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Nandan Nilekani

Former Chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)

Nandan Nilekani was most recently the chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)—which aims to provide a unique identification number for all residents of India—in the rank and status of a cabinet minister. In March 2014, he resigned as UIDAI chairman to contest for the 16th Lok Sabha election of the Bangalore South Constituency. Nandan was previously the co-chairman of the board of directors of Infosys Technologies Limited, which he co-founded in 1981. Serving as director on the company’s board since its inception to July 2009, he has held various posts at Infosys, including CEO and managing director, president, and chief operating officer. Nandan co-founded India’s National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) as well as the Bengaluru chapter of The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TiE). He is the president of the governing body of the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), India’s oldest and largest independent economic research institute, and also a member of the board of governors of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). Born in Bengaluru, Nandan received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. He was named the Corporate Citizen of the Year at the 2004 Asia Business Leaders Awards organized by CNBC. In 2005, he received the prestigious Joseph Schumpeter Prize for innovative services in economy, economic sciences, and politics. Nandan was awarded one of India’s highest civilian honours, the Padma Bhushan, in 2006. That 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. He is the author of “Imagining India,” which discusses his ideas for India’s future and was one of the finalists for the FT-Goldman Sachs Book Award in 2009. Foreign Policy magazine listed him as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2010.