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Emotionally connected to Infosys, says former CEO Gopalakrishnan

He is currently chairman, Axilor Ventures, an accelerator and seed fund that he co-founded with another Infosys co-founder SD Shibulal and others.

India TV Business Desk, Hyderabad [Updated:06 May 2017, 7:30 PM IST]
File pic of former Infosys CEO Gopalakrishnan
File pic of former Infosys CEO Gopalakrishnan

Kris Gopalakrishnan, who left IT giant Infosys more than two years ago, has said that he is still emotionally connected to the firm he helped set up.

"You cannot emotionally walk away from something that you have built over your lifetime - say over 33 or 35 years," said the co-founder and former CEO of Infosys.

The IT veteran was addressing students of the Indian School of Business (ISB) here on Friday as part of the ISB Dean's speaker series.

Speaking on "Is entrepreneurship for you", he answered a question as to how big is the challenge for a founder to be able to disconnect after leaving.

"But you also prepare yourself because that is what you said you will do and that is what need to do and want to do to create a second innings, get involved in something else. That is what I did personally," said Gopalakrishnan.

He is currently chairman, Axilor Ventures, an accelerator and seed fund that he co-founded with another Infosys co-founder SD Shibulal and others.

"But then, if there is any news about Infosys, I am the first one to read about it. Infosys's best interest is always in my mind whether I am able to help or not," he said while speaking about the emotional connect.

The IT bellwether is currently witnessing spat between the management and founders over issues, including corporate governance and salary hikes given to the top management.

He advised entrepreneurs to ensure that there is an alignment of purpose among all the co-founders of the startup.

"This is a journey and you do not want people to leave. When Infosys was started, our goal was to create a globally respected corporation. There was a perfect alignment. We all were from middle class and for us respect was the most important thing. And that drove everything," he recalled.

Gopalakrishnan feels this is one of the best times to be an entrepreneur in India and described India as the best place to start a new business because ait is here that you can leapfrog and think of the new model.

He said what is important for budding entrepreneurs today is that the IT revolution is far from over. "I personally believe that the next 30 years are going to be even more exciting because it is not just about IT now. It is about use of IT in every aspect of our life and every industry that we can think of."

In an obvious reference to the recent developments in Indian businesses, especially in family-owned ones, he underlined the need for ensuring smooth transition.

 

"In India, most of the businesses are family run or family-owned and you transfer the ownership to the next generation. But if you want to step down and handover to somebody else, please make sure that the process is defined and managed properly so that there is no hiccup in the business," he added.