Bangalore, November 29, 2013: Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, Founder & Chairman, Wadhwani Foundation was awarded the Distinguished ‘Non–Resident Philanthropist’ award at the prestigious Forbes India Philanthropy Awards 2013. The grand event was held in the city today to recognize the contribution of individuals and companies with an excellent track record in philanthropy or related non-‐profit activity in India -‐providing time, resources, skill deployment & expertise to create model sustainable institutions and inspire others towards understanding the need and purpose of giving back to society.
Dr. Romesh Wadhwani is also the Chairman and CEO of Symphony Technology Group (STG) headquartered at Palo Alto -‐ a strategic private equity firm investing and being a transformation partner in building great software, internet and technology –enabled services companies. Symphony’s approach is to create value in its portfolio companies by enabling organic growth through innovation. With this transformation-‐centric approach, Symphony has grown over 10 years to a group of 12 companies with a combined revenue of $ 2.5 billion and over 15,000 employees globally. Featuring in the Forbes 400 list, Dr Wadhwani has pledged to donate the majority of his wealth to philanthropic initiatives.
Expressing gratitude at receiving the award, Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, Chairman and Founder, Wadhwani Foundation said, “It is a privilege to receive this prestigious award from Forbes India. I have always believed that high impact philanthropy can change the face of India. Having the privilege of receiving the best education and entrepreneurial career opportunities, it is my obligation to give back to the community. The mission of the Wadhwani Foundation is to accelerate job creation and economic development in India and other emerging countries. This award reflects the passion and dedication of my colleagues at Wadhwani Foundation who support and enable this vision every day through our major initiatives, including the National Entrepreneurship Network, Skill Development Network and the Opportunities Network for the Disabled with the objective of creating and filling millions of jobs”.
Adds Wadhwani, “Entrepreneurship is by far the most important driver of economic development in any economy and by creating a whole new generation of potential entrepreneurs in India through the National Entrepreneurship initiative , we strive to create thousands of new companies and millions of new jobs”.
Dr. Wadhwani features among the distinguished luminaries/ companiesthat received this award under different categories, like Narayan Hridalaya (Good Company award),Bajaj family (philanthropic family), Nandan Nilekani (Outstanding Philanthropist), Amit Chandra of Bain Capital (Emerging Philanthropic Leader) and Swati/Ramesh of Janagraha (Cross-‐over Leader).
These awards are a result of a stringent evaluation process conducted by an independent, eminent jury comprising of Anu Aga (Thermax), Jayant Sinha (Omidyaar Foundation), Ravi Venkatesan (Social Venture Partners), Shaheen Mistry (TeachFor India) and Raghav Bahl (Network 18).
About Wadhwani Foundation:
Founded in 2003 by Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, an IIT-‐Bombay alumnus with an M.S and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University and an IT entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, California. Romesh is the Founder-‐ Chairman of the $3 billion Symphony Technology Group. The Wadhwani Foundation is a not-for-profit organization focusing on high impact, niche activities leading to accelerated economic development. Its mission is to help individuals achieve their full potential, regardless of their background.
The Foundation, which does not invest in for-profit business opportunities currently works in India on five specific initiatives:
•NEN: With the help of its National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN), the Foundation facilitated the setting up of over 700 companies in fiscal 2012-‐2013. Over 500 institutes work with NEN and reach over 500,000 students every year. 100,000 students join the Wadhwani Foundation Entrepreneur Cell on campus every year
•SDN : Through Skill Development Network (SDN), the Foundation trained 5000 students in Haryana. This year, the target is to scale operations to 250 schools and reach 40,000 students across multiple states. The National framework for VTE and 200 CC pilots have been passed by the Cabinet
•ODN: Opportunity Network for Disabled has trained and placed 7000 PwD in corporate jobs.
Over 100 Corporates and 500 HR and Business managers have been sensitized. Several Government organizations, Corporate Training and Private Trainers have been mobilized to recruit and train PwD to achieve the set goal of 100,000
•RIN: Research and Innovation Network was initiated in 2009 at IIT Mumbai. In 2012, this was followed by the ShantaWadhwani Research Center at NCBS. Across both these centers, over 40 investigators and over 150 PhD. and post-‐doctorate scholars have been engaged in targeted cancer, cardiac and neural research
•India-‐US Policy: The Wadhwani Foundation has established parallel Chairs mandated to focus on improving Indo-‐US bilateral Relations, both at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington DC and at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi
About Forbes India Philanthropy Awards
The awards were launched in 2012 to applaud and recognize the efforts of individuals/companies who have given time, money, skill and expertise to create model institutions & inspire others.
• Create role models of active philanthropy among wealthy businessmen and entrepreneurs
• Recognise serious attempts at creating sustainable models of giving
• Involve the larger business community in understanding the need and purpose of giving back to society