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Nilekani's last day is a full house
BANGALORE: The convention hall at Infosys Technologies’ sprawling campus in Electronics City normally seats about 2,000. It is considered large. On Thursday, some 2,500 ‘Infoscians’ thought they were lucky to be packed like sardines inside the hall where Nandan Nilekani was taking his last bow at a company he helped found 28 years ago. Thousands of others were cursing that the hall was a few sizes too small.

Also feeling the strain was the company’s intranet. So many of them — Infosys employs about 100,000 worldwide — had logged on to witness the live webcast of the event that the intranet system had slowed to a crawl.

It may have resembled a rock star’s swan song from the outside but traditional, conservative Infosys — the old lady of Electronics City — made sure that substance, not style, triumphed. For the company and its distinguished founders, sending off their co-chairman to head a project to give every Indian citizen a unique identity card was a family event. It was like the old days, when they were trying to build Infosys with love and fresh air.

Nandan was there with mother Durga, wife Rohini, son Nihar and daughter Jahnavi. And so were the families of the other men who helped create Infosys — NR Narayana Murthy, S Gopalakrishnan, K Dinesh, NS Raghavan and SD Shibulal.

Chairman and chief mentor NR Narayana Murthy said at the farewell function that Mr Nilekani was leaving the company but would still be part of the Infosys family, according to one of the lucky 2,500 in the auditorium.

CEO S Gopalakrishnan remembered Nilekani as a friend and a dreamer with the ability to think big and make dreams come true. “I have known you for longer than I have not known you.”

Mr Nilekani, for his part, described the decision to sever formal ties with Infosys as a difficult one but said he was excited by the challenging assignment which lies ahead. He also spoke of his early days at the company and the strange beasts that bear no resemblance to the computers of today.

The simple, unostentatious affair also saw some employees who had worked closely with Mr Nilekani recalling the pleasant past. And then there was a special video collage capturing some of his best moments in the company. Infosys’ loss is India’s gain, an employee of the company said simply.

Thanks given by:
I really admire the Infosys management team. Infosys is good example of friendship. Each and every person helped infosys in early stage. Now Infy is global company. Kudos to Mr. Nilekani, Narayanmoorthy and Mr. Gopalakrishanan:happy::happy::prayer::prayer::prayer:
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