Phaneesh Murthy, a seasoned professional in the global tech and business services sector, is known for his remarkable career spanning over three decades. With a focus on consulting, he has years of experience structuring and managing large outsourcing deals for Fortune 500 companies. Currently, he serves as a consultant for Primentor, Inc., a strategy consulting firm he founded in 2013, where he offers his expertise in restructuring, business strategy, and optimizing IT spending.

 

Murthy’s career includes notable roles such as CEO and President of iGate Corporation, a global leader in providing integrated technology and operations-based solutions. Under his leadership, iGate transformed from a loss-making company to a highly profitable one, with revenues soaring from nearly nothing to approximately $1.2 billion. Before iGate, Murthy served as the Global Sales Head of Infosys Ltd, where he played a pivotal role in propelling the organization’s revenues from a mere $2 million to an impressive $700 million in less than a decade.

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Born in Bangalore, Karnataka, India, Murthy’s educational background includes an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad and a BS from the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai. His industry experience, spanning more than two decades, is a testament to his business acumen and ability to drive organizational growth.

 

However, beyond his impressive boardroom achievements, Murthy nurtures a profound passion for wildlife conservation, particularly in his native India.

 

A Love for the Wild

Murthy’s deep affection for the natural world shines through when he speaks about his personal experiences. “I love wildlife. That’s a passion for me. I mean, seeing animals in the wild in their natural behavior, is something that makes my heart go pitter-patter,” he shares with enthusiasm. “Even on my last trip, we went and we were fortunate enough to see a tiger in the wild, a leopard in the wild, and so on and so forth.”

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This passion has fueled Murthy’s commitment to tangible conservation efforts. For nearly a decade, he has been actively involved with tiger reserves in India, working tirelessly to protect these magnificent creatures and their habitats.

 

Addressing the Challenges of Conservation

Through the Kabini Foundation, an organization he established, Murthy has been tackling one of the most pressing issues in tiger conservation: human encroachment on wildlife habitats. “The idea was really to focus on two things. One particularly was a little on trying to do inclusive education, so primarily girls who, in India, have been somewhat disadvantaged when they’re coming from poor families in terms of growth,” Murthy explains. “And then the second area, which has always been a pet theme of mine, which is around wildlife conservation.”

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The foundation’s approach is twofold. First, it aims to provide inclusive education and growth opportunities for disadvantaged girls from poor families in India. Second, it imparts vocational training to villagers living near tiger reserves, equipping them with alternative livelihood options that reduce their dependence on forest resources. The Kabini Foundation seeks to minimize human-wildlife conflicts and foster a more sustainable ecosystem by addressing these socio-economic factors.

 

Murthy elaborates on the foundation’s efforts: “So about 20 years ago, we found that the tiger population in India was becoming alarmingly low in the jungles of India. And by the way, most of the Navodaya Fountion work is generally centered around India because India is a country where, I mean poverty, as you can imagine, abounds in plenty. And therefore it is something which you can spend all of the world’s top billionaire’s money in India and you might still not be able to alleviate it.”

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Supporting Conservation on Multiple Fronts

Murthy’s support for wildlife conservation extends far beyond his foundation. He actively contributes to renowned organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and local conservation groups in India. “I try and do as much as I can to support the conservation of these animals in the wild,” he emphasizes. “The idea is what can we do to make sure the forests are preserved and that animals can live in the wild as much as possible?”

 

One of Murthy’s most significant contributions to tiger conservation is his recent donation of a thermal drone and 900 tracking cameras to the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, India. These advanced tools, collectively worth over $100,000, are expected to greatly enhance the reserve’s anti-poaching efforts and aid in monitoring tiger populations.

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The thermal drone has already demonstrated its effectiveness in a recent incident. Forest officials used it to locate a leopard that had strayed into a nearby village. By tracking the animal’s heat signature, they successfully tranquilized and relocated it back to the forest, ensuring the safety of both the leopard and the villagers.

 

Murthy reflects on the impact of these efforts: “The good news is, at least on the tiger story, there is impact, and it’s not just from my efforts obviously, it’s efforts from multiple people who have tried to come together in conservation. But the tiger population in India over the last 20 years has grown. And the tigers in the wild, I’m talking about, obviously all of this is in the wild and the tiger population in India has actually grown very nicely and that has enabled even the whole, what I’m going to call, the birth of ecotourism.”

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A Vision for the Future

Murthy’s unwavering dedication to wildlife conservation is rooted in his concern for the future of these species. “I want to be able to show my kids animals in the wild,” he shares, “and I don’t know if they’d be able to show their kids animals in the wild because of the way the forests are depleting and so on.”

 

This sentiment underscores the pressing need for conservation efforts. While India is home to over 70% of the world’s tiger population and numbers have been gradually increasing due to concerted efforts, the species continues to face significant threats from poaching, habitat loss, and human-wildlife conflicts.

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Murthy firmly believes in the importance of preserving these natural wonders for generations to come. His financial and strategic contributions play a vital role in ensuring that India’s wildlife, especially its iconic tigers, can flourish in their natural habitats.

 

An Inspiring Example

In a world where corporate success often dominates the spotlight, Phaneesh Murthy’s commitment to wildlife conservation offers a refreshing and inspiring perspective. It serves as a powerful reminder that business leaders possess the capacity and responsibility to effect positive change beyond the confines of the boardroom.

 

As Murthy continues to make remarkable strides in the tech industry through his company Primentor, which specializes in training high-level executives to achieve hyper-growth, his dedication to conservation remains steadfast. By leading by example and inspiring others to follow in his footsteps, he is leaving an indelible mark not only on the business world but also on the natural world.

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In the face of escalating environmental challenges, individuals like Phaneesh Murthy are inspiring, to say the least. Their passion, coupled with strategic action, is crucial in ensuring that the wonders of the wild endure for generations to come. As Murthy eloquently puts it, “It’s just a certain passion, and it’s close to my heart.”

 


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Business Standard 2025

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