Nandan Nilekani is an Indian entrepreneur who played a pivotal role in the IT industry. He co-founded Infosys, a global leader in IT services, and served as its non-executive chairman. Additionally, he led the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), responsible for implementing the Aadhaar, a national identity system. Nilekani’s expertise extends beyond technology, as he also served as the head of the Government of India’s technology committee, TAGUP. While he is a member of the Indian National Congress, he has not been actively involved in politics since 2019.
Nandan Nilekani Biography & Basic Info
|Nandan Mohan Nilekani
|Date Of Birth
|02 June 1955
|Place of Birth
|Age (as on 2023)
|Reading, Music, Philosphy
|290 crores USD
Nandan Nilekani, a prominent Indian entrepreneur, hails from the city of Bangalore. His parents, Durga and Mohan Rao Nilekani, were Konkani speakers with roots in Sirsi, Karnataka. Nilekani’s father, a general manager at Mysore and Minerva Mills, adhered to Fabian Socialist principles, which left a lasting impression on Nilekani during his formative years. Nilekani’s elder brother, Vijay, pursued a career at the Nuclear Energy Institute in the United States.
Nilekani’s educational journey unfolded at Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, St. Joseph’s High School Dharwad, and Karnataka PU College Dharwad. He later earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.
Struggle & challenges
Nandan Nilekani embarked on his professional journey in 1978, joining Patni Computer Systems in Mumbai. It was during this time that he met and was interviewed by N.R. Narayana Murthy, an encounter that would shape his future. In 1981, Nilekani, along with Murthy and five others, ventured out to establish their own company, Infosys. Nilekani’s leadership as CEO from 2002 to 2007 proved transformative for Infosys, propelling its growth to a remarkable sixfold increase in revenue.
In 2009, Nilekani took on a new challenge, assuming the chairmanship of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). Tasked with implementing the ambitious Aadhaar project, Nilekani oversaw the creation of a biometric ID system for all Indian residents. This groundbreaking initiative aimed to revolutionize the delivery of welfare services and establish a comprehensive database of the nation’s population.
Beyond his technological endeavors, Nilekani has also actively engaged in the realm of public policy and governance. He serves as a member of the board of governors of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and presides over the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER). His expertise extends to the global stage, as he holds positions on advisory boards such as the World Economic Forum Foundation and the Bombay Heritage Fund.
Nilekani’s contributions have not gone unnoticed. He has been featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to discuss his book, Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation, and graced the TED conference with his insights on India’s future potential.
In 2014, Nilekani stepped into the political arena, joining the Indian National Congress and contesting in the Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency. Despite his campaign efforts, he fell short of victory, losing to the BJP candidate. Subsequently, he joined a committee dedicated to promoting digital payments in India.
Nandan Nilekani’s entrepreneurial spirit extends beyond Infosys to EkStep, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing literacy and numeracy skills among children. Established with an initial funding of $10 million by the Nilekanis, EkStep leverages technology-driven platforms to foster early childhood learning. The organization’s gamified apps, available on the Google Play Store, aim to improve children’s learning outcomes.
Nilekani also presides over the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), India’s premier non-profit economic think tank. Founded in 1956, NCAER conducts independent economic policy research and sponsored studies for governments and industries, encompassing a wide range of economic topics from forecasting to poverty analysis. NCAER’s primary survey data collection efforts, spanning households, enterprises, consumers, and individuals, establish it as one of the few global think tanks with such comprehensive data sets.
Nilekani’s investment portfolio reflects his keen interest in fostering innovation. He has invested in approximately 12 startups, including ShopX, Juggernaut, Mubble Networks, Fortigo, P2SME, RailYatri, Axiom Consulting, Systemantics India, Sedemac Mechatronics, Disha Medical Services, Tracxn, LetsVenture, and Travel Triangle. His support for these ventures highlights his commitment to nurturing India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Awards and accolades
Forbes India’s Heroes of Philanthropy: This list features philanthropists from India who are making a difference in the lives of their fellow citizens. The 2023 list includes Nandan Nilekani,
Nandan Nilekani has received numerous awards and recognitions for his achievements and contributions, including:
Nikkei Asia Prize for Economic & Business Innovation in 2017
Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2006 and 2009
Joseph Schumpeter Prize for innovative services in economy, economic sciences and politics, in 2005
Forbes Asia Businessman of the Year in 2003
Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honors, in 2006
Nilekani has also been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the World Economic Forum’s Global Leaders for Tomorrow.
Nandan Nilekani Family Relation
|Wife / Husband
|Rohini Nilekani (Journalist, Philanthropist)
Nandan Nilekani is married to Rohini Nilekani (née Soman), whom he met at a quizzing event at IIT. They have two children, Nihaar and Jahnavi.
Rohini Nilekani is a social entrepreneur and philanthropist. She is the founder and CEO of Arghyam, a foundation that works to improve water and sanitation in India. She is also the co-founder of EkStep, an education technology company that provides online education to children in rural India.
Nihar Nilekani is a software engineer and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and CEO of AadhaarWorks, a company that develops products and services based on Aadhaar, India’s national biometric ID system.
Jahnavi Nilekani is a student at Stanford University. She is interested in social entrepreneurship and public policy.
Nandan Nilekani, an Indian businessman and co-founder of Infosys, has been involved in several controversies throughout his career. These controversies have centered on his role in the Indian IT industry, his involvement in government initiatives, and his personal business dealings.
Infosys whistleblower allegations
In 2019, a group of anonymous Infosys employees accused the company’s then-CEO, Vishal Sikka, of engaging in unethical business practices. Nilekani, who was chairman of Infosys at the time, was criticized for his handling of the allegations.
Aadhaar data leaks
Aadhaar is a biometric ID system that has been rolled out to over 1.2 billion Indians. There have been several data leaks involving Aadhaar, and Nilekani, who was chairman of UIDAI when the system was being developed, has been criticized for not doing enough to protect Aadhaar data.
Conflict of interest allegations
Nilekani has been accused of conflicts of interest due to his involvement in both the private and public sectors. For example, he has been criticized for his role in setting up NPCI, while also being an investor in several private fintech companies.
Nilekani has denied any wrongdoing in all of these cases. He has said that he is committed to ethical business practices and that he is always working to improve the lives of Indians.
Social Media Engagement
|Nandan Nilekani, Twitter
|Nandan @ twit
|Nandan Nilekani, Facebook
|Nandan Nilekani, Instagram
|Nandan Nilekani, Wikipedia
Nandan Nilekani is a leading philanthropist in India. He has donated billions of rupees to a variety of causes, including education, healthcare, and social welfare. He is also a signatory to the Giving Pledge, a commitment by wealthy individuals to give away at least half of their wealth to charity.
Nilekani’s philanthropic work is focused on using technology to solve social problems. He is a strong advocate for digital inclusion, and he has supported initiatives to provide access to the internet and digital skills to people in rural India. He is also a champion of open source software, and he has donated to organizations that are developing open source tools for social impact.
Here are some of the specific philanthropic initiatives that Nandan Nilekani has support.
Arghyam, a foundation that works to improve water and sanitation in India
EkStep: An education technology company that provides online education to children in rural India.
Pratham Education Foundation: A non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of education in India.
Citizens for Public Action: A think tank that works to promote social and economic reform in India.
Nilekani’s philanthropic work has had a significant impact on India. His initiatives have helped to improve the lives of millions of people, and they have helped to make India a more inclusive and equitable society.
Interesting facts about Nandan Nilekani
Nandan Nilekani is also an accomplished author. He has penned several books, including “Imagining India: Ideas for the New Century” and “The Nilekani Tapes: Remaking India Through Software,” sharing his insights on India’s transformation and the role of technology in society.
He is also co-founder of Bangalore Chapter of the Indus Entrepreneurs (Tie) and Nasscom
He has 2.29% of share in Infosys
At present he is non executive chairman of Infosys
Nilekani briefly ventured into politics in 2014, joining the Indian National Congress and contesting in the Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency. Despite his campaign efforts, he lost to the BJP candidate.
In conclusion Overall, Nandan Nilekani is a remarkable individual who has left an indelible mark on India and the world. His contributions to the IT industry, public service, and philanthropy have inspired countless others and set a high standard for leadership and social responsibility. He is a true role model for entrepreneurs, policymakers, and individuals seeking to make a positive difference in the world.
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Q1. who is nandan nilekani ?
Ans. Nandan Nilekani is an Indian entrepreneur and philanthropist who co-founded Infosys, India’s second-largest IT company, in 1981.
Q2. How to contact nandan nilekani?
Ans.Nandan Nilekani frequently speaks at conferences and events. You can find a list of his upcoming appearances on his website. If you are attending an event where he is speaking, you can try to meet him after his talk. Another way to contact him is through social network platform.
Q3. Did nandan nilekani go to usa?
Ans Yes, Nandan Nilekani has been to the USA on multiple occasions. He worked in USA and also went on Business trip to USA.
Q4.Is Nandan nilekani richer than mukesh ambani?
Ans No, Nandan Nilekani is not richer than Mukesh Ambani. As of December 2023, Mukesh Ambani’s net worth is estimated to be $100 billion, while Nandan Nilekani’s net worth is estimated to be $2.5 billion. This means that Mukesh Ambani is approximately 40 times richer than Nandan Nilekani.
Ans. Yes, Nandan Nilekani is often referred to as the father of Aadhaar. He was the chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) from 2009 to 2014, overseeing the implementation of the Aadhaar program. Aadhaar is a biometric ID system that provides a unique identification number to all residents of India. It has been credited with revolutionizing government service delivery and financial inclusion in India.