Nilekani: Infosys’ loss or government’s gain?

June 29, 2009

India’s Silicon Valley is saying goodbye to Nandan Nilekani, the engineer-entrepreneur who co-founded Infosys Technologies and helped put India on the global IT map.

A statemeINDIA-PEPSICO/nt from the country’s No. 2 software exporter on Thursday said Nilekani has been invited by the prime minister to head the government agency Unique Identification Authority of India in the rank of a cabinet minister.

Nilekani’s exit throws up several questions — what prompted this co-chairman with a spotless past to take up a government responsibility? In a nation of billion-plus people where corruption is seen putting the brakes on most government initiatives, can Nilekani replay a corporate story of success? Can he bring the same professionalism in the corridors of power at Raisina Hill?

Holding posts of CEO and later MD, he helped propel Infosys, which he co-founded with mentor Narayana Murthy, from scratch to a world-class company “despite the system”.

Reports say the UPA government is keen on using Nilekani’s professionalism to get its Unique Identity Card project off the ground.

Infosys and its employees may have delivered on many large-scale projects for Fortune 500 companies, but can the success be replicated in a purely government initiative? And does Nilekani’s move augur well for Infosys and the government?


This is an uncommon and great decision from Mr.Nilekani to lead for a biggest and challenging task for India. It’s not about Govt alone, it is about billion plus people. This shows that there are some top notch people (and not the crime politicos) out there who wouldn’t hesitate joining the political initiatives these days. I’m sure this will be an encouragement for today’s young generation to care for their own country.

Mr.Manmohan is one person who knows what to give to people and how to get it from the industry. He has proven that he has vision and he can get it better for the people of India. Over all, its a starting chapter for the Technology sector to show high level co-operation in the governance of India. Good Luck Mr. Nilekani and UPA!

Posted by Vamshidhar | Report as abusive

Let this be a first step.Because serving our Nation is above all than heading a private enterprise. If anything good can be done to our beloved country for its betterment, it will go down the history and will be remembered with pride by the generations to come..
Yesterday Kalam, today Nandan.. Wishes..

Posted by G.Ravindhar | Report as abusive

A decision well taken Mr. Nilekani, we all as citizen are proud and fell part of your endeavour. I would not term this a loss to Infosys, sure many more heroes who progressed under you are ready to take forward this great company. It is more distinctively gain to the country not to the government as putforth. Though my full congratulation to our visionary Prime Minister. Goodluck Mr. Prime Minister and Mr. Nilekani.

Posted by Ramesh.C.Upadhyay | Report as abusive

This is an epitome of Dr. Manmohan’s holistic approach. Hands off to his team for their effective utlization of high profile corporate people like nilekani.

Posted by satheesh | Report as abusive

its a clear cut patriotic&visionary’s mind speak out.
truly a noteworthy intiative from Mr.Nilekani ,which would be an inspiration and an act to look up at for all ages of citizens.

wishing you the very best” is not the word for you its only “wishing you the very better” as you have always demonstrated that in your life!!!!!!


it is a great opportunity for Nandan to show the world that when it comes to country,there is nothing above it and a corporate can also works as good in the public system as in private.It will also inspire other corporate czars to come forward and help our country to achieve Vision 2020.We must appreciate planning commission and in particular our PM for his vision to include such an eminent person in this important projects which influences every citizen of India.As far as Infosys is concerned,it will carry on with its growth as it has done over the last decade.

Posted by sachin saini | Report as abusive

This is really a very important decision of Mr. Nilekani to head the project of Government of India and leave the company which he founded. A solid rock heart is required and he once again proves his mettle. I think in his leadership the project associated with all of us will gonna be a success.

Posted by Mohammed Tayyib | Report as abusive

Great loss to Infosysians… Good decision to join Govt. initiatives!

Posted by Anandhi | Report as abusive

This is a great decision from Mr Nilekani,. Sofar he as raised Indian IT industry to a world class, And i am sure he going to set a milestone in History Indian politics,..this Project going to be a real BIG success every in Indian history,


Posted by Rex Remion | Report as abusive

i feel this move by mr. nandan is really remarkable. i feel proud for having these type of professional in our country.

Posted by arveena sharma | Report as abusive

this movement is like a revolution.and this will boost the social commitement of youth which is not there now….

Posted by shibishk | Report as abusive

Having been nurtured by Narayanamurthy and Nilekani Infosys can survive and grow without Nilekani as it has to one day or the other. It remains to be seen if our politicos will really let the govt. and the country gain from Nilekani’s talent. I will not be surprised if the powers that be,which are soaked in sycophancy and loyality,get jittery at Nilekan’s popularity and dump him.


Go India Inc. Go!

Posted by sandy | Report as abusive

We usually come across lots of people/professionals who are having vision to do something for the country. But it is really never goes beyond the discussion room. It is again proved by Mr. Nilekani, that nothing is a barrier when it’s the matter for your own country. India has got the best of the lot. I am proud of having Mr. Singh as our Prime Minister, who is a genius, with genuine vision & Mr. Nilekani, an eminent personality in professional corporate world. Their leadership is going to show that “Yes, INDIA CAN”. This is just a good beginning and will continue to enlighten India. All the very best!!

Posted by Deb | Report as abusive

Its a good development, a private proffessional who has proved to a greater extent that one with a greater aspiration,large dreams and with team work can achieve all the set objectives moving to become a Govt. proffessional to show to the world that, it is possible to achieve all the set objectives ( which are assigned to him) to a larger extent.
Wish him all the best………..Sunilkumar

Posted by Sunilkumar | Report as abusive

As it is mentioned above that he is one of the duo who built a million dollar empire and a software giant from a scratch and also” despite the system”.
what exactly is the system?
who exactly made this sytem?? no one can answer that but yes we can say it it was the joint effort and perseverance of Mr.Narayan Murthi and this man who chose to do it all and they did it against all the odds and against the entire system they acheived what they had set out to do.
i think this in itself shows how capable and determined he is to fulfill this objective.

Posted by kitty | Report as abusive

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