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Nandan Nilekani returns to Infosys as Chairman: All you need to know about the company’s co-founder

Nilekani, who is also former UIDAI chairman, had enjoyed a relatively successful career at Infosys. The company grew several fold during his tenure as the CEO from March 2002 till April 2007.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 24, 2017 9:40:34 pm
Infosys, Nandan Nilekani, Narayana Murthy, Vishal Sikka, Nandan Nilekani chairman, Nandan Nilekani also co-founded NASSCOM as well as the Bengaluru chapter of The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TiE). (Source: Express File)

Infosys co-founder and former chief executive Nandan Nilekani has been appointed as the Chairman of Infosys on Thursday, days after Vishal Sikka resigned from the post of CEO, MD. The Infosys board has been mired in a dispute for several months now, with company’s founders, led by former Chairman Narayana Murthy, accusing the directors of the company for lapse in governance.

After joining Infosys as Chairman, Nilekani said: “I am happy to return to Infosys, now in the role of non-executive chairman, and look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and in executive management on the business opportunities we see before us and delivering benefits to our clients, shareholders, employees and communities. I thank Vishal for his service as the CEO of Infosys over the last 3 years and wish him well in his future endeavours.” Also Read: Nandan Nilekani appointed as Infosys Chairman, Vishal Sikka quits board, Seshasayee steps down

Nilekani, who is also former UIDAI chairman, had enjoyed a relatively successful career at Infosys. The company grew several fold during his tenure as the CEO from March 2002 till April 2007. After his exit from Infosys in 2009, Nilekani accepted former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s invitation to spearhead the implementation of the Unique Identification Authority of India project pan India. UIDAI was clearly aimed at providing citizens of India with a unique identification number.

Nilekani also co-founded NASSCOM as well as the Bengaluru chapter of The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TiE). He is also the president of National Council of Applied Economic Research, one of India’s largest and oldest economic research institute. Besides, he is also a member of the board of governors of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).

Nilekani’s performance on the political front has, however, been dismal. He joined the Congress party in 2014 during the Lok Sabha election and contested from the Bangalore South constituency. But he lost with a huge margin. This was Nilekani’s maiden election. He was also the richest candidate in fray for the 16th Lok Sabha election. After he lost the election, Nilekani said: “I concede defeat and congratulate Ananth Kumar for his performance in this poll. I will continue to work more for the city and the Congress party.” When he was asked what went wrong for him, he said he was happy with the campaign he ran and the way his supporters and Congress leaders work along with him on the campaign.

An alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Nilekani was also bestowed with the title’ ‘Asia’s Businessman of the Year’ in 2003 by Fortune Magazine. Aside from this, he was also named ‘Corporate Citizen of the Year’ at the Asia Business Leaders Award that took place in 2004 and received the coveted Joseph Schumpeter prize for innovative services in economy, economic sciences, and politics in 2005.

He was also conferred with the Padma Bhushan in 2006, India’s highest civilian honour. While Forbes Asia named his ‘Businessman of the Year’ in 2006, the iconic Time magazine listed his name in one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2006 and 2009. Nilekani is also the author of a book called ‘Imagining India’, which talks about his ideas for India’s prosperous future.

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