Bengaluru: Asserting that the country’s youngsters wanted to begin their career in this tech hub, Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy on Wednesday urged the Karnataka government to make the city liveable by improving its infrastructure, especially, roads, education, healthcare and commuting.
“My request to the state chief minister (Siddaramaiah) and industries minister (R.V. Deshpande) is to help us make Bengaluru more liveable for all, especially youngsters, by improving its infrastructure and quality of life,” Murthy said at the inaugural session of the global investors meet (GIM) at the Bangalore Palace grounds here.
Though the global software major hires thousands of young techies to work at its development centres in cities like Bhubaneswar, Thiruvananthapuram, Indore and Nagpur, Murthy said the reality is majority of them wanted to be in Bengaluru for its ambience, weather, cosmopolitan outlook and entrepreneurship.
“As most of our youngsters want to work in Bengaluru, the state government should make commuting easy with better connectivity, provide healthcare facilities and access to modern education for professionals and their children,” Murthy said on the occasion.
Noting that Bengaluru contributed 38 percent of the IT industry’s growth to the national GDP, the Infosys chairman emeritus said it (the contribution) translated into $35 billion, including $28 billion in exports.
“As Karnataka state has done a great job for the IT industry so far, expectations are even more from the state government. I believe if a proper environment is provided, the IT industry has potential to add great value to the state by flourishing,” Murthy said.
The outsourcing major has three development centres in the state in Bengaluru, Mysuru and Mangaluru and building a similar facility at Hubbali-Dharwad, about 400 km from here.
“We have worked so hard to convince our youngsters to start their career in extraordinary cities like Mysuru and Mangaluru as well as other cities. But they all youngsters want to be in Bengaluru,” Murthy reiterated.
Expressing gratitude to the state government for enabling his company to become what it is now ($8.7 billion revenue), Murthy said when even foreign banks refused to give its co-founders loan, state-run KSFC and KSIIDC had given Rs.50 lakh loan to invest in the company in 1986.
“When multinational banks, including Citibank and Bank of America, refused to give us a loan of Rs.50 lakh, it was the Karnataka State Industrial Investment and Development Corporation (KSIIDC) and Karnataka State Finance Corporation (KSFC) which approved the loan in a week,” Murthy recalled.