Sitapur in UP. Last week, the schools completed three years of successful operations to create future leaders from India’s rural heartland. The Shiv Nadar Foundation plans to build three VidyaGyan schools in Uttar Pradesh, which would finally have around 4,200 students.
“My father is a product of education. It is his way of giving back to society,” says Roshni Nadar Malhotra, executive-director & CEO, HCL Corporation and Trustee, Shiv Nadar Foundation. Roshni, who is the daughter of HCL founder, brings a global outlook, strategic vision and passion for social enterprise and institution-building to her varied roles at HCL and the Shiv Nadar Foundation. She is the driving force behind the VidyaGyan schools, an initiative which she calls “social investment and a radical idea to transform meritorious rural children from economically challenged backgrounds.” As a representative of the Foundation, she has also been involved in a joint initiative with the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation to promote the education of the Dalit and Muslim girl child in some of the most backward districts of Uttar Pradesh.
There is no doubt that Shiv Nadar has made HCL an engine of invention by turning dreams—especially entrepreneurial—into reality. Under his leadership, HCL revolutionised Indian technology and product innovation with many world firsts to its credit—the first, 8-bit microprocessor -based computer in 1978, the first relational database management in 1983 before some of its global peers, client-server architecture in 1984, world’s first fine-grained multiprocessor UNIX installation in 1989, among others. A pioneer in remote infrastructure management, HCL was instrumental in implementing and managing the infrastructure backbone of one of India’s tallest financial institutions—the National Stock Exchange. HCL Technologies, which spun out of HCL’s R&D unit, is currently a leading IT services company in India and a leading global player in engineering and R&D services.
In 1994, Shiv Nadar established what he was believed was closest to his heart—the philanthropic Shiv Nadar Foundation and created its first initiative in Chennai, the SSN Institutions, that is a top ranked engineering college. Today the Foundation is a significant driver of social change and transformational education through its institutions spanning the entire education spectrum