S D Shibulal: Ex-Infosys CEO, and billionaire, believes India’s contradictions can be solved by startups
Speaking with YourStory S D Shibulal (Shibu), the Co-founder, former Member of the Board and CEO of Infosys Ltd, tells us that India is a land of contradictions and is in serious need of change in policy direction towards making education, healthcare and financial inclusion available on a large scale. He admits that while there are opportunities in India there are still 400 million people below the poverty line. He believes the next set of entrepreneurs will come from a generation who will not fear their legacy.
Sources estimate Shibu's 2.2 per cent stake to be valued at several billion dollars. He says, “India is a country of contradictions. But today young people want to be entrepreneurs and bring about change. They need the support of mentors, corporate and academia.”
He adds that we need a policy which allows a scientist to license his work and commercialise the technology. "Today we have opportunities no doubt. But we are still 400 million people below the poverty line," says Shibulal.
Shibu also served as the Chief Operating Officer from 2007 to 2011. Earlier, Shibu held a number of senior leadership roles including head of Worldwide Sales and Customer Delivery. From 1991 to 1996, Shibu had worked with Sun Microsystems in the US, where he led the team which designed and implemented Sun's first e-commerce application.
Shibu, along with his wife Kumari, have spearheaded exemplary initiatives in education, social welfare and sustainable development. Through The Advaith Foundation, Kumari has created The Samhita Academy - a model for quality education that provides unique opportunities to underprivileged children. The Sarojini Damodaran Foundation – a charitable trust operated by Kumari and family since 1999 –has created positive social impact through assistance to underprivileged children for higher education. The foundation has also promoted organic farming by instituting awards, assisted critical cardiac care for children and pension projects, and promoted artists. Most recently, Shibu has been engaged in setting up Axilor Ventures – a business accelerator to provide infrastructure, mentoring and capital for high-impact, India-focused start-ups.
Camera Person: Rukmangada Raja
Video Editor: Anjali Achal