Happy Birthday Shiv Nadar: HCL’s Philanthropic Revolutionary

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Shiv Nadar, the Founder and former Chairman of HCL Technologies Ltd (NSE:HCLTECH) and Shiv Nadar Foundation, played a crucial role in developing India’s computer hardware and semiconductor industry. Notably, he is credited with spearheading the creation of India’s first indigenous personal computer (PC) during the same period when the United States was also in the process of developing its first PC. This achievement showcased their pioneering efforts in the field.

Name: Shiv Nadar

Born: 14 July 1945

Net Worth: $25.9 Billion (As of 14 July 2023)

Shiv Nadar (78) topped the Hurun India Philanthropy list 2019 with Rs 826 crore donation to various charitable activities, including healthcare, through his HCL Foundation and Shiv Nadar Foundation. And this makes him among the very few who have donated such large sums towards philanthropy.

From a small rooftop room, better known in North India as ‘Barsati‘, to a truly Indian company with consolidated revenues of $12.8 billion, Shiv’s passion for building and contributing to the future of India has certainly paid huge dividends. Established on November 12, 1991, by a few friends, HCL has grown today to 60 countries maintained by 223,438 employees as on June 30, 2023. This mammoth task of raising a middle-class, small-town family child to be the 5th richest man in India and 55th richest person in the world (as of 2023), had not seen him lose his humility and simplicity. And the more you know about the astute leader and visionary, the prouder you become of his achievements.

Here is a glimpse of some of the lesser-known facts of Shiv Nadar’s life:

1. In 1968, Shiv Nadar worked as an engineer with Delhi Cloth Mills (DCM), where Vinay Bharat Ram (DCM scion) chose him to head the new electronics wing – DCM Data Products.

2. In 1976, Nadar and his then colleagues at DCM founded Microcomp to sell digital scientific calculators. Their aim was to generate funds for their ultimate vision of starting a microprocessor company as they felt microprocessors could revolutionize the world. All this was at a time when India had only 250 computers in total.

3. In 1976, Shiv Nadar founded HCL Technologies with an initial investment of Rs 1,87,000. Recognizing his technological aspirations, the state government of Uttar Pradesh granted him INR 20 lakhs in exchange for a 26% stake in HCL Technologies. This marked one of the early examples of a Public-Private Partnership in India.

4. In the late 1980s, Shiv Nadar led HCL Technologies to experience rapid growth in the IT hardware and computer applications sector. Through aggressive strategies and strong leadership, HCL emerged as India’s top company in this industry.

5. In 1981, Nadar made substantial investments in NIIT, the prominent private IT education company, and maintained his position as its largest shareholder until approximately the mid-1990s.

6. He is recognized for his instrumental role in expanding HCL Technologies, which encompassed IT application, BPO, and infrastructure services, as well as HCL Infosystems, which focused on IT hardware products. Under his leadership, the turnover of both companies surged to 100 crore by approximately 1988 and further skyrocketed to 1000 crore by around 2000.

7. Nadar was named the Dataquest IT Man of the Year in 1995.

8. In honour of his father, Sivasubramaniya Nadar, Shiv Nadar established the SSN College of Engineering in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in 1996. Notably, he accomplished a significant milestone by securing ISO certification for the institution, making it the first-ever college to achieve such recognition. In addition, Nadar facilitated a partnership between the college and Carnegie Mellon University, providing students with invaluable international exposure and educational opportunities.

9. In 2005, Shiv Nadar was honoured with the prestigious CNBC Business Excellence Award, recognizing his outstanding contributions to the business world. The following year, in 2006, he was granted an Honorary Fellowship by the All India Management Association (AIMA), acknowledging his remarkable achievements in the field.

10. In 2007, Shiv Nadar received an honorary doctorate (D Sc) from Madras University, in recognition of his significant contributions to the advancement of software technology. That same year, he was also celebrated as the recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the ‘Services’ category, further highlighting his exceptional entrepreneurial accomplishments.

11. Shiv Nadar played a pivotal role in introducing India’s first branded personal computer in the 1970s. In 2008, he was honoured with the prestigious Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award, for his remarkable contributions to the IT industry.

12. In March 2008, Shiv Nadar’s SSN Trust announced the establishment of two Vidyagyan schools to provide free scholarships to 200 students from 50 districts of Uttar Pradesh.

13. In 2009, Shiv Nadar’s philanthropic efforts earned him a place among Forbes’ 48 Heroes of Philanthropy in the Asia-Pacific region.

14. In 2010, Shiv Nadar was honoured with the Dataquest Lifetime Achievement Award for his exceptional accomplishments and contributions to the field of technology. During the same year, he was chosen as the Businessman of the Year 2010 by NewsX. This prestigious accolade acknowledged his exceptional business acumen, visionary leadership, and philanthropic foresight.

15. In 2005, Shiv Nadar joined the Executive Board of ISB, Hyderabad. In 2011, he became the Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT, Kharagpur, showcasing his involvement and leadership in the education sector.

19. Shiv Nadar demonstrated his deep commitment to philanthropy by dedicating 10% of his net wealth, amounting to approximately $400 million, to various philanthropic initiatives. These endeavours included the establishment of free schools and universities, making a significant impact on education and society. In recognition of his generous contributions, Forbes honoured him by featuring him in its list of 48 Heroes of Philanthropy in the Asia Pacific region in 2011. His mother’s altruistic nature and acts of giving ultimately motivated him to initiate and support numerous philanthropic endeavours.

20. On July 17, 2020, Shiv Nadar announced his decision to step down from the role of Chairperson at HCL Technologies. His daughter Roshni Nadar Malhotra has taken over as the new Chairperson of HCL Technologies with immediate effect. It is important to note that Roshni Nadar is the first woman chairperson of an Indian IT services company.

Convinced that the great entrepreneurial mind also houses a generous and passionate conviction to give towards the overall growth of his country, India. We wish Magus (old Persian for wizards), as his friends call him, has a life ahead that would inspire many more entrepreneurs to be as socially concerned and contribute generously towards the growth of the less fortunate.

To make it more exciting, we suggest you make use of the comment section if you are the ones celebrating their birthday with today’s featured personality.

The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from the Tech Industry, very often. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian Assange, by following this link or subscribing to your daily newsletter.


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