Bangalore: Infoscians will miss one of its biggest icons, as Co-Chairman Nandan Nilekani exits the board of the company that he co-founded to head one of the most ambitious e-governance projects.
"I will be parting with a colleague whom I have known for more than 30 years," said S. Gopalakrishnan, CEO, Infosys. "He will remain a friend and we'll meet occasionally."
While the country's second largest IT services exporter celebrates the success of its co-founder, there is unmistakably a sense of loss as evident in the chief executive's statement, which reiterates the long and deep association Nilekani had with the company.
The journey began back in 1978, even before Infosys, when Nilekani joined Patni Computers after graduating from IIT Bombay and began working under N. R. Narayana Murthy.
Three years later, in 1981, Infosys was born under the leadership of Murthy and the other co-founders. The team worked hard to build Infosys through the 1980s and the 1990s.
Nilekani was CEO and Managing Director of Infosys from March 2002 to June 2007, and previously held the posts of the President and Chief Operating Officer.
Under Nilekani's leadership, Infosys' global delivery model became mainstream and the company's revenues grew from Rs 3,604 crore to Rs 13,893 crore and the headcount scaled up from 10,700 people to over 72,000.
Awards and recognition
Awards and recognition have never been scant for Nilekani who is now taking on a larger role as the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India.
In January 2006, Nilekani became one of the youngest entrepreneurs to join 20 global leaders on the World Economic Forum (WEF) Foundation Board.
He was also listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine, in 2006.
In 2006, he was conferred the Padma Bhushan. His book, Imagining India: Ideas for the New Century, which came out late last year is a huge success.
Nilekani is a member of the National Knowledge Commission and part of the National Advisory Group on e-governance, among several other organisations.