Called Kris by his colleagues, Mr Gopalakrishnan says the initial years were tough for them. Things became better after the liberalisation in 1991 and we could invest in infrastructure, campus and staff. That was the time when we started growing, reminisces Mr Gopalakrishnan.
After pursuing MSc (Physics) and M Tech both from IIT, Madras, Mr Gopalakrishnan started his career with Patni Computer Systems, Mumbai, as a software engineer in 1979. He rose to become an assistant project manager in 1981 and his seminal contribution during his stint at Patni was the development of a distributed process control system for controlling the LD converters at Rourkela Steel Plant.
In the same year, 1981, Mr Gopalakrishnan, along with N R Narayana Murthy and five others, founded Infosys Technologies Limited. During the initial years his responsibility at the company included management of designs, development, implementation and support information system for clients in the consumer products industry in the US. During 1987-1994, he headed the technical operations of KSA-Infosys, a joint venture between Infosys and KSA at Atlanta, USA, as vice-president, Technical.
I returned to India in 1994 and was appointed deputy managing director of the company. And in April 2002, I was appointed as the chief operating officer and my responsibilities include customer services, technology, investments and acquisitions, says Mr Gopalakrishnan.
He is very optimist of the Indian IT industry and says it is a promising industry and there is plenty of scope for growth. The total revenue generated by the IT industry in India is less than that of some of the leading IT companies worldwide. We have very excellent talent in India and the industry should consolidate its position and be a real global player, opines Mr Gopalakrishnan.
On the US outsourcing controversy, he says, So far there has not been any business impact of the US legislation on outsourcing in India and it is more of an emotional impact in India.
Mr Gopalakrishnan elaborates that Infosys Technologies Limited last year has diversified into life-science and bio-technology business. We want to put our IT expertise into this field and we are working on it now, he says.
The bonding between the founding members remains as strong as ever. Though two of our founding members have left the organisation, but we five respect and appreciate one anothers work and that is an important element which helped us grow over the years, says Mr Gopalakrishnan.
At a personal level, he supports various charitable causes and issues pertaining to education. He is the vice-chairman of the Information Technology Education Standards Board set up by Karnataka government and is also part of the Information Technology Advisory Committee of Kerala government.
An avid reader, he loves reading thrillers as well as classics. I read a lot and that is my hobby and my leisure-time activity. I also love travelling and my job entails a lot of travelling which I enjoy. I really want to visit interesting and unexplored places in India as well as abroad, he says. He also catches up with various sports on television and spends quality time with wife Sudha, who is a trustee at Infosys Foundation and their five-year-old daughter Meghana.