Early life and Education
Shiv Nadar was born in Moolaipozhi village, in the Thoothukudi district of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Nadar attended Town High School and St. Joseph Boys Higher Secondary School, where he completed his secondary education. Nadar furthered his education with a pre-university degree at the American College in Madurai and a degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore.
In 1967, Shiv Nadar launched his career working in Pune at Cooper Engineering Ltd. He soon joined forces with others who shared his entrepreneurial spirit, and launched a teledigital calculator company called Microcomp. This company helped Nadar to make enough capital to make their business dreams come true: manufacturing and selling computers in India.
Road to success
Shiv Nadar launched HCL (Hindu Computers Limited) Technologies in 1976 with an investment of Rs.(Indian Rupees) 187,000 (around US$2,250). By 1980, the entrepreneur expanded operations internationally in Singapore. The expansion reported Rs 1 million (US$12,000) in revenue in the first year alone as Nadar continued his international expansion.
In 2008, the Indian Government recognized Nadar’s contributions to the IT industry in India and awarded him with a Padma Bhushan, an esteemed civilian award. HCL Technologies is now a listed multinational company with over 220,000 employees.
Nadar maintained his status as managing director and largest shareholder until 2020, when he handed over to his only daughter, Roshni Nadar. In 2007, Nadar received the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Services category. He also received an honorary doctorate from Madras University in the same year. In 2017, India Today ranked the businessman among the top 50 Most Powerful People Of 2017.
According to Forbes, in August 2023, Shiv Nadar’s net worth was $26.5 billion. He has committed over $1 billion of his fortune to charitable causes.
Shiv Nadar is one of India’s top philanthropists making massive donations through the Shiv Nadar Foundation, which funds causes focused on education. In 2011, he was considered one of Forbes’ 48 Heroes of Philanthropy in Asia Pacific.
Projects and organizations Shiv Nadar supports
The SSN College of Engineering
Nadar founded the SSN College of Engineering in Chennai in 1996. He named the college after his father, Sivasubramaniya Nadar. Shiv Nadar remains actively involved with the college by promoting research and forging relationships with international universities. He also generously donated a large amount of HCL shares to the college.
The Indian School of Business
In 2005, Shiv Nadar became a member of the executive board of the Indian School of Business. In 2008, his trust announced an initiative to set up two schools in Uttar Pradesh where 200 rural students from 50 districts would enjoy free scholarships.
Town Higher Secondary School
In 2011, Nadar visited his old school and donated computers and other equipment valued at Rs. 80 lakhs (8 million INR) (US$96,200.)
Shiv Nadar University
Established in 2011, Shiv Nadar University is a multidisciplinary research-focused university located in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, India. The university is the first in the country to offer a 4-year multidisciplinary research degree.