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The rise of an heiress: Roshni Nadar

S. Ronendra Singh
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Roshni Nadar Malhotra
Roshni Nadar Malhotra

Roshni Nadar Malhotra, the only child of HCL Group’s founder Shiv Nadar, always knew that she is destined to head the $6.3-billion organisation. On Wednesday, she came one step closer to fulfilling that destiny taking over as the non-Executive Director of HCL Technologies.

Before joining her father’s empire, Roshni cut her teeth working in companies such as Sky News UK and CNN America as a news producer. After her brief career in media and communications, she was inducted into HCL and spent time learning the ropes of the business including the critical function of treasury management.

While she is currently driving a number of things at HCL including the Corporation’s global outlook, strategic vision for business, social enterprise and institution-building, it is the work done at Shiv Nadar Foundation which she values the most. According to company insiders, she spends 80 per cent of her time for the VidyaGyan initiative that provides free education to students from underprivileged backgrounds.

In January, Nadar announced to the world that his 31-year-old daughter will take over the reins of HCL Group which owns the IT services company HCL Technologies and the hardware business under HCL Infosystems. Though he did not set a timeframe, it is widely believed that the baton will be handed over to Roshni when Nadar retires. But one thing is certain that Roshni will not get involved in operational matters.

“The two listed entities are professionally managed, and Roshni would like to keep them that way,” said a company executive. Post her graduation from Northwestern University majoring in radio, television and film, Roshni earned an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management where she focussed on social enterprise and management strategy.

According to those associated with the company, as the CEO and Executive Director of the HCL Corporation, she is already driving strategic decisions regarding the overall direction of the Corporation including the key areas of determining its governance structures, treasury, risk and portfolio management, and the diversification plans of HCL.

Roshni Nadar Malhotra is also a Trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, which has established the SSN Institutions in Chennai (one of the top private engineering and business schools in India), the interdisciplinary Shiv Nadar University in the National Capital Region of Delhi, VidyaGyan schools in Uttar Pradesh, Shiv Nadar Schools and Kiran Nadar Museum of Arts.

As a representative of the Foundation, she was also 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 in Uttar Pradesh.

Married to Shikhar Malhotra in 2009, they have a son named Armaan.

Roshni enjoys travelling, especially on safaris and to sporting events. Her husband, who was a distributor of Honda, is today part of the Corporation and Shiv Nadar Foundation.

ronendrasingh.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 1, 2013)
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