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Nandan Nilekani and wife Rohini declare assets worth Rs 7,700 crore

Written By Admin on Monday, 24 March 2014 | Monday, March 24, 2014

Making his wealth public a day before stepping into the fray for Lok Sabha elections, Infosys co-founder and Congress candidate from Bangalore South, Nandan Nilekani, has declared that he and his wife Rohini Nilekani have assets worth Rs7,700 crore.

“I started out with Rs200 in my pocket, when I graduated from IIT.... We founded Infosys with Rs10,000,” Nilekani’s media team, quoting him, said. “Today, because of the success of a company built from scratch, Nandan and Rohini have assets of Rs7,700 crore,” a release issued by the media team said.

His formidable opponent and five-time Lok Sabha member from Bangalore South, Ananth Kumar of BJP has declared himself poorer than his wife Tejaswani. In an affidavit filed on Wednesday, Kumar has declared his total assets stands at Rs51.12 lakh, while Tejaswani owns assets worth of Rs3.86 crore. Total assets owned by the family is Rs4.4 crore.

The chief architect of UPA’S flagship Aadhar scheme, Nilekani took the political plunge on 9 March, when he joined Congress, a day after the party named him as its candidate from Bangalore South. The seat has been a hostile terrain for Congress which had been tasting defeat since the late 1970s, barring in 1989 when former chief minister late R. Gundu Rao had won.

Nilekani said: “Most of our wealth, almost 80% remains in Infosys shares; ...this wealth was created while Infosys brought lakhs of jobs to Bengaluru. The company also shared a lot of wealth with our employees through ESOPs (employee stock ownership plan).” He said he still owns 1.45%, and Rohini 1.3% of Infosys.

Saying he is proud of the fact that his wealth is completely transparent, Nilekani said: “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,” he added.

Since 1999, both are said to have donated almost Rs400 crore of their wealth to various causes and charities. “I have worked in the social sector for more than 15 years now...and when I came into some money through the sale of Infosys shares, I was able to spend more on my philanthropy,” Rohini Nilekani said. Nilekani and Rohini have prioritized their philanthropy in areas like water, governance, education.
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