Officer of the Legion of Honour, the highest civilian distinction

NEW DELHI: Infosys mentor N.R. Narayanamurthy was on Saturday conferred the Officer of the Legion of Honour, the highest civilian distinction of the government of France.

The French honour for Mr. Murthy comes on a day when he was chosen for Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of the country.

French Minister of Higher Education and Research Valerie Pecresse bestowed the honour to the “most admired business leader” of India at a glittering function here in the evening.

Created by Napoleon

Created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Legion of Honour is the highest civilian distinction that can be conferred in France regardless of the social status or the nationality of the recipients.

Ms. Pecresse acknowledged the humble beginnings of Infosys, which was co-founded by Mr. Murthy in 1981 along with six friends and $215 in the pocket.

Pat for Infosys

“Infosys, which employs over 82,000 staff, is a shining example of development in India,” she said.

Accepting the distinction, Mr. Murthy said he was extremely grateful to the government of France for honouring him and “[will] try and work hard to deserve the confidence you have in me.”

Pleasant surprise

Mr. Murthy, who pursued higher studies in France, said it was a country he loved the most after India.

“Today is a very important day ... I read in the newspapers this morning that I had been chosen for the Padma Vibhushan award. It was a pleasant surprise,” he said. — PTI