Introducing the IIT graduate who successfully passed not just one, but two unique hiring assessments created by Narayan Murthy, the chairman of Infosys, in order to secure a job, and is now recognized as one of India’s leading entrepreneurs.
Nandan Nilekani ranks among the prominent Indian entrepreneurs and is widely recognized as one of the key figures in the field. As one of the seven co-founders of the renowned technology giant Infosys, Nilekani played a significant role in shaping the company’s success. From 2002 to 2007, he served as the CEO of India’s second-largest technology services company. Presently, Nilekani holds the position of non-executive chairman at Infosys, contributing his expertise to the company’s continued growth and development.
Nandan Nilekani is also recognized as the Chief Architect of Aadhaar and previously served as the chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
Who is Nandan Nilekai?
Nandan Nilekani comes from a family of Konkani Brahmins. He completed his early education at Bishop Cotton Boy’s School and St. Joseph’s High School in Dharwad, Karnataka. Nilekani then went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
In 1978, Nilekani was employed at Patni Computer Systems in Mumbai, where he had the opportunity to meet NR Narayana Murthy. Last year, Infosys celebrated its 40-year journey as a leading contributor to India’s IT revolution. During the commemorative event, Murthy shared the story of how he hired Nilekani.
Even during Nilekani’s tenure as the head of software at Patni Computer Systems (PCS), Murthy didn’t hesitate to administer his “learnability test.” Although Nilekani achieved a flawless score of 50/50, Murthy remained unsatisfied. “No, I was not satisfied with that,” Murthy remarked.
Nilekani underwent an IQ test created by Murthy, which Nandan successfully completed in approximately one and a half minutes.
“I had created an IQ test called matrix rotation, and the highly intelligent individuals would solve it in around a minute and a half, while those reasonably intelligent would take about 5 minutes. And he (Nilekani) managed to solve it in about a minute and a half,” Murthy stated. Nilekani initially departed from Infosys in 2009 but later returned to the company in 2017.
Presently, in addition to serving as the non-executive chairman of Infosys, Nilekani holds positions of significant influence and responsibility. He is a member of the board of governors of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and holds the role of president at NCAER (National Council of Applied Economic Research).
Nilekani ventured into the realm of politics and contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from the Bangalore South constituency, but his electoral journey did not yield significant success. According to Forbes, Nilekani’s current net worth is estimated to be Rs 21,453 crore.