Former Infosys board member joins Kejriwal

Written by fe Bureau | Bangalore | Updated: Jan 2 2014, 09:51am hrs
Former board member of Infosys V Balakrishnan has joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the political outfit of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

He is the first corporate personality from Bangalore to enter the fledgling party and his decision comes close on the heels of his

former colleague, Nandan Nilekani, expressing interest in contesting the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls on a Congress ticket.

Two weeks ago, Balakrishnan announced his exit

from Infosys, which was a major surprise as he was widely tipped to be the next chief executive of the IT-services firm.

Reports quoting him said on Wednesday: Yes, I have become a member of the AAP, have got the confirmation today. They (AAP) have revolutionised politics in this country, I'm fascinated with it.

FE, however, could not reach him at the time of going to print.

Bangalore has seen active involvement of individuals from the corporate sector participating in the political and civic systems.

The Bangalore Political Action Committee (B.Pac), led by Biocon chairman Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Manipal Education Group

chairman TV Mohandas Pai and others, has been active on various governance practices for the city, which include activities such as voter enrollment and endorsment of candidates contesting elections based on their profile.

The AAP has indicated that it will enter the parliamentary elections and contest a higher number of seats. For Balakrishnan, this move will expand his range of activities apart from being on the board of some unlisted companies such as Tejas Networks and MicroGraam Marketplace.

At the time of his exit from Infosys, he said he would be working with young entrepreneurs largely from the technology sector.

He has already teamed up with other former IT industry veterans to start a private equity fund called Exfinity with a corpus of R100-R125 crore.

The other members of the fund, which is in the process of getting Sebi approval, are TV Mohandas Pai, former board member of Infosys, Girish Paranjpe, former joint CEO of Wipro, and Deepak Ghaisas, former i-Flex Solutions CEO.

For Balakrishnan, considered Narayan Murthys blue-eyed boy, the veteran's return was seen as a big opportunity to move up. In fact, many were expecting that he would one day step into the corner office at Infosys. However, several sources indicated that Balakrishnans departure had not been smooth and that the development was related to succession planning.

The 46-year-old held multiple key roles at the IT firm even after stepping down as chief financial officer.

He was given the additional responsibility of heading key verticals such as utilities and resources in North America, the firm's largest market.