Access to learning opportunities
for every child
The lack of access to learning opportunities is a complex and multidimensional problem. It impacts the lives of millions of children on a daily basis. In response, Nandan Nilekani, Rohini Nilekani and Shankar Maruwada co-founded EkStep Foundation to address the challenge at scale - leading to Mission EkStep and the creation of Sunbird as open digital infrastructure, and the curation of Societal Platform thinking.
Nandan Nilekani is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Infosys Technologies Limited. He was the Founding Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in the rank of a Cabinet Minister from 2009- 2014. Most recently, Nandan has co-founded and is the Chairman of EkStep, a not-for-profit effort to create a learner centric, technology based platform to improve basic literacy and numeracy for millions of children.
Born in Bengaluru, Nilekani received his Bachelor’s degree from IIT, Bombay. Fortune Magazine conferred him with “Asia’s Businessman of the year 2003”. In 2005 he received the prestigious Joseph Schumpeter prize for innovative services in economy, economic sciences and politics .In 2006, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan. He was also named Businessman of the year by Forbes Asia. Time magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2006 & 2009. Foreign Policy magazine listed him as one of the Top 100 Global thinkers in 2010. He won The Economist Social & Economic Innovation Award for his leadership of India’s Unique Identification initiative (Aadhaar). In 2017, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from E & Y. CNBC- TV 18 conferred India Business leader award for outstanding contributor to the Indian Economy-2017 and he also received the 22nd Nikkei Asia Prize for Economic & Business Innovation 2017. He has been inducted as International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019.
Nandan Nilekani is the author of “Imagining India” and co- authored his second book with Viral Shah, “Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations”.
Rohini Nilekani is the Founder-Chairperson of Arghyam, a foundation she set up for sustainable water and sanitation, which funds initiatives all across India. From 2004 to 2014, she was Founder-Chairperson and chief funder of Pratham Books, a non-profit children’s publisher that reached millions of children during her tenure. She is Co-founder and Director of EkStep, a non-profit education platform.
Rohini Nilekani is the Founder-Chairperson of Arghyam, a foundation she set up for sustainable water and sanitation, which funds initiatives all across India. From 2004 to 2014, she was Founder-Chairperson and chief funder of Pratham Books, a non-profit children’s publisher that reached millions of children during her tenure. She is Co-founder and Director of EkStep, a non-profit education platform. She sits on the Board of Trustees of ATREE, an environmental think tank, and served on the Eminent Persons Advisory Group of the Competition Commission of India.
A former journalist, she has written for many leading publications such as Times of India, India Today, Mint, etc. Penguin Books India published her first book, a medical thriller called Stillborn, and her second non- fiction book, ‘Uncommon Ground’, based on her eponymous TV show. She has written several books for young children, published by Pratham Books including the popular "Annual Haircut Day”. In 2017, she was inducted as Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is member of the Board of Science Gallery Bengaluru and the Advisory Board of the Well Being Project from 2019.
Rohini Nilekani is a committed philanthropist and in 2017, she, together with her husband Nandan Nilekani, signed the Giving Pledge, which commits half their wealth to philanthropic causes.
Shankar Maruwada is the CEO and Co-founder of EkStep. Shankar is passionate about addressing social problems at scale through technology based tools. He is an entrepreneur and marketing professional with a wide range of experience working on large scale projects such as the AADHAAR, India’s national identification program, where he was the Head of Demand Generation and Marketing.
Shankar pioneered data analytics in India through, Marketics, a company he co-founded. He is an investor in startups and a mentor to entrepreneurs. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad and Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur.
Quorum, No. 85, 7th Cross
4th Block, Koramangala
Bangalore - 560034