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Lack of domestic capital a hurdle for startups: Infosys co-founder Murthy

Murthy added that entrepreneurs can garner respect via good corporate governance practices, adhering to fairness, transparency and accountability with every stakeholder

Infosys founder Narayana Murthy

Infosys founder Narayana Murthy (PTI Photo)

Aryaman Gupta New Delhi

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The availability of domestic capital to fund startups and an ability to attract talent in the early days are among the biggest challenges faced by entrepreneurs, Infosys Co-founder N R Narayana Murthy said on Thursday.

“It is desirable to create a policy that makes it attractive for domestic institutions like family offices of HNIs (high net-worth individuals), insurance companies or large corporations to invest in venture capital funding,” he said at the T N Chaturvedi Memorial Lecture 2024 in New Delhi’s Prime Ministers’ Museum and Library.

Among the other hurdles that startups and entrepreneurs face is attracting the best talent to form a team of early adopters, due to financial constraints and the lack of brand value, according to Murthy, who spoke on the topic, “Entrepreneurs, Ethics and Good Governance in Creating a More Prosperous India: Lessons of a Practitioner”.

He said that budding entrepreneurs need to earn the respect of the government and society by ensuring good corporate governance practices, and stressed that entrepreneurship and innovation were key to bringing about prosperity in a nation.

“Respect from customers enhances repeat business. Respect from employees enhances retention. Respect from investors attracts more long-term investors. Respect from the government gives confidence to the government to create business-friendly policies and regulations,” he said.

Murthy added that entrepreneurs can garner respect via good corporate governance practices, adhering to fairness, transparency and accountability with every stakeholder.

“Good governance depends on the quality of the chairman of the board of the company. Any company where the board, or the chairman in particular, are gullible or have been brought up without good training in corporate governance, lack a sound value system,” he said.

Murthy advised entrepreneurs to follow a set of golden rules to ensure proper governance.

“First, do unto others what you want them to do unto you. Second, remember that the softest pillow is a clear conscience. Third, and most importantly, the most valuable and enduring position for an individual is respect from society and not material wealth,” he said.

Murthy claimed that the only way nations can usher in prosperity is by creating an environment where communities can thrive economically through innovation and entrepreneurship.

Murthy emphasised the importance of the English language in furthering innovation in India.

“It is important to remember that the English language has the largest and fastest growing reservoir of knowledge in science, technology, engineering and management (STEM). If we forsake English, we will fall further behind in our attempt to use STEM to solve the basic problems of our poor and in our desire to make India prosperous,” he said.

Murthy also said that government initiatives and policies such as Startup India and the National Education Policy (NEP) had proven “extremely valuable.”

“Startup India is likely to yield positive results in the medium term, while NEP will lay a strong foundation to make India an innovative and prosperous nation in the long term,” he said.

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First Published: Jan 18 2024 | 9:10 PM IST

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