Shiv Nadar is known as many things. Anyone with the slightest interest in the tech world knows him as the cofounder of HCL technologies, this is the fourth largest software firm in India. Nadar is essentially tech-world royalty, just earlier this month he was ranked as the 14th richest tech billionaire in the world and the fourth richest in all of Asia. His net worth is estimated at $13.7 billion.
But outside of his tireless work as a tech mogul, Nadar is known for something else. Following in the footsteps of do-gooders like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, Nadar is a full-blown philanthropist.
Back in 1994, Nadar set up a foundation under the moniker of his own name, and has continued to give through that organization.
It’s estimated that Shiv has already spent nearly six hundred million dollars through various charitable acts and programs like donating to museums, universities and even allocating funds to start schools. Based on his track record, it would appear that education and preserving or developing cultural institutions and places of higher learning are a cause of particular importance to Nadar.
With such a massive budget though, it’s safe to assume that Nadar must have some methodology or plan in place when it comes to giving. It might not turn out that well if you have a billion dollars at your disposal and no plan! That being said, the tech wizard has claimed that, “Education is, and will be the most powerful tool for individual and social change and we must do all that it takes to facilitate it.”
Nadar believes in the power of education and hopes to enable and empower people with this tool. But what does that mean on a practical level?
Back in 2009, the Shiv Nadar Foundation created an initiative meant to find the top students from rural primary schools that spanned over seventy districts in Uttar Pradesh. The initiative then offered free schooling to nearly 2,000 students. The intention behind these schools is to provide the best and the brightest from underserved rural communities in India with the tools and opportunities afforded to the students through an unparallelled academic experience.
In addition to the Vidya Gyan initiative, the museums in India run by Shiv’s wife Kiran, intend to cultivate a passion for and a knowledge of modern Indian Art. Collections from these museums have been exhibited at other museums of note like the Guggenheim, Gwanju and the Rockbund,
Although we all have the choice of how we want to give to others, there is something to be said about investing in “renewable” sources like education, culture and knowledge.