Nandan Nilekani

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Nandan Nilekani co-founded and is now the Non-Executive Chairman of Infosys. He is the Co-founder and Chairman of EkStep, a not-for-profit effort to create a learner centric, technology based platform to improve basic literacy and numeracy for millions of children. He was most recently the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in the rank of a Cabinet Minister.

Born in Bengaluru, Nilekani received his Bachelor’s degree from IIT, Bombay. Fortune Magazine conferred him with “Asia’s Businessman of the year 2003”. In 2005, he received the prestigious Joseph Schumpeter prize for innovative services in economy, economic sciences and politics. In 2006, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, and was also named Businessman of the year by Forbes Asia.

Time magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2006 & 2009. Foreign Policy magazine listed him as one of the Top 100 Global thinkers in 2010. He won The Economist Social & Economic Innovation Award for his leadership of India’s Unique Identification initiative (Aadhaar). In 2017, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from E&Y. CNBC- TV 18 conferred him its India Business leader award as an outstanding contributor to the Indian Economy-2017, He also received the 22nd Nikkei Asia Prize for Economic & Business Innovation in 2017.

Nandan Nilekani is the author of “Imagining India” and co-authored his second book with Viral Shah, “Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations”.

Career Highlights

Nandan was most recently the co-chairman of the board of directors of Infosys Limited, which he co-founded in 1981. Serving as director on the company’s board from its inception until July 2009, he has held various posts at Infosys, including chief executive officer, managing director, president and chief operating officer.

Nandan co-founded India’s National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) as well as the Bangalore chapter of The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TiE). He is a member of the board of governors of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and the President of NCAER (National Council for Applied Economic Research, India).

Nandan serves on several national and international boards: the board of Reuters as a non-executive member since January 2007, Vice-Chairman of The Conference Board, Inc.,  board of directors of Peterson Institute for International Economics and board of governors of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). He serves as the Co-chairman of the IIT Bombay Heritage Fund and is a member of the board of governors of IIT Bombay.

Additionally, he is a member of the National Knowledge Commission and part of the National Advisory Group on e-Governance. He is also a member of the review committee of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). He has been involved in various initiatives of the central and state governments and was the Chairman of the Government of India’s IT Task Force for the Power Sector. In addition, he served as a member of the subcommittee of the Securities and Exchange Board of India that dealt with issues related to insider trading, and as a member of the Reserve Bank of India’s Advisory Group on corporate governance.

Awards & Recognition

Nandan was named the Corporate Citizen of the Year at the Asia Business Leaders Award (2004) organised by CNBC. In 2005, he received the prestigious Joseph Schumpeter prize for innovative services in economy, economic sciences and politics. Subsequently, in 2006, he was awarded one of India’s highest civilian honours, the Padma Bhushan. In the same year he was also named Businessman of the Year by Forbes Asia. Time magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2006 and 2009.