NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's a small world after all, and on the other side of it, N.R. Narayana Murthy is a name to be reckoned with. Murthy, 67, co-founded Infosys ( INFY), one of the country's biggest information technology companies, in 1981. It started as a dirt-cheap way to get software written, sort of the way South Korea got into animation. But it became much more than an outsourcer, and today it has offices around the world, including 18 in the U.S., where it employs more than 3,000 people. Infosys is still basically a contract developer, but it's one with global reach. It has made multiple acquisitions in the U.S., including a company in Atlanta, as well as companies in Australia and Switzerland. Its headquarters in Bangalore is the height of elegance, and its building in Pune, where it was founded, looks something like an Easter Egg. a September profile, Murthy also has a touch of Andrew Carnegie to him. When Murthy retired at age 65, about 2 1/2 years ago, it was expected he'd devote himself to those good works as Bill Gates of Microsoft ( MSFT) has done. S.D. Shibulal, his successor, who remains CEO, tried to turn Infosys into a platform company, a products company and a consultant, one that could compete head-to-head with American companies such as IBM ( IBM) and Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ).
What Murthy has done since his return is to bring Infosys back to its roots, as the India-based low-cost provider of custom programming, and so far it's working. Revenue grew 15% in dollar terms during the September quarter, just reported, which is no mean feat given that the Indian rupee fell 11% in value during the same period. Margins are down, but Murthy is making it up on volume, taking advantage of the cheap rupee to undercut Western companies on price. Follow @DanaBlankenhor This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.