Senapathy Gopalakrishnan, popularly known as Kris Gopalakrishnan, is a prominent figure in the Indian business world. He is one of the co-founders of Infosys, a leading global consulting and IT services company based in India. While Kris is known for his contributions to the tech industry, there are several fascinating aspects of his life that often go unnoticed. In this article, we will uncover 10 things you probably didn’t know about Senapathy Gopalakrishnan.

1. Avid Philanthropist

Beyond his entrepreneurial success, Kris Gopalakrishnan is an ardent philanthropist, actively engaged in various social and environmental causes. He co-founded the Pratiksha Trust, which supports startups and promotes entrepreneurship. Additionally, he played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Indian School of Business (ISB) and the Gopalakrishnan-Deshpande Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. His contributions to education and healthcare sectors are substantial, illustrating his commitment to enriching society.

Moreover, Gopalakrishnan has a deep interest in sustainable development and actively drives initiatives in this domain. As the Chairman of Axilor Ventures, he supports startups focusing on solving critical environmental challenges. Furthermore, he is a member of the Board of Trustees at the Wildlife Conservation Society in India, demonstrating his dedication to environmental conservation.

2. Passion for Astronomy

Apart from his professional endeavors, Kris Gopalakrishnan has an abiding interest in astronomy. He believes in the power of scientific exploration and its potential to inspire the next generation. To encourage astronomical pursuits, he co-founded the Indian Astronomy Olympiad Program (IAOP). This initiative aims to cultivate scientific curiosity among students and provides them with a platform to explore the wonders of the universe. Gopalakrishnan’s passion for astronomy reflects his belief in the importance of STEM education and its impact on society.

3. Cherished Mentorship

Kris Gopalakrishnan is known for his invaluable mentorship and guidance. He actively supports and advises numerous early-stage startups in India. Recognizing the immense potential of young entrepreneurs, he co-founded Axilor Ventures, a venture capital platform that offers mentorship, infrastructure, and funding to startups. Gopalakrishnan himself actively participates in mentorship programs conducted by Axilor, sharing his knowledge and experiences to empower aspiring entrepreneurs.

Furthermore, he serves as a Governing Board Member at the Indian School of Business (ISB), where he plays a crucial role in shaping the institution’s strategy and mentoring students. His dedication to fostering entrepreneurship and nurturing talent showcases his belief in the power of mentorship in driving success.

4. Passionate Advocate for Research and Innovation

As an eminent entrepreneur, Kris Gopalakrishnan recognizes the significance of research and innovation in fostering technological advancements. He has been a strong advocate for increased investment in R&D in India. To promote scientific research, he co-founded the Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC), an incubator for startups and companies focused on biotechnology and life sciences.

Gopalakrishnan also emphasizes the importance of industry-academia collaborations. He has been actively involved in driving collaboration between academia and the corporate sector, encouraging research and innovation to address real-world challenges. His efforts continue to bridge gaps and propel India’s innovation landscape forward.

5. Supporter of Arts and Culture

While Gopalakrishnan is widely known for his contributions to the IT industry, his support for arts and culture remains lesser-known. He firmly believes in nurturing and preserving India’s rich cultural heritage. As a trustee of the Kalakshetra Foundation, he actively supports the promotion of Indian classical arts and educates students in diverse art forms such as dance, music, and theatre. Gopalakrishnan’s dedication to preserving and fostering the arts underscores his commitment to holistic development.

6. Endowed with Prestigious Titles

In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Kris Gopalakrishnan has been bestowed with several prestigious titles and awards throughout his illustrious career. The Government of India honored him with the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in the country, for his exceptional service in the field of trade and industry. He has also been recognized as an “Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year” by Forbes India. These accolades represent the profound impact Gopalakrishnan has made in various domains.

7. Advocacy for AI and Ethics

Kris Gopalakrishnan is a strong advocate for responsible and ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI). He emphasizes the need for a robust framework governing AI to ensure its benefits are harnessed while mitigating any potential risks. Gopalakrishnan has contributed significantly to the development of India’s policy on AI through his involvement with various government committees and organizations. His thought leadership on AI ethics and responsible innovation has garnered widespread attention, influencing the discourse around technology globally.

8. Mindfulness and Meditation

Practicing mindfulness and meditation is an integral part of Kris Gopalakrishnan’s life. He firmly believes in the power of these practices to enhance creativity, clarity, and overall well-being. Gopalakrishnan actively promotes mindfulness in the workplace and has integrated it into the organizational culture at Infosys. He advocates for the inclusion of such practices in education as well, recognizing their potential to nurture holistic development and resilience.

9. Author and Thought Leader

Beyond his contributions to business and philanthropy, Gopalakrishnan is also an author and thought leader. His book, “Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations,” co-authored with Nandan Nilekani, presents a compelling vision for India’s future and provides insights into unlocking the nation’s potential. Gopalakrishnan frequently shares his wisdom through articles and interviews, offering valuable perspectives on entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology.

10. Continued Engagement with Infosys

Despite stepping down as the CEO and Managing Director of Infosys in 2011, Kris Gopalakrishnan maintains a deep engagement with the company. He serves as the Non-Executive Chairman and continues to provide guidance and strategic direction. Gopalakrishnan’s unwavering commitment reflects his enduring passion for Infosys and his belief in its capacity to shape the future of the global IT industry.

In conclusion, Senapathy “Kris” Gopalakrishnan’s contributions extend far beyond the realm of business and technology. His philanthropy, passion for astronomy, mentorship, advocacy for research and innovation, support for arts and culture, accolades, emphasis on AI ethics, mindfulness, authorship, and continued engagement with Infosys exemplify his multi-faceted personality and profound impact in various domains.

Useful Links:
Pratiksha Trust
Indian School of Business
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Axilor Ventures
Indian Astronomy Olympiad Program
Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre
Kalakshetra Foundation