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Infosys to bid for unique ID project. Conflict of interest?Anyone?

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Nandan Nilekani is the perfect example of an entrepreneur to a successful author to now a policy maker. In his book Imagining India Nilekani mentioned about how the entrepreneurs in those days are looked down upon by the politicians and policy makers. Now, Nilekani is one of the policy makers. It only took 30 years but it is worth it.

No one would have thought Nilekani would get a cabinet position. I meaninfosys-logo he is not the political kind and Indian politics is not the reform making kind. Things are finally changing for India and its policy making. Nilekani will be heading the national identification or unique ID project. Long story short there will soon be a social security number sort of thing for every Indian. Whether it will be tied to social security or not is something to be seen.

There is PAN number, voter ID which tried to make it uniform across India but failed. This new unique ID might be India’s answer to many problems and will finally replace all the other cards.

The twist in the story is – Infosys is planning to bid for this project (this could be rumor). This would be a huge eGovernance project which most of the top IT majors will be waiting to bid. Nilekani has resigned from Infosys board and the board has accepted his resignation. I don’t doubt anything here.

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Given the association of Nilekani with Infosys if Infosys bids for the project and gets the project wouldn’t it be a conflict of interest? I am not doubting Infosys capabilities here. It is just the pure coincidence which I wanted to discuss.

Infosys do not have strong revenues from India and would like to bolster that position and this unique ID project might be a good opportunity.

But, the question still remains. If Infosys bids for the project and gets it would it be conflict of interest?

PS : Remember I am eliciting opinions and not insinuating anything.

  1. governance says

    not a big issue because infy is a good company :)

  2. example says

    you sneaky little shit, of course we know what you are insinuating even if you claim otherwise repeatedly.

  3. Ram says

    By the way are they recruiting too?? Any ideas…

  4. AHCVKumar says

    How to bid for UID project

  5. Nagendra says

    Hi to Everyone,

    Normally, this type of project will be broken into pieces by taking Security other reasons into consideration, Hope all companies will get piece of project and at last, integration will be done by Infosys as Integrators can charge high price for rolling out the project. This way everyone will be safe starting from Nandan, IT companies, politicians etc.

  6. Kishore, Tummalapalli says

    Infy is know for the word “No compromise on Qaulity & Price”. I feel, if infy gets the project it will really go on well.

  7. diduknow says

    Are you suggesting that we are better off having a DELIOTTE, IBM or ACCENTURE of the worlds driving this initiative. There will be an immense pride to get this done for India especially among the india tech community. Why should we looking outside..

    anand

  8. diduknow says

    INFY has maintained the high ground when it comes to corporate morales. Even if INFY wins the work I think it will be on their merits and not hints about the estimated price.

  9. Arun Prabhudesai says

    Now Prats, you are surely one lucky guy :) Yes, many believe Nandan to be as fair as one could be…and I do believe that as well.
    However, that is not going to stop their competitors in the project to balloon this factor when the bidding process takes place.

  10. Prats says

    I am one of the lucky few who actually had a chance to interact with Nandan and I can tell you one thing is for sure, no matter how much conflict of interest is possible, his decision would always be fair, logical and justified.

  11. VJ says

    @Ankit I am also confident on nandan’s integrity.But there is a threshold for everything…there is a price for everything :D Infosys has not done well in indian market due to some reasons known only to them.With slump hovering over N.American market Asia will be key for all vendors and infosys in particular.

    @Sriram What i meant was an “approx” cost with which infy can work upon..not necessarily the lowest bid.Defintely agreee ,mahindra satyam or TM will be a close bidder.Just to avoid badmouthing mr.nilekani might even give it someone other than infy .Mahindra is my choice.

    Grrr…im arguing both ways. !!!

  12. Ankit says

    Amazing response by @VJ
    But given Nandan’s reputation and integrity, i doubt it can happen.

    Moreover, have other bidders been identified.I wouldn be surprised if TCS is in too for real.They are like the default IT vendors for Indian Government.
    Then it would be interesting to see how Mr.nandan plays the cards

    1. Sriram Vadlamani says

      TCS and Wipro will definitely be in . I will not be surprised if Tech Mahindra joins the race.

  13. VJ says

    We can expect integrity,transparency etc etc..but at the corner of my mind..i just get a thinking..that a small hint from nilekani to infosys on the estimated cost is good enough to make a successful bid :D.if done this project would be worth in billions of dollars.

    1. Sriram Vadlamani says

      Infosys is not known as low bidders. So even a cost tip wouldnt’ matter much unless they are really in deep trouble and need some Indian business.

      In the past it lost to TCS and Wipro and Infy is the highest bidder on both occasions.

      It is like pricing the iPhone at 31000 which comes to $700 in the US. In US its fine but when it comes to India the purchasing power comes into picture. Apple and Infosys don’t know the difference.

  14. Anaggh A. Desai says

    How different is this with the other politicians/bureaucrat’s relatives? At least there would be some element of transparency given the background, names & company.

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