Shiv Nadar is an industrialist and philanthropist from India. He is the founder of Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL) and Shiv Nadar Foundation. Often called ‘magus’ which is Old Persian for ‘wizard’, Nadar made his way into Forbes list of billionaires using his superb entrepreneurial skills.
Nadar was born on 14th July 1945 in Tamil Nadu, India. He got his initial schooling from Town Higher Secondary School. He attended the PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore and received a degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. He moved to Delhi in 1968 and his entrepreneurial career began in 1967 from his job at Cooper Engineering of the Walchand group in Pune. But his inner business skills forced him to start his own business. So he joined with six of his colleagues at DCM Ltd. and launched a company that made products for offices such copiers. His career got a boost when IBM left India. He saw the opportunity and HCL took the empty spot that IBM had left behind. The first computer by HCL was made in 1982. Today more than 80% of the company’s revenue is attained from their office equipment and computers.
The company also had subsidiaries outside India. Their subsidiary in Singapore brought a revolution in imaging technology which allows computers to read tax returns written by hand which led to enormous profits. HCL in America started in 1989 which did not prove to be as successful as he had predicted. ‘HCL technologies’ was taken public by Nadar in 1999. As it was the internet boom Shiv Nadar decided to focus entirely on the R&D Services but after the internet bubble burst the company lagged behind its competitors. Despite efforts from Nadar the number of HCL companies went from 5 to 2 in 2004. In 2007, he left his position as chief executive officer of HCL Technologies but he is still Chairman of the company and its largest shareholder. In 1981, Nadar invested in NIIT, which was started by some of his colleagues. He was also the biggest shareholder in NIIT however he had no management powers.
Nadar also got moderate success in his non IT ventures. He is a member of the Governing board of Public Health Foundation (PHFI). He has been a supporter of educational causes and has also announced to set up Seven Vidyagyan Schools in Uttar Pradesh where ten students from ten districts would get free scholarships. Shiv Nadar established the SSN College of Engineering in Chennai. In 2005, he became a member of the Executive Board of Indian School of Business.
Shiv Nadar has been honored with many awards and accolades. He was presented with the Padma Bhushan in 2008 (which is the third highest civilian honor in India) for his great contributions to the IT industry. He was given an honorary doctorate for his promotion of software technology. He was recognized as ‘E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2007. In 2006, the All India Management Association gave him an honorary fellowship. Nadar’s net worth according to Forbes is $6.5 billion(As of March 2013).