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Nandan Nilekani is the co-founder of tech giant Infosys and has been its non-executive chairman since 2017. Nilekani, who left Infosys in 2009, was brought back in 2017 after a boardroom shakeup at the company and the sudden departure of its CEO.
Nilekani left Infosys in July 2009 to serve as the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a cabinet ranking position that he entered under the invitation of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. As chair of the UIDAI he was responsible for implementing the Multipurpose National Identity Card, or Unique Identity Card (UID Card) project in India. This initiative aims to provide a unique identification number for all residents of India and will be used primarily as the basis for efficient delivery of welfare services. The drive to create this government database of the entire population of India has been called “the biggest social project on the planet.”
He is a member of Indian National Congress but has not been active in politics since 2015. In 2016, Mililani joined a committee to investigate how people in India could use digital payments to a greater extent.
Nandan Nilekani is currently chairman of EkStep, a non-profit literacy and numeracy platform. Set up by the Nilekanis with an initial commitment of US$10million, Este looks at solving the ‘learning problem’ by creating a technology-led platform to help children in improving their learning outcomes early in their lives.
Nilekani is also President of the Governing Body of the New Dehli based National Council of Applied Economic Research, India’s largest and oldest non-profit economic research think tank.
Nilekani is also a serial investor and has invested in around 12 tech star-ups to date.
In 2006, he was named Businessman of the Year by Forbes Asia. In 2009, Time Magazine placed Nilekani in the Time 100 list of World’s Most Influential People. India Today ranked him 12th in India’s 50 Most Powerful people of 2017 list.