Biography of Shiv Nadar

HCL Chairman Shiv Nadar Biography

General Studies Question Bank CD Shiv Nadar is an Indian Industrialist and Philanthropist. Shiv Nadar is the Chairman and Chief Strategy officer of HCL Technologies. As of 2010, his personal wealth is $4.2 billion. Shiv Nadar founded HCL in the mid – 1970’s and transformed the IT hardware company into an IT Enterprise over the next three decades by constantly reinventing his company’s focus.

In 2008, Shiv Nadar was awarded Padma Bhushan for his efforts in IT Industry. Shiv Nadar, nicknamed by friends as Magus ( Old Persian for Wizard ) since mid – 1990s has focused his efforts in developing the Educational System of India through SSN Trust.

Shiv Nadar Early Life

Shiv Nadar hails from Moolaipozhi Village in the Thoothukudi district about 10 KM from Tiruchendur town in Tamil Nadu, India and was born in the Nadar Community to Sivasubramaniya Nadar and Vamasundari Devi in 1946. His mother, Vamasundari Devi and S. P. Adithanar, founder of Dina Thanthi were siblings.

Shiv Nadar received a pre – University Degree in Madurai American College and degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from PSG College of Technology. Shiv Nadar began his career at Walchand Group’s Cooper Engineering in Pune in 1967. Shiv Nadar is the only Indian to establish Computer Systems Industry in India. HCL – 3 Decades of Evolution

First Decade – Startup to India’s No.1 IT Company

Along with Ajai Chowdhry ( Chairman, HCL Infosystems ), Arjun Malhotra ( CEO and Chairman, Headstrong ), Subhash Arora, Yogesh Vaidya and DS Puri, Shiv Nadar started Microcomp to sell teledigital calculators in the Indian market under the brand name “Televista”.

HCL was founded later in 1976 with an investment of [rupee] 187,000 from the 6 founders and added Uttar Pradesh Government as a 26% equity partner. While the company focused on building a microcomputer from scratch, it received an unexpected boon when foreign companies like IBM left the country due to the policies adopted by the then Industrial Minister George Fernandes in 1977 creating a market space for the Microcomputer in India.

In 1980, HCL ventured into the International Market with the opening of Far East Computers in Singapore to sell IT Hardware. The venture reported [rupee] 1 million revenue in the first year and continued to address the Singapore operations. In 1981, Rajendra Pawar, Vijay Thadani, S Rajendran started NIIT with Shiv Nadar playing the role of investor to address the then fast growing computer education market.

Shiv Nadar remained the largest shareholder without retaining any management control. Shiv Nadar retained his shareholding in NIIT through 2003 at least.
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Through 1984, the company focused on designing microcomputers and writing custom applications for clients on these systems. When the Indian government liberalized regulations for import of technology, the computer market was in effect opened for adopting new global technologies.

HCL utilized the opportunity to develop Personal computers solutions ( called Busybee ) and UNIX platform based solutions. In the IT hardware business, the company opened a subsidiary called HCL office Automation that quickly became India’s leader in office solutions. By 1987, HCL recorded revenue of [rupee] 100 crores and featured as India’s number 1 company.

Second Decade – Transition to Software Services Business

Shiv Nadar looked at marking a place in the global arena after having captured Indian IT leadership. HCL America was setup in 1989. However the move backfired as Shiv Nadar and HCL miscalculated the requirements of the market and the venture didn’t succeed in the world’s largest market.

However in India, HCL consolidated its market position in the early part of its second decade reaching an inflexion point in 1991 when the government liberalized the economy to provide a level playing field for foreign players.

HCL joined HP and created a JV – HCL HP Limited. The JV built solutions to address the local computing market as well as gave HCL its first experience in outsourced R & D. In the mid ’90s, Shiv Nadar added sale agreement with Ericsson and Nokia to distribute their Products in India.

In 1995, Shiv Nadar set a target of [rupee] 100 billion as target for the HCL Group, a target his group will fall short.

By 1995, HCL became a complex organization with over 40 subsidiaries and Nadar quickly realized that Global IT Services was the way forward rather than IT Hardware. HCL Consulting was formed to address the IT Services and the R & D division of HCL – HP was merged into HCL Consulting. The company was renamed HCL Technologies in 1996, the same year the JV with HP broke off.

By early 1998, Shiv Nadar had consolidated his business into five entities – HCL Technologies ( Global IT Service Company ), HCL Infosystems ( Indian IT Hardware Leader ), HCL Comnet ( Network Services Company ), HCL Perot ( IT Applications ) and NIIT ( Education Services ).

Third Decade – Global IT Service Company

Shiv Nadar took HCL Technologies public in 1999, At the time of IPO, HCL was the Second Largest IT Company with revenue of [rupee] 7.23 billion behind TCS ( [rupee] 16.52 billion ) but ahead of Wipro ( [rupee] 6.32 billion ) and Infosys ( [rupee] 5 billion ) and with the Internet boom in full swing, HCL decided to put complete focus in R & D Services to Product Engineering Companies while paying scant attention to the Y2K.

When the Internet bubble burst in 2000, HCL was left behind by its competitors because of their headstart in Enterprise Application Services.

Shiv Nadar made an effort to bootstrap HCL with acquisitions in 2001. HCL acquired Apollo Contact center from BT and Deutsche Software Limited ( Deutsche Bank’s Indian Captive Software Company ) to address the BPO and Financial Services Market. Still HCL continued to underperform competitors through 2005.

By 2004, the number of companies in HCL was consolidated from five to two – HCL Technologies and HCL Infosystems. Shiv Nadar’s shareholding in NIIT was recognized as personal investment and HCL Comnet became a subsidiary of HCL Technologies.

HCL Perot was sold back to partner Perot Systems for $105 million in December 2003. S Raman, COO & President, HCL Technologies retired in early 2005 and Shiv Nadar promoted Vineet Nayar as President of HCL Technologies and revive HCL’s sagging fortunes in the IT Services Spectrum.

In 2007, Shiv Nadar passed the mantle of CEO of HCL Technologies to Vineet Nayar. Shiv Nadar remains Chairman of HCL Technologies and its largest shareholder.

Non – IT Business Ventures

Shiv Nadar had less success with his ventures outside the IT and Software Industry. His partnernship with Singapore Telecom to address the now – booming Indian Telecom Market was unsuccessful as well as his attempts in the granite and aquaculture business.

Focus on Education & Healthcare

In 1996, Shiv Nadar founded SSN College of Engineering in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in the name of his father – Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar. Shiv Nadar takes active role in the college activities including gifting of [rupee] 1 million worth of HCL shares to the college.

In 2006, Shiv Nadar announced that the college will promote research apart from ensuring that students benefit from foreign university tie – ups. Shiv Nadar joined the Executive Board of Indian School of Business in 2005. In March 2008, Shiv Nadar’s SSN Trust announced setting up of Seven Vidyagyan Schools in UP for rural students where free scholarship will be provided for 100 students from 10 districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Shiv Nadar is a member of the Governing board of Public Health Foundation of India ( PHFI ). PHFI was started by Rajat Gupta to “redress the limited institutional capacity in India for strengthening training, research and policy development in the area of Public Health”.

Shiv Nadar Awards and Accolades

In 2008, Government of India awarded Shiv Nadar with Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award for his contribution to IT Industry.

In 2007, Madras University awarded him honorary doctorate degree ( D Sc ) for his contributions in promoting software technology. Shiv Nadar was also recognized as E & Y Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 ( Services ).

In October 2006, Shiv Nadar received an honorary fellowship from All India Management Association – AIMA.