Indian philanthropist N.R. Narayana Murthy, the founder of tech giant Infosys and an influential advocate for rural development in India, was May 10 named the recipient of the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, which is presented each year by the Tech Museum of San Jose, Calif.
Sponsored by Applied Materials, Inc., the award honors individuals whose broad vision and leadership are focused on combating critical global problems. He will be formally presented with the awards at The Tech Museum’s Tech Awards in November, sponsored by Applied Materials.
“The Global Humanitarian Award is a great honor,” Murthy said in a statement. “I have seen how technology can impact social good, and philanthropy has been a central part of my life.”
According to Tech Museum president Tim Ritchie, Murthy was an ideal candidate for the prize, which in years past has gone to Grameen Bank founder Mohammed Yunus, Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Nobel laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Internet entrepreneur Jeff Skoll.
“Narayana Murthy’s work has helped to position India as a global technology leader and has raised awareness about serious social issues in that country and around the world,” Ritchie said. “Murthy’s commitment to social good is an inspiration and his work exemplifies the values we should all strive to embody.”
Murthy is currently serving as chairman emeritus of Infosys, after a 21-year career as the company’s first CEO.
Murthy is seen as one of the prime movers of the global outsourcing phenomenon, and helped to bring billions of dollars and countless software development jobs to India. The Infosys Foundation, which was founded in 1996, works in partnership with non-governmental organizations to help underprivileged rural communities in the realms of healthcare, education, culture, destitute care and rural development.
“I have always felt that one’s personal wealth should be seen as an opportunity to influence societal improvements,” said Murthy. “The power of money is the power to give, and I work to embody this mantra throughout my work.”
Last year, Infosys came in 15th on Forbes’ survey of the world’s most innovative companies, while a recent Wall Street Journal Asia article dubbed Infosys “India’s most admired company.” The company provides business information technology services, consulting and outsourcing services.
Murthy will accept the honor in Silicon Valley Nov. 15 during The Tech Awards gala, presented by Applied Materials in association with the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University. The award will be presented at a ceremony that also recognizes 12 innovators from around the world who apply technology in creative and practical ways to improve the human condition in areas such as health, education, environment and economic development.