Software giant HCL’s founder Shiv Nadar has reclaimed the title of being ‘India’s Most Generous’ with an yearly donation of ₹1,161 crore as per the EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2022.
Nadar, 77, has reclaimed the ‘India’s most generous’ title with a donation of Rs 3 crore per day, according to the report. Wipro’s Azim Premji, 77, slipped to the second position with an annual donation of Rs 484 crore after ruling at the top position for the last two consecutive years, it said.
India’s richest man Gautam Adani, 60, ranked seventh in Edelgive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2022, with a donation of Rs 190 crore.
The EdelGive Hurun Philanthropy List has been published for the ninth year in a row by the EdelGive Foundation and Hurun Report, the world’s largest rich list compiler. And it comes after the Hurun India Rich List, a list of 1,103 of India’s wealthiest individuals published in September 2022 for the eleventh consecutive year.
Born in 1945 in Moolaipozhi — a coastal village in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district — Nadar was born to working-class parents Sivasubramaniya Nadar and Vamasundari Devi. The young Shiv had humble roots. He studied at Town Higher Secondary School in Kumbakonam and Elango Corporation Higher Secondary School in Madurai. He got his pre-university degree from the American College in Madurai and went on to pursue his engineering degree in Electrical and Electronics from the renowned PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore.
The billionaire is also the founder and chairman of the Shiv Nadar Foundation. Nadar is one of the pioneers of the computing and IT industry in the country. His friends fondly call him ‘Magus’, which means ‘wizard’ in ancient Persian. In October 2021, Forbes ranked him as the third richest person in India with an estimated net worth of $31.6 billion (Rs 236,600 crore).
In 1967, he started his career as an engineer at Walchand Group’s Cooper Engineering (COEP) in Pune. After a few years, he left his job to take up a business-oriented career in partnership with Ajai Chowdhry and other colleagues to establish an enterprise — Microcomp under the brand name ‘Televista’. Later, they together founded HCL Tech in 1976 to manufacture microprocessors and calculators.
It is said that a group of engineers in DCM Data in 1976 were ranting in the DCM office canteen over their lunch break about wanting to do something more — achieve that “little extra” that DCM did not accord them. All of them had handsome salaries to take home, a moderately comfortable lifestyle that money could buy those days, but not job satisfaction. These colleagues and friends — S Raman, Ajai Chowdhry, Subhash Arora, Yogesh Vaidya, Devinder Singh Puri, and Arjun Malhotra — were fuelled by the then 30-year-old Shiv Nadar.
But establishing Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL) was not their first gig after DCM. The group had enough and more technical expertise between them, acquired at DCM’s Data division. However, funds were the problem – as was the case with almost every start-up in those days. Their initial enterprise was Microcomp — a company that focused on selling teledigital calculators in the Indian market.
It was a matter of mere four years that HCL started its first overseas venture – Far East Computers – which was set up in Singapore in 1980. In 1985, HCL America was born, HCL HP in 1991, HCL Technologies formed as a separate software company in 1994, and in the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 DQ Top 20 Giants listings HCL was ranked number 1 — it was a heady era.
All the while HCL was growing, Nadar knew he had to give back to society. Nadar took an active role in the college activities and promoting educational welfare in the country. SSNCE has also been promoting and pioneering research. He established the SSN Trust to further his vision of promoting education for all in the country.
He has committed more than $1 billion to philanthropy and set aside over 10% of his wealth ($23.6 billion) for philanthropic ventures. So far, he has donated $662 million to the Shiv Nadar Foundation for education-related causes.