Shiv Nadar Univ to come up in Gr Noida

Shiv Nadar University will follow multi-disciplinary system: Shiv Nadar

Supriya Shrinate, Apr 30, 2011, 05.20pm IST

In a chat with ET Now, Shiv Nadar, Chairman & Chief Strategy Officer, HCL Tech, talks about his new venture in the education sector, Shiv Nadar University.

Now that Shiv Nadar University is finally going to be launched, do you feel some sense of personal gratification? Is this a day that you are going to celebrate and commemorate for a while?

Shiv Nadar: I have already done that. Today is the formal launch of the university but the day the government gave its assent, which was about three weeks ago, I felt very relieved that okay now we can get started.

What is going to happen in this university? How different is it going to be?

Shiv Nadar: I want to give areas of multiple disciplinary being able to work inter-discipline. When I got started in my own engineering course, my interest in physics and maths was very high. After all engineering is all about applied maths and physics. If I were to learn anything further in physics or mathematics, it simply was not there. So, one cannot be self-thought beyond a certain point. When I went to the fourth and fifth year, those days it was five years, my interest in business management grew and again when I looked around there was not any place where I could learn.

That is why when my daughter went to college, she went to the American system where you discover what you like. More importantly, you discover what you do not like, you discover what you are good at, and where you may find interest. So, she went to study economics and finally ended up with the communication degree and later on she went into a business school.

So, she actually learnt what she liked and what she would be good at. And after going to a business school, she made up her mind to do social entrepreneurship – that is pretty much what she chose as a career. So, that is just one person discovering oneself, and that is what we want to provide for the students of Shiv Nadar University.

Many things bear your name. Shiv Nadar is a name that has borne on many things. Is this perhaps the association you are going to be most proud about – the Shiv Nadar University?

Shiv Nadar: HCL is a corporation. It is for profits. A corporation stands for its shareholders, its profits, its employees, its discoveries and its customers. It is a different world and they all bear the HCL thing. There is only one entity which I built which is HCL. And, the legacy which I want to leave behind that is in my name. There is only one thing which bears my name in the doorsteps – that is only the University and the foundation. And that legacy will not have a price tag.

Will you be taking any lessons or classes on the campus?

Shiv Nadar: I would if given a choice. I would live there for a semester or something, and then teach.

And what would you want to teach?

Shiv Nadar: I know that I am pretty good at that. Most of the entrepreneurs of this industry were somewhere around me at sometime or rather. I have to wait for the business school to start. In the business school, I would want to formally teach entrepreneurship. I think would be good at that. I will have to prepare a lot, but I can put together entrepreneurship of this country. Mine is a lifetime of seeing entrepreneurs around. I have seen what works, what has not worked and during what period and I have close interaction with public sector companies. So, it could be something which I would love to impart to others.

So many graduates pass out of Indian universities, but only few are in the radar that could not be recruited. Is that something that bothers you and which is why education and this whole multidisciplinary approach?

Shiv Nadar: Two things are there. Let me take you back. The education system of our country started contributing to the economy when the IIT turned students who went outside India and set up something but it give fillip to the engineering education and it just raised the middle class aspirations and out came the IT industry. The IT industry raised the self-esteem of the country unquestionably because a country which was so short of foreign exchange in 1991, within 10 years there was adequate foreign exchange and in five years there was an excess of foreign exchange. The rupee is trading on its own. Jack Welch gave the base, he said the Japanese built everything based on manufacturing, and the progress in manufacturing and the quality of doing it and the scalability. Rode on that was their banking and insurance industries but what they did wrong was they were not good in those industries. They should have unbundled all those houses in those industries. And it just took the economy down. The rest of the world caught up. Now if you were to take India. India rode on the progress of the IT industry. Along with that several industries have risen because self-esteem caused that.

But my disappointment on this industry is the real vast expenditure pattern which is being laid out for inclusiveness in our state is vast. Government in its ultimate form is the biggest philanthropher based in the world. And Bill Gates also said that he could do a small part of what the government can do, which is business philanthropy, equalling people and making sure there is inclusiveness. And it cannot be left to be as an entrepreneur just relating the demand and supply conditions just make do. This is just too much for any country to absorb and take. So, if you were to take what the education system in what form are they catering to the expenditure pattern being done by the state, it is a huge amount. Forget the number but it something like Rs 10 lakh crore in five years. It is a kind of money which is not within the reach of corporate sector but the leaders are not going there. So, the leaders have would be going there if they are trained and if their minds are opened up adequately to do that. We believe that we would be able to do in the university. That is our fervent hope.

Nobody can outdo what a government in a country can – for the simple resources they have on hand. Why did you not look at partnering with the government as far as education is concerned?

Shiv Nadar: We will do that because some of these courses that we will evolve into, there is going to be great urban chaos. It needs to be handled at a research, at a theoretical and at a modelling level by someone equivalent of London School of Economics. So, if a think tank has to evolve from there what will the government do? We have to bring in the London School of Economics here. We have to bring some of the finest modellers here and that is what this university will do. We have 15 years of background, we will take it exactly where it is at the moment. We would not take 15 years all over again. Some of the schools that we are doing are in conjunction with overseas schools. Like, we have done Carnegie Mellon University undergraduate. We have already signed up and sealed up, and that course will begin next year. That is a different form of teaching and different narrow specialisations in undergraduate itself.

Do you plan to have many more campuses of this University?

Shiv Nadar: They are just two.

One campus in south and one is in north. Will they have similar courses and multidisciplinary approach?

Shiv Nadar: There need to be similar courses because the students can come to either of these universities from anywhere. We will absolutely ensure there is diversity and this is not going to be a north India-based university. This is a national university so will be that.

Who do you think has been India's poster boy as far as entrepreneurship is concerned? Who would be your pick?

Shiv Nadar: I have seen very successful entrepreneurs but you are talking about entrepreneur in a true sense. I suppose my role models were outside this country. My choice would be Jack Welch. If you have read the book "Straight from the Gut" in which he talks about his experience to the hockey team. He wanted to be a hockey player. Jack is not a heavy guy. He is of a relatively modest height and modest built. Looks at those bulky Americans and Canadians playing ice hockey, he thought that he would play that game and be good at it and form the team and he did make the gut. But it is somewhere you forget about your limitations and make your spirit overcome that.

Do you think that is the biggest quality of being an entrepreneur?

Shiv Nadar: Yes. After that he had a discipline to say if I am running a big company, if it is going to be a bigger company, the system must take over and corporate executives have to run it. I may just shout at them or scream at them because they do not work to my pace, but still that is the only way it can work. He had that. When we built HCL, I knew that at some day I want to build it to be a global company and a large company but I knew that it cannot be Shiv Nadar, it has to be many people. It has to be systems.

But many people will be very disappointed with the fact that you did not choose any Indian for being a successful entrepreneur?

Shiv Nadar: I do not know, probably I met him pretty early. I met him in the 1980s when the corporation started taking shape. And afterwards I met executives in the Silicon Valley who left a very strong impression. I have the fortune of meeting very successful entrepreneurs.

You have built a team of extremely successful people who are looking after the business. Like you said for a company to become global, you needed that kind of an approach. What about the second rung of leadership because some of your counterparts in the industry – Infosys and Wipro – are struggling with their second rung of leadership.

Shiv Nadar: They are all very large companies. In large companies, the leadership is there, but they need a terrific implementation missionary if it has to work. They all must be having great implementation missionaries. They are all very large companies. Y will always have adjustment period. Look at the past 10 years, 2000 was good; 2001 looked promising; 2002 went down; 2003 started looking promising; 2004, 2005, 2006 were great years; 2008 started slowing down and then went down; 2009 just hit the ground; and 2010 started going up. For the past 10 years for the global scale industry, it is a fair bit to take.

Do you think that the second rung of leadership is perhaps missing and this is one of the issues that Indian IT needs to tackle?

Shiv Nadar: The second rung of leadership probably is very good. When you take first rung, you are talking about the top dozen people, and then the next layer you are talking about anything from 60 to 100 people. If this 60 to 100 is not good, you cannot run these engines. Any engine if you take this, if 100 is a revenue, 20 will disappear itself every year. So, the refill that you need is 20. On top of it, these people are growing between 15 and 20. So, the acquisition engine is slowed a bit because of external things probably like it did in 2009, may be 2011 or 2013 if I am talking about them not about us. But 20%-25% is no mean growth. We are laughing at 20%-25%

Would you still be at peace that you have got a second rung of leadership who can take the company forward?

Shiv Nadar: I am completely at peace. When you build something to last, that is what you built to last. Otherwise, it is just not scalable. The leader cannot be running things.

We are talking about a succession in your industry which is staring us in our faces, which are succession at Infosys again a company which is in some sense a tech bellwether of sorts. How different will Infosys perhaps be without its founders gone? The entire founding leadership is going to go, new people are going to come, is in succession again a big threat there?

Shiv Nadar: No. They have taken a place to great heights and they have built that organisation very sound. What is visible almost always is a few faces. The people who come in investor calls those five faces may be changing a bit and there may be difference in texture of the team.

But you do not think that makes a difference?

Shiv Nadar: Some difference because there will be leadership discontinuity. It is a difference but I do not think it is a meaningful difference.

There is a huge talk that KV Kamath is going to come in place of Narayana Murthy. How different will that be?

Shiv Nadar: I have lot of regards for Infosys as an organisation. I think they have built a great team and the fact that the team is running as fast as it is after a very good top leadership has completely their feet off the accelerator. It is a great tribute to that organization. That way Wipro has changed its leadership pattern considerably, but if you take the annual growth, it is still very good. So, there is some external visible turbulence in the system which never used to show, it is just that it is now a lot more visible.

How does it augur for companies because it is visible?

Shiv Nadar: I do not think it will make any difference because at the end of the day client is going to work for at the most fundamental level this I can tell you. IBM is based on its relationships with the customers. It is the level of that Particular Relationship Manager who has a hold at that account decides how much business IBM gets from that organisation.

It is on SLA's.

Shiv Nadar: It is completely that and that is why IBM has always seen been the largest revenue and it is a solid company the way they got and support customers. Our companies have come to that kind of stage if they take fundamentally wrong decisions at the CXO level, no one can help and that can be taken by anyone.

But do you think this is the inflection point because we are beginning to change now for the industry at large?

Shiv Nadar: No, now these are all running as global companies as global deliveries. So, it is a different structure, it is a different company. It will require different people and those people need not necessarily be Indians.

What does KV Kamath bring to a corporation like Infosys?

Shiv Nadar: He will be a great chairman for someone in a bank because he built one of the greatest banks of this country unless he is tired of that. In IT and banking one thing which is common is IT has to deal with every industry. The clients are in every industry so do bankers. So, his knowledge of a scale of industries and scaling up to the level to which he did those are great assets to any institution.

Has Roshni expressed her desire to be associated with the Shiv Nadar University?

Shiv Nadar: She is at the foundation level. She is also involved in schools and any of the projects which the university takes. She started associating herself. She started working with NGOs and Rajiv Gandhi Foundation seven years ago, and then she went to the business school and came back. This is her calling.

When does one see Shiv Nadar get into a non-executive role in HCL?

Shiv Nadar: I am pretty much non-executive. For several years, I worked in HCL without any salary I do not know whether it is called non-executive but when I formed HCL Technologies as its chairman, CEO and president, I did not draw any salary. I see it going listed well and started doing well, and suddenly somebody reminded me that may be you could draw a salary we can afford you.

Do you think there is no need for you to get into that sort of a role and you are already executing one perhaps?

Shiv Nadar: Earlier on I was drawing the strategy now I do not draw the strategy. Actually, now I do not even draw the vision and I believe that the strength of the company is that it is a vision of the rest and I can of guide them. I stand around.


Shiv Nadar University to be set up in Greater Noida

PTI, Apr 27, 2011, 01.19pm IST

NEW DELHI: The Shiv Nadar Foundation today said it will establish a university in Greater Noida to offer undergraduate, postgraduate and professional degrees across a number of disciplines.

The Uttar Pradesh government has enacted the necessary legislation for the establishment of the Shiv Nadar University in the state, a statement said.

"UP has an extremely progressive approach towards education and we are thankful for the support of the state government which has approved our proposal to establish the Shiv Nadar University," Shiv Nadar Foundation Trustee TSR Subramanian said.

Apart from the students it will benefit directly, it will also contribute to the development of the state by enhancing its position as an education hub," Subramanian said.

The Shiv Nadar Foundation has also appointed Nikhil Sinha as the founding Vice-Chancellor of the University.

The Shiv Nadar University will commence operations this academic year.

The University will begin its academic programmes with the launch of the School of Engineering this academic year and plans to roll out other schools in the coming years, including schools of business, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences.

The University's most significant differentiator will be the strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research that will cut across all schools, the statement said.

"While India can be justifiably proud of having a robust education infrastructure, it has not uniformly kept in tune with the current Indian and global needs in higher education.

The progressive outlook of Uttar Pradesh has enabled us to set up a University with a multidisciplinary and research led character to address many of these issues," HCL Technologies and Shiv Nadar Foundation Chairman Shiv Nadar said.

Last year, HCL Corporation, promoted by Nadar and his family, sold a 2.5 per cent stake in group firm HCL Technologies to raise over Rs 581 crore, the proceeds of which were to be utilised for the Foundation.

The University is located on a 286 acre campus in Greater Noida and Phase-I of the campus development plan would accommodate 4,000 students. When fully completed, the campus will accommodate 8,000 students, the statement added.

The Foundation has been established by HCL founder Shiv Nadar. It focusses on philanthropic activities in the field of education and had set up the SSN Institutions in 1996.

It runs the VidyaGyan schools and is also setting up Shiv Nadar Schools across India.


27 Apr 2011

Shiv Nadar University: for a new breed of knowledge warriors

"Students who join this university won't be ones trying to win a rat race. We won't be churning out automatons for corporate houses. Those activities are far less demanding of the mind. Students who come here, will be ones on a quest for knowledge, research and training" – Shiv Nadar, Founder, HCL.

On the outskirts of New Delhi, a quiet revolution gathers steam. On a 300 acre campus in Greater Noida, that one day will host up to 8000 students, battle plans are being drawn for a new breed of knowledge warriors.

Engineering students who dabble in communication studies when they wish to. Business Management graduates who discover the joys of liberal arts. It's the sort of eclectic, egalitarian mix you'd only get abroad. The Shiv Nadar University brings those choices, right to your doorstep.

They're calling it India's first inter-disciplinary university. It takes a while to grasp why that's important. The 2009 Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry, Venkataraman Ramakrishnan, was a physics student during his undergrad years. Dr Chetan E Chitnis bagged the 2010 Infosys Award for Life Sciences, for his vaccine against Malaria. Again, he studied physics, not biology in college.

In India, both these stalwarts would have been strait-jacketed into their narrow fields of study. Both rejected that fate and went abroad. American universities allowed them to experiment in fields they were really interested in. By broadening their horizon, providing a larger canvas for their skills, they turned them into world beaters.

That's the sort of magic the Shiv Nadar University hopes to work. It's tied up with Carnegie Mellon University, globally recognized for its path breaking research environment. And now, applications are being accepted for a four year undergraduate programme at its School of Engineering. Get more details at

This is not the first time Shiv Nadar, founder of HCL and master of a fifteen thousand crore rupee empire, has dabbled in education. Besides the SSN College of Engineering in Tamil Nadu, he also backs the VidyaGyan rural school in UP, for gifted children. But the Shiv Nadar University, which according to an earlier CNBC report has a initial budget of about 600 million US dollars, could be his most expensive venture in this space yet.

Besides a sprawling, state of the art campus, a good portion of that will be spent on attracting the best faculty money can buy. Among them brilliant Indians who've made it big abroad. Nikhil Sinha, the founding Vice-Chancellor at SNU, was once Associate Dean at the University of Texas.

Attracting the best minds will need class leading perks. Besides competitive salaries, avenues for personal research and employment opportunities for spouses, SNU also offers an attractive home ownership plan for houses within the campus.

But why is a firm that's always been a leader in technology, branching out into the field of education? Cynics among us would point to the numbers. A Business Standard report says India's higher education sector is worth 100,000 crore rupees today and is expected to treble over three to five years, as faster economic growth raises the demand for qualified people.

Plainly put, education is good business. Which could be why both Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta and Mukesh Ambani of Reliance announced separate universities in Orissa and Pune, with investments of upto one billion dollars. They too aim at multi-disciplinary universities modeled on Harvard, Stanford and Oxford.

But this perhaps, could be different. Shiv Nadar was recently quoted in the press, promising to spend 10% of his total wealth for social causes. He's an affable man in person, polite, considerate, not at all overbearing. So right in the beginning of our interview, when I asked him why he was doing this, he gently smiled.

"I believe education is the single most powerful tool for individual and social change."



Shiv Nadar University to go operational in August this year

Published on Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 22:49 |  Source : CNBC-TV18

HCL Technologies founder Shiv Nadar is all set to kick start the second Shiv Nadar University, a multi-disciplinary university, on the outskirts of the capital in Noida. It will have a capacity to house 8000 students, when fully operational. Nadar roped in Carnegie Melon University as a partner and hopes to ink a few more foreign tie-ups.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Shiv Nadar, discuss his further plans for the university.

Below is the verbatim transcript of the interview. Also watch the accompanying video.

Q: What is this university really going to look like? How many students will you be able to enroll in the first year? Are you going operational by about August this year?

A: We would go operational in August this year. The university has been notified by the UP government. The structure of this university is considerably different from what we have in Chennai.

The Chennai University is an engineering-based institution or set of institutions and a business school. This would be a research lead multi-discipline university and not be lead by engineering. Otherwise, it is inter disciplinary by nature.

Q: This is the second university that you are setting up. What is the sort of corpus that you are working with? Is the promoter family going to be divesting anymore of its stake in HCL Technologies to fund your education initiatives?

A: Ten percent of what we earn will go towards education. When we say 10%, there is no limit to the 10%. We still have quite a distance to go.

Q: Do you mean that it is sufficient? Are you not looking at divesting anything further?

A: When we committed 10% amount of whatever our net worth is, we already had it in the bank. We don’t have to look for funding as we committed what we have in the bank. At the moment, we don’t need it. If it does happen for any reason, that’s more of a treasury decision.

Q: The university will be live in August. Will it accommodate around 8000 pupil once it’s fully set up and operational?

A: Not yet. Its targeted strength is 8000. We will be very careful about who we pick. This is not something which is advertisement driven student draw. We will go out to pick the students, who will form the student body. It will be true for faculty, students, researchers and partners.

We expect to begin the first year of the engineering school this year, and then progressively begin each of the schools. We are quite confident that next year our three schools of arts, science and business will go live.