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 mean 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.
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.