Gautam Adani, Shiv Nadar, Ashok Soota on Forbes Asia heroes of philanthropy list
The 16th edition of Forbes Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy list, which was published today, includes billionaires from India Gautam Adani, Shiv Nadar, and Ashok Soota as well as Malaysian-Indian businessman Brahmal Vasudevan and his lawyer wife Shanthi Kandiah. The unranked list “highlights top altruists in the Asia-Pacific area who demonstrated a strong personal commitment to humanitarian causes,” according to a news release from Forbes.
When Adani turned 60 in June of this year, his vow of Rs 60,000 crores (USD 7.7 billion) was noted. According to the press release, the donation makes him one of India’s most benevolent donors. The donations will be applied to healthcare, education, and skill development through the family’s 1996-founded Adani Foundation. The foundation provides assistance to almost 3.7 million Indians annually. Shiv Nadar, a self-made millionaire and philanthropist, is one of India’s most generous people.
Through his namesake Shiv Nadar Foundation, he has donated about $1 billion of his money over several decades to a variety of charitable causes. He gave Rs 11,600 crore (USD 142 million) this year to the foundation he started in 1994 with the goal of empowering people through education and establishing an equal, merit-based society. Through the organisation, which also supports the arts and culture, Nadar, who cofounded HCL Technologies, has assisted in establishing educational institutions such as schools and universities. In 2021, he retired from his executive positions with the IT services company.
The medical research fund that IT tycoon Ashok Soota established in April 2021 for the study of ageing and neurological disorders has received a pledge of Rs 600 crore (USD 75 million). He invested Rs 200 crore to launch SKAN, or Scientific Knowledge for Ageing and Neurological Ailments, which he has subsequently tripled.
According to Soota, there are just two types of individuals engaged in [medical] research in India, according to Forbes Asia. “One is the drug discovery community, and the other is the underfunded research community in national and state-level institutions.” He intends to disburse the funds over the following ten years. Soota says SKAN is already collaborating with the National Institute for Mental Health and Neuro Sciences for research on strokes and the Centre for Brain Research at the Indian Institute of Science for research on Parkinson’s disease.
Soota’s wealth comes from a majority stake in Bangalore-based software services company Happiest Minds Technologies. Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Soota’s alma mater, received a Rs 20 crore grant from SKAN in June 2021 for funding collaborative research projects, setting up a lab, and sponsoring a professorship and three faculty fellowships.
Malaysian-Indian The Creador Foundation, a non-profit that Brahmal Vasudevan and his lawyer wife, Shanthi Kandiah, co-founded in 2018, aids local communities in Malaysia and India. Brahmal Vasudevan is the founder and CEO of the private equity firm Creador, which has its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. They promised to provide 50 million Malaysian Ringgit (about USD 11 million) in May of this year to support the construction of a teaching hospital at the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Kampar campus in the state of Perak.
Vasudevan told Forbes Asia, “We are happy that this has inspired others to join this cause, and it appears the project is now fully funded. Also in May, the couple gave Imperial College London one of its largest gifts in its history of 25 million pounds (USD 30 million) to establish the Brahmal Vasudevan Institute for Sustainable Aviation, which will develop cutting-edge technologies to aid the aviation sector’s transition to zero pollution.
In 1990, Vasudevan graduated from the institution with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering. “We believe that the development of this institute may perhaps make a real contribution to exploring ways of reducing, if not attaining, zero pollution one day,” he says.
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