Thursday, March 20, 2014

The billion dollar candidate

From Rs 200 to Rs 7700 crores. The richest Lok Sabha candidate (as declared so far).

An inspiring (true) story. The IITs have given much to the nation but much more is expected (and from other elite academic institutions as well). It is also to be hoped that Mr Nilekani's charitable donations will be focused on improving education of all stripes (engineering, medical, liberal arts, K-12 etc).

In what would perhaps make him the richest Lok Sabha candidate, ahead of officially declaring his assets, when he files the nomination papers here on Friday, former UIDAI chairman and Bangalore South Congress candidate Nandan Nilekani on Thursday announced that his wife Rohini and he were worth Rs 7,700 crore.

"I started out with Rs 200 in my pocket, when I graduated from IIT. We founded the Infosys with Rs 10,000," Nilekani and Rohini said in a statement issued to declare their assets.

Nilekani said of the Rs 7,700 crore, almost 80% of the wealth remains in Infosys shares, where he still owns 1.45% and Rohini 1.3%. "This wealth was created, while Infosys brought lakhs of jobs to Bangalore. The company also shared a lot of wealth with our employees through ESOPs," he added.
Apart from the huge assets, Nilekani said: "The biggest thing the money Infosys brought me is the freedom to do what I want. And what I want, is to give millions more the opportunities I had."

According to him the Infosys story, inspired a generation of young Indians to start something on their own, to take risks that created wealth for the country, as well as millions of new jobs.

In the statement, the couple said they have donated almost Rs 400 crore of their wealth to various causes and charities.

"'I am proud of the fact that my wealth is completely transparent. I haven't made any of my money illegally, or hid it in investments outside the country. Nothing is hidden in someone else's bank account. It is all completely transparent and tax-paid," Nilekani said.

No comments:

Post a Comment