Kris Gopalakrishnan 101: An Inspiring Indian Business Magnate
Zatrun Published at February 20, 2024

Kris Gopalakrishnan is a name that resonates in the realms of Indian business and technology. delves into the life and contributions of this visionary entrepreneur, who played pivotal roles in transforming India’s IT landscape and is a fervent advocate for research, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy.

Early Years and Ascension

Hailing from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Kris Gopalakrishnan was born on April 5, 1955. His journey towards greatness commenced at the Government Model Boys Higher Secondary School and continued at the prestigious IIT Madras, where he earned an M.Sc. in Physics in 1977 and an M.Tech. in Computer Science in 1979. Kris initiated his professional career in 1979 as a software engineer with Patni Computer Systems in Mumbai.

With a strong academic foundation and a drive for excellence, Kris’s career catapulted him into leadership roles within the IT industry and beyond. His ascent in the corporate world was marked by his service as the vice-chairman of Infosys from 2011 to 2014, followed by a stint as the CEO and managing director of Infosys from 2007 to 2011. Notably, Kris is among the co-founders of Infosys, an iconic Indian multinational corporation.

A Visionary in Business and Technology

Kris Gopalakrishnan’s contributions to the world of business and technology are universally acknowledged. He was crowned the top CEO in the IT Services category in Institutional Investor’s inaugural ranking of Asia’s Top Executives. His endeavors also garnered him recognition as one of the winners of the Asian Corporate Director Recognition Awards by Corporate Governance Asia in 2011.

Moreover, Kris’s leadership extended beyond the corporate realm. He assumed the role of president of India’s apex industry chamber, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), for the year 2013-2014. Kris also served as a co-chair at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2014, contributing to critical discussions about global economic and societal challenges. In a momentous gesture, the Government of India bestowed Kris Gopalakrishnan with the Padma Bhushan in January 2011, recognizing his exceptional contributions to the nation.

Kris Gopalakrishnan: Philanthropy and Vision for Research

Kris’s involvement in philanthropy and research is as inspiring as his professional journey. He chairs Itihaasa Research and Digital, which publishes historical accounts of the Indian IT industry and reports on industrial and academic research in India. He is also the co-author of “Against All Odds – The IT Story of India.”

His philanthropic ventures extend to advancing research in brain sciences and aging-related disorders. Notably, Kris has contributed a substantial sum of ₹225 crores to establish the Centre for Brain Research at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. This generous donation is the largest ever received by the 105-year-old institute from an individual.

Furthermore, Kris has allocated ₹60 crores to create distinguished visiting chairs in Neurocomputing and Data Science at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai. His commitment is also evident through his chairmanship of India’s ₹3,660 crore National Mission on Cyber-Physical System Technologies, overseeing the establishment of 25 hubs related to CPS and allied technologies.

Promoting Healthcare and Nurturing Innovation

Healthcare and research are areas close to Kris’s heart. He has advanced aging research in India through initiatives like the Srinivasapura Aging Neuro Senescence and Cognition Study. Additionally, he is supporting GenomeIndia, a pan-India initiative focused on Whole Genome Sequencing of 10,000 individuals from diverse Indian populations.

Kris Gopalakrishnan is on the Board of Swasth Digital Health Foundation, a not-for-profit consortium pioneering an innovative healthcare model in India. Nurturing research and innovation in India, Kris has established various fellowships, scholarships, and awards. Notable among these is the Gopalakrishnan – NTU Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowships, focusing on Industry 4.0 and Smart Cities.

He continues to support young researchers and faculty members in India through initiatives like the Pratiksha Trust Young Investigators Award, Pratiksha Trust Scholarship, and travel grants for Winter Schools on Quantitative Systems Biology.

Kris also founded the Gopalakrishnan – Deshpande Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at IIT Madras in August 2017. This center is dedicated to harnessing the scientific and technological knowledge of Indian academic institutions to address society’s challenges through innovation and entrepreneurship.

Social Impact and Rediscovery of Indian Science

Beyond technology and healthcare, Kris supports initiatives like the Naandi Foundation that focus on improving the livelihoods of farmers and the Centre for Collective Development. His passion for history is reflected in projects such as the History of Indian IT through and research on the History of Mathematics in India at IIT Gandhinagar.

Kris Gopalakrishnan’s remarkable journey from an engineering student to a global business and technology leader showcases the immense potential of visionary individuals in creating a brighter future. His commitment to research, entrepreneurship, and social welfare is an inspiration for all, and his legacy continues to shape India’s growth and progress. This comprehensive exploration of Kris Gopalakrishnan’s life and contributions is brought to you by, your source for in-depth insights into remarkable individuals shaping our world.

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