The Selfless Man behind HCL Technology Success: Shiv Nadar

Shiv Nadar is the founder of HCL Technologies Limited and Shiv Nadar Foundation. Currently, Nadar is the third richest person in India but still gives away most of his earnings into charity.

By Aashi Jain Jun 8 2021 2:05PM 5339 Read
How HCL Founder Shiv Nadar Became Third Richest Indian Man?

Shiv Nadar is the chairman of HCL Technologies Limited and founder of Shiv Nadar Foundation. He is an Indian billionaire industrialist and philanthropist who founded HCL Technologies in the 1970s. HCL is a $10 billion global organization with over 159,000 professionals operating from 50 countries. According to Forbes, Nadar is the third richest person in India, with a net worth of US $26 Billion as of January 2021. Over 30 years, he converted his firm from an IT hardware firm to an IT enterprise by repeatedly changing its emphasis.

Today, we will discuss the legacy of this living legend and unfold his life journey.

Note: In the 1990s, Nadar founded the Shiv Nadar Foundation to improve India's educational system.

Shiv Nadar : Childhood & Education

Shiv Nadar was born in Moolaipozhi Village in Thoothukudi district, Tamil Nadu, India, on 14th July 1945. Nadar studied at Town Higher Secondary School, Kumbakonam, and then went to Elango Corporation Higher Secondary School, Madurai. He was admitted to Town High School in 1995. Later, he joined St. Joseph Boys Higher Secondary School, Trichy, and completed his high school education. Nadar then received a pre-university degree from the American College, Madurai, and a degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore.

Shiv Nadar : Key Stats

  • Occupation : Founder of HCL Technologies
  • Date of Birth : 14th July 1945
  • Age : 75
  • Home Town : Moolaipozhi Village, Tamil Nadu
  • Spouse : Kiran Nadar
  • Children : Rashmi Nadar
  • Nationality : Indian

Shiv Nadar : Family

Nadar's father's name was Sivasubramaniya Nadar, and her mother's name was Vamasundari Dev, the sister of S.P. Adithanar, founder of Dina Thanthi newspaper. He is married to Kiran Nadar, an Asian Games medalist and internationally renowned bridge player who is known to be one of the largest Indian art collectors in the world. They have a daughter, Roshni Nadar, who is currently serving as a Vice Chairman of HCL Enterprises.

Shiv Nadar : Career Timeline

  • 1967 : Nadar started his career at the Walchand Group's College of Engineering in Pune (COEP) in 1967. He then moved to Delhi Cloth Mills (DCM), where he worked as an engineer in the calculator section. After a period, he left DCM to start his own business.
  • 1976 : In 1976, he and six other DCM colleagues, including Ajai Chowdhry, Arjun Malhotra, Subhash Arora, D.S. Puri, and Yogesh Vaidya, left the company to establish Micro comp Limited. Televista was a brand of tele-digital calculators sold by the firm.
    In August 1976, the company was renamed Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL), and it was founded on land donated by the Uttar Pradesh state government and a starting capital of Rs. 187,000 amassed by the founding group.
  • 1977 : In 1977, when George Fernandez became the country's industry minister, it led to the exit of multinational companies like IBM and Coca-Cola, but HCL gained access to a larger market to sell its microcomputers.
  • 1980 : With the support of Far East Computers, Nadar began selling computer hardware in the Singapore region in 1980, achieving sales of Rs. 1,000,000 in the first year alone.
  • 1981 : In 1981, Nadar invested hugely in NIIT (National Institution of Information Technology) when it was set up to address the growing need for computer education. Until 2003, he was the largest investor there.
  • 1983 : HCL began manufacturing 16 microprocessors in-house in 1983, as well as developing its relational database management system and client-server architecture the following year.
  • 1984 : When the Indian government agreed to allow technology imports in 1984, HCL began sourcing computer parts worldwide and launched 'Busybee'. Busybee was a personal computer running a native UNIX-based operating system developed by the company.
  • 1989 - 1991 : Nadar founded HCL America to take advantage of the massive computer hardware market in the United States. However, the machines were denied environmental clearance in the United States. When HCL teamed with Hewlett Packard to establish HCL HP Limited in 1991, HCL could finally achieve positive revenue statistics in the nation.
  • 1994 : Under the leadership of Shiv Nadar, HCL entered the telecommunications business by working with Nokia and Ericsson to distribute cell phones and mobile switches in India.
  • 1998 - 1999 : HCL lost its largest stockholders in 1998 when Arjun Malhotra departed to create his firm, but Nadar was able to float HCL on the Indian Stock Exchange in 1999, allowing the business to raise financing.
  • 2000 - 2006 : Between 2000 and 2006, Shiv Nadar went into more partnerships and acquisitions to make HCL a global software company.
  • 2007 : Finally, after all his hard work, Shiv Nadar gave the position of CEO of HCL Technologies to Vineet Nayar to complete his philanthropic dreams. He, however, continues to be the chairman of HCL and its largest shareholder.
"If there is a tool that can empower individuals and narrow the socio-economic, rural-urban divide, I believe that it is transformational education." – Shiv Nadar

Shiv Nadar: Education and Healthcare

  • In 1996, Nadar founded SSN College of Engineering in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, in the name of his father, Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar, and enthusiastically participated in the events and activities of the college. He also gifted Rs.1 Million worth of HCL shares to the college.
  • In 2005, Nadar became a member of the Executive Board of the Indian School of Business.
  • In 2006, Nadar announced that the college would promote research to ensure that students benefit from foreign university tie-ups.
  • In 2008, Nadar's SSN Trust declared the establishment of the two Vidyagyan Schools in UP for rural students where free scholarships will be provided for two hundred students from fifty districts of Uttar Pradesh.
  • In February 2011, he visited Town Higher Secondary School and donated computers and other equipment worth Rs. 80 Lakhs.
  • He also served as the chairman of the board of governors at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, a technical institute, until 2014.

Nadar credits his success to the education and scholarships that he received during his early years and always maintained that access to quality education is the most potent transformation tool.

Shiv Nadar: Awards and Titles

  • 1995 - He became the Dataquest IT Man of the Year
  • 2005 - He was honored with a CNBC Business Excellence Award
  • 2006 - He received an honorary fellowship from the All India Management Association.
  • 2007 - Madras University awarded him an honorary doctorate. He was also recognized as E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year 2007.
  • 2008 - The government of India awarded Shiv Nadar with Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award, for his contribution to the IT industry.
  • 2010 - He received the Dataquest Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2011 - He was counted among Forbes' 48 Heroes of Philanthropy in the Asia Pacific.
  • 2013 - Nadar received the BNP Paribas Grand Prize for Individual Philanthropy for Shiv Nadar Foundation.
  • 2015 - He was named the Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year by Forbes International.
  • 2017 - India Today magazine ranked Nadar # 16th in India's 50 most influential people on the 2017 list.
  • 2019 - He topped the Philanthropy list of Hurun India.

Shiv Nadar : Turning Falls into Opportunities

With no bounds to his popularity, Nadar credits his success to cooperation and entrepreneurial spirit, which have enabled him to turn dangers into opportunities in the face of ever-changing surroundings and technology. Nadar recognized the factors that contributed to his success and is now dedicated to assisting any future entrepreneurs and students who aspire to follow in his footsteps. Nadar was committed to keeping aside 10% of his wealth for philanthropic endeavors, which makes him liked by everyone.

Aashi Jain
Aashi Jain View More Posts

I've completed my graduation and will be pursuing a master's degree in a couple of months. I've developed an immense interest in the field of content writing and gained experience by interning with companies. I am an ambitious person and look forward to living an independent life.

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