The IT bellwether Infosys Technologies on Monday became the first company in the Asia-Pacific region to ring the bell to open trading on the US-based Nasdaq stock market from Mysore.
The remote bell was rung electronically at the stroke of 7 pm and 9.30 am by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld, Infosys chairman NR Narayana Murthy and Infosys CEO Nandan M Nilekani from the Nasdaq-listed company's sprawling campus near Mysore, about 150 km from Bangalore.
"The ringing of the bell remotely signals that the world is increasingly flattening and India is a part of the global economic community," Greifeld declared, amid applause and euphoric scenes witnessed by about 5,000 people, including young Infoscians, their families and dignitaries.
"Twenty-five years ago, we founded Infosys with a vision of the global delivery model. That vision has been validated as the tide of globalisation has swept across the world and businesses are dramatically changing how they run their organisations," Murthy said on the occasion, which marks the company's silver jubilee fest.
The opening bell is a ceremonial event that represents the essence of Nasdaq's virtual market model.
Since Nasdaq's operations are entirely electronic, it can be opened from any location the world over, bringing together investors and market participants at the beginning of each trading day.
Incidentally, Infosys is the only third company worldwide to have been bestowed the honour and privilege of ringing the Nasdaq bell remotely.
With a current market cap of $22 billion, Infosys in March 1999 became the first Indian firm to be listed on Nasdaq, and became a trend setter for other tech companies such as Satyam (October 1999) and Rediff.com (June 2000) to follow suit.
Besides these three India-based firms, other Indian companies that are traded on Nasdaq as US-based entities are Covansys (March 1997), Syntel Inc (August 1997), Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation (June 1998) and Kanbay International Inc (July 2004).
The $2.1-billion Bangalore-based IT behemoth was recently named to Nasdaq's new global select market.
"It is among the world's 1,200 public companies to have met the highest standards of corporate governance, market value and liquidity," Greifeld said.