Shiv Nadar Biography

(Founder and Chairman Emeritus of IT Company 'HCL Technologies Limited')

Birthday: July 14, 1945 (Cancer)

Born In: Tiruchendur, Tamil Nadu, India

Shiv Nadar, a billionaire industrialist and philanthropist from India, is the founder of Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL) and currently serves as Chairman of the IT giant. Today HCL has a global presence in 42 countries in the form of offices, delivery centres and innovation labs with an employee strength of more than 1,37,000 professionals serving in various positions. What began in a modest Delhi ‘barsati’ (small shed) today boasts of revenue worth $8.3 billion and more, with each passing year. Under his watchful eye, HCL began producing first generation microprocessors in the 1980s when his only worldwide contemporary in the industry was Steve Jobs. The company steadily grew its product range to include PCs, computer hardware, UNIX based operating system and the first relational database management system. He funded India’s pioneer computer education institution, NIIT that succeeded in producing the first wave of proficient human resource for the country’s future IT industry. As a philanthropist, he created Shiv Nadar Foundation, which on the back of his donations (more than $62 million to date) has created schools and institutions that provide quality education to thousands of under-privileged kids and deserving students across the country.

Quick Facts

Indian Celebrities Born In July

Age: 78 Years, 78 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Kiran Nadar

father: Sivasubramaniya and

mother: Vamasundari Devi, Vamasundari Devi in

children: Roshni Nadar

Born Country: India

Billionaires Philanthropists

Notable Alumni: PSG College Of Technology, American College, Madurai

Founder/Co-Founder: HCL Technologies, SSN College of Engineering

More Facts

education: PSG College Of Technology, American College, Madurai

awards: Padma Bhushan (2008)

Childhood & Early Life
Shiv Nadar was born on 14th July 1945, to Sivasubramaniya and Vamasundari Devi in Tiruchendur, Tamil Nadu India.
He did his schooling from Town Higher Secondary School, Kumbakonam and got his bachelor's degree from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore in the field of electrical and electronics engineering.
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Shiv Nadar began his career working at Pune based Walchand Group's Cooper Engineering in 1967 but soon moved north to Delhi Cloth Mills (DCM) joining their calculator division as an engineer.
He, along with six other colleagues; Ajai Chowdhry, Arjun Malhotra, Subhash Arora, D.S. Puri and Yogesh Vaidya, quit DCM in 1976 and founded Microcomp Limited. The company sold tele-digital calculators under the brand name ‘Televista’.
Microcomp was renamed Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL) on August 1976, which was set up on land given to them by the Uttar Pradesh state government, and a starting capital of Rs. 187,000 cumulated by the founding group.
When George Fernandez became the country’s industry minister in 1977, it led to the exit of multi-national companies like IBM and Coca-Cola. On the flipside, it gave HCL a wider market space to sell their microcomputers in India.
In 1980, Shiv Nadar set up Far East Computers in Singapore to sell computer hardware in the region. The company achieved sales worth Rs.10,00,000 in the first year alone.
When NIIT (National Institute of Information Technology) was setup in 1981 to address the growing need for computer education in the country, Nadar invested heavily into the institution. He was its biggest shareholder till 2003.
By 1983, HCL was not only producing in-house 16-bit microprocessors but also developed its own relational data base management system, and a client-server architecture the very next year.
As the Indian government decided to permit technology imports in 1984, HCL flew across the globe to source computer parts and launched ‘Busybee’, a personal computer running a native UNIX based operating system developed by the company.
In 1989, he formed HCL America to take advantage of the mammoth computer hardware market of USA. But the machines failed to get American environmental clearance, which was remedied in 1991 when HCL partnered with Hewlett Packard to form HCL HP Limited and finally began seeing positive revenue figures in the country.
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Under his stewardship, HCL made forays into the telecommunications market in 1994 by partnering with Nokia and Eriksson to distribute cell phones and mobile switches in India.
In 1998, HCL lost one of its largest shareholders in Arjun Malhotra when he left the company to start his own venture. To counteract this, Shiv Nadar listed HCL in the Indian Stock Exchange in 1999 thus making funds available for the IT giant once again.
From 2000 to 2006, Shiv Nadar went into even more partnerships and acquisitions to make HCL a global software venture. It began with a BPO in Ireland in 2001 in partnership with British Telecom, and involved agreements with Boeing, Japan based NEC and Deutsche Bank.
In 2007, Vineet Nayar was named CEO of HCL Technologies, thus letting Nadar move away from day-to-day corporate affairs and focus on his philanthropic dreams. He however continues to be Chairman of HCL and its largest shareholder.
Major Works
HCL began producing microcomputers in the 1980s, its only global counterpart at the time was Steve Job’s Macintosh.
(When India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) was established in 1992, HCL in partnership with an Israeli company competed against AT&T and won the bid to implement and later manage the financial institution’s infrastructure backbone.
Philanthropic Works
He created the Shiv Nadar Foundation in 1994 to realise his dream in empowering the future generations of India through merit-based, quality education. The foundation’s first initiative was Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar (SSN) College of Engineering which opened in Chennai in 1996 and is named after his father.
In North India, he opened ‘VidyaGyan’ and ‘Shiv Nadar School’ to offer the best school education to underprivileged children in that region. Shiv Nadar University, established in 2011 in Greater Noida, Delhi-NCR identifies as India’s Ivy-League institution.
Other projects of the foundation include the SHIKSHA initiative for adult education and Kiran Nadar Museum of Art.
Awards & Achievements
In 2008, Shiv Nadar was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President of India recognizing his pioneering work and influence in the field of trade and industry.
He received the 'BNP Paribas Grand Prize for Individual Philanthropy' in 2013 for Shiv Nadar Foundation, a pan-India educational initiative based on meritocracy.
He was named 'The Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year' by Forbes International in 2015.
He topped the Philanthropy list of Hurun India in 2016 and again in 2019.
Family & Personal Life
Shiv Nadar is married to Kiran Nadar and they have a daughter, Roshni Nadar, who is the Vice-Chairman of HCL.

See the events in life of Shiv Nadar in Chronological Order

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