Monday, March 10, 2014

Mr.Nilekani, Infosys and the UPA

As the countdown to the Greatest Democratic Exercise In The Known Universe kicks off, it's great to see that there are some candidates who have excelled in the private sector and are now throwing their hat into the election ring.

The most prominent of these candidates, of course, being Nandan Nilekani, co-founder and former CEO of Infosys, Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, newly minted member of the  Indian National Congress and candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Bangalore South constituency.

There's no doubt that Mr.Nilekani had a successful stint as the CEO of Infosys. He took over as CEO of Infosys in 2002 when revenues were $500 Million and in 2007, when he handed the baton to Kris Gopalakrishnan, revenues had crossed $3 Billion.His book, Imagining India, covers the many complex issues facing the Republic of India and also lays out some solutions.

Nr.Nilekani has now thrown in his lot with the  Indian National Congress  led United Progressive Alliance. One wonders how Infosys would have fared if had run the company like the way the UPA has run the country:

  • Ignoring corruption by staff members (Coal scam, 2G scam)
  • Paying staff members without auditing the work (MNREGA)
  • Providing discounts to customers who do not need it (Food Security Bill)
  • Letting competition steal company resources (Chinese encroachment and dam on the Brahmaputra)
  • Procurement scams (Augusta Westland Chopper procurement)
  • Scams when organizing company events (Commonwealth Games)
  • Appointing the chairman of the board with dubious qualifications (Mrs.Pratibha Patil as President)
  • Creating conflict of interests in the board (Mr.Moily as the Oil Minister and Environment Minister)
  • Interference in  board decisions by non-board members (Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and the NAC)
  • No employee communication (Dr.Manmohan Singh)
  • Ignoring issues that employees see as significant for the company (Corruption, Women's Safety)

While I'm sure Mr.Nilekani has some great ideas for Bangalore, many of which he will implement if he is given the opportunity, I'm puzzled as to why he has thrown in his lot with the UPA which has shown no signs of being capable of providing good governance.