 13,796 works for support and sales. In 2016, 89% of its employees were based in India. During the financial year 2019, Infosys received 2,333,420 applications from prospective employees, interviewed 180,225 candidates and had a gross addition of 94,324 employees, a 4% hiring rate.

To train and educate this large work force, Infosys runs the world’s largest corporate University. The Infosys global education center in Mysore, Karnataka, Bharat. It has a 337 acre campus, has 400 instructors and 200+ classrooms.

Established in 2002, it had trained around 125,000 engineering graduates by June 2015. It can train 14,000 employees at a given point of time on various technologies. The Infosys Training Centre in Mysore also provides a number of extracurricular facilities like tennis, badminton, basketball, swimming pool, gym and bowling alley. The bowling alley is cheapest in the world with INR 50 per round. It has an international level cricket ground approved by BCCI.

It has announced a profit of ₹5,809 crore for the third quarter and said it is planning to hire 55,000 freshers for FY22 as part of its global graduate hiring program.

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