Nandan Reveals True Identity
By Rajashekara S - BANGALORE
Published: 19th Jan 2014 12:23:08 PM
The guise of disinterest has been cast aside. After Infosys co-founder and UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani expressed his wish to contest the Bangalore South Lok Sabha seat as a Congress candidate, he has actively jumped into the fray and is using management techniques and expertise to woo voters. Nilekani’s team of advisors and IT consultants has rolled out an extensive poll campaign, named Operation Agile after a management technique.
The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) cleared Nilekani’s name at a meeting held in Bangalore last week. The 58-year-old technocrat will debut against political heavyweight H N Ananth Kumar who has been elected for five consecutive terms from Bangalore South, a stronghold of the Sangh Parivar.
In the first stage of the campaign, Nilekani will attend as many public contact programmes as possible. Last Sunday, he attended one such event organised by Pledge2Vote, an NGO. He even rode a cycle at its rally in posh Koramangala where he lives.
In the second stage, the group will launch a social and digital media blitzkrieg. Already, a Nilekani Facebook page created last September, has garnered 14,500 followers. “The social and digital campaign will adopt participatory techniques,” a senior management consultant said, adding they would intensify the campaign once Nilekani officially joins the Congress.
Agile management techniques are used, particularly in IT companies, to deal with unpredictable situations. The pitch is raised with the help of incremental methods and ‘iterations’ change every two weeks or faster.
Nilekani, who is rated as one of the richest Indian by Forbes with over Rs 4,000 crore in assets, had his first stint in public life in 2004 in the SM Krishna-led Congress government in Karnataka. Krishna made him the chairman of the Bangalore Agenda Task Force. It was here that he met PM Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi during a presentation on national urban renewal mission.
That Nilekani had been eyeing Bangalore South seat was an open secret, but what is not widely known is that he wanted to be the HRD minister in UPA II. However, Sonia Gandhi turned down his request by offering to make him a Planning Commission member, an offer he in turn rejected.
Nilekani did not respond to emails sent to confirm this disclosure.
The Sunday Standard