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Indian billionaires Gautam Adani, Shiv Nadar, and Ashok Soota part of Forbes Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy list

According to Forbes, the unranked list "highlights top altruists in the Asia-Pacific region who demonstrated a strong personal commitment to philanthropic causes."

Indian billionaires Gautam Adani, Shiv Nadar, and Ashok Soota, as well as Malaysian-Indian businessman Brahmal Vasudevan and his lawyer wife Shanthi Kandiah, found a place on the 16th edition of Forbes Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy list, which was published on Tuesday. According to Forbes, the unranked list “highlights top altruists in the Asia-Pacific region who demonstrated a strong personal commitment to philanthropic causes.”

Adani reportedly pledged Rs 60,000 crores (USD 7.7 billion) when he turned 60 in June of this year. The funds will be used toward healthcare, education, and skill development through the Adani Foundation, which was established in 1996. Every year, the charity assists over 3.7 million people in India. According to the press release, the promise placed him among India’s most generous benefactors.

Shiv Nadar, a self-made billionaire, and philanthropist is one of India’s most generous benefactors, has donated about USD 1 billion of his assets to different humanitarian causes through his namesake Shiv Nadar Foundation over a few decades. This year, he contributed Rs 11,600 crore (USD 142 million) to the foundation he founded in 1994 to create an equal, merit-based society via education.

Nadar, who co-founded HCL Technologies, has used his foundation to establish educational institutions like schools and colleges as well as to encourage art and culture. He stepped down from executive roles at the IT services company in 2021.

Ashok Soota, a tech billionaire, has contributed Rs 600 crore (USD 75 million) to the medical research fund he established in April 2021 to investigate aging and neurological disorders. He began SKAN, which stands for Scientific Knowledge for Ageing and Neurological Ailments, with a Rs 200 crore investment, which he has subsequently tripled. “There are only two kinds of people doing [medical] research in India. One is the people doing drug discovery, and the other is the people doing research in national and state-level institutions, which are starved for funds,” Forbes release read.

Soota, who has a holding in Bangalore-based software services firm Happiest Minds Technologies, says SKAN has been collaborating with the Indian Institute of Science’s Centre for Brain Research on Parkinson’s disease studies and the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences on stroke research. SKAN awarded a Rs 20 crore grant to Soota’s alma mater, the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, in June 2021, to support cooperative research initiatives, establish a lab, and sponsor a professorship and three faculty scholarships.

Malaysian-Indian Brahmal Vasudevan, CEO and founder of Kuala Lumpur-based private equity firm Creador, and his lawyer wife, Shanthi Kandiah, help Malaysian and Indian communities through the Creador Foundation, a non-profit they co-founded in 2018.

They committed 50 million Malaysian Ringgit (USD 11 million) in May this year to assist develop a teaching hospital at the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Kampar campus in Perak state. “We are delighted that this has spurred others to join this cause, and it appears the project is now fully funded,” Vasudevan told Forbes Asia.

In May, the couple contributed 25 million pounds (USD 30 million) to establish the eponymous Brahmal Vasudevan Institute for Sustainable Aviation, which would pioneer technologies to help the aviation sector transition to zero pollution.

“We felt that the creation of this institute could hopefully make a meaningful impact on studying ways of reducing, if not achieving, zero pollution one day,” said Vasudevan.

Forbes Asia today unveiled the 16th edition of its annual Heroes of Philanthropy list, which highlights leading altruists in the Asia-Pacific region who demonstrated a strong personal commitment to philanthropic causes such as education and the environment, among others. The full list can be found here.

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OpIndia Staff
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