Roshni Nadar Malhotra: A Symphony of Innovation & Impact
Amid the vast, uncharted galaxy where technology, philanthropy and innovation coalesce, lodestars that show the way are few and far. But without an iota of doubt, one can point to this Indian woman entrepreneur as one of the brightest guiding stars in that constellation. Meet Roshni Nadar Malhotra, the chairperson of HCL Technologies, one of India’s leading Information Technology behemoths, who is carrying on a glorious patrimony and making strides as an influential leader and innovator in her own right. Her rare blend of business acumen, leadership skills and farsightedness is taking the MNC to greater heights and is also reshaping the landscape of education, inclusivity, and societal progress. Roshni Nadar Malhotra has not only been instrumental in the transformation of HCL Technologies but has also left an indelible mark as a powerful woman in India. She rightfully earned the title of the most powerful woman in the country from Unique Times, a testament to her remarkable achievements and influence in various domains. Unique Times takes you on a captivating journey through the multifaceted life and achievements of Roshni, peeling back the layers that have reshaped the boundaries of technology, philanthropy, and leadership in more ways than one.
Nurturing a Visionary
The scion of the renowned Nadar family, Roshni Nadar Malhotra was anchored to a culture that deeply valued education and technology right from a tender age. Growing up in the nurturing cocoon of the Nadar household as the only daughter of HCL’s founder Shiv Nadar, she was not merely encouraged but rather passionately motivated to explore her own interests and cultivate a strong entrepreneurial mindset.
Roshni Nadar Malhotra is boldly following in the footsteps of her father, who established HCL in 1976. A true rags-to-riches story, Shiv began scripting the success saga of this global corporate powerhouse from the humble confines of a rooftop apartment in Delhi. The company’s origins were firmly rooted in hardware manufacturing, marking its pioneering role in producing India’s first homegrown computers. Since that humble beginning, HCL has been navigating the ever-evolving sea of technology, riding the waves of innovation and adaptation with the inspiring presence of Roshni at its rudder.
Her formative years were an exquisite blend of intellectual rigour and a hands-on immersion in the complexities of the ever-evolving technology landscape. This unique environment not only fuelled her intellectual curiosity but also kindled a profound passion for innovation. It instilled in her a belief that technology and education could be formidable tools for driving positive change in society. Roshni Nadar Malhotra’s upbringing was a testament to the idea that the potent cocktail of knowledge and technology can be a catalyst for transformation on a grand scale.
Today, according to HCL Technologies’ own account, the company has burgeoned into a colossal $12.6 billion revenue, with significant assets totalling $11.4 billion and a dedicated workforce of over 223,400 professionals. This meteoric rise from its modest origins underscores HCL’s indomitable spirit and its remarkable odyssey towards becoming a technological titan on the world stage. As the proud torchbearer of this impressive legacy, the rudder of the company is safe in Roshni’s hands and she is confident of steering it through the uncharted waters of the future.
The Architect of HCL’s Technological Renaissance
Roshni Nadar Malhotra’s remarkable journey through the ranks of HCL closely paralleled her unwavering quest for excellence and groundbreaking innovation. Demonstrating an acute awareness of the ever-changing landscape of the technology industry, she swiftly etched her own distinctive path, occupying influential positions that propelled HCL to the vanguard of technological progress.
The strategist in her coupled with business foresight was the driving force behind expanding the company’s global presence and cementing its standing as a pioneering force in the domain of digital transformation. Roshni not only amplified HCL’s reach on the international stage but also redefined the frontiers of its reputation as an industry trailblazer, leading the charge toward a future defined by technological advancements and visionary leadership.
Illuminating Pathways to Education and Social Change
Corporate achievements apart, what makes Roshni Nadar Malhotra stand head and shoulders above others of her ilk is her unwavering commitment towards the advancement of education and the betterment of society. She achieves this by playing an instrumental role in the Shiv Nadar Foundation. Through a myriad of educational programmes and initiatives aimed at empowering underserved and marginalised communities, she has vividly highlighted the profound impact of education in driving sustainable development.
Initially, Roshni did not harbour strong ambitions of becoming deeply involved in HCL Infosystems and HCL Technologies, directing her focus instead towards the realm of social enterprise. Her maiden venture, Vidyagyan School located in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, extended the gift of free education to children in rural areas, illustrating her firm belief that profit and education should not be intertwined.
In an interview, she eloquently stated, “Money-making and education do not go together,” underscoring her unswerving commitment to using education as a force for social good. This pioneering approach not only showcased her dedication to making a meaningful impact on society but also served as a testament to her profound understanding of the transformative potential of education in rewriting the destiny of underserved communities.
Her resolute dedication to nurturing talent and fostering socio-economic inclusivity has left an indelible mark on a wide spectrum of society. It has ignited a transformative wave of change that resonates throughout the intricate fabric of Indian education. The ripple effect Roshni has created continues to reverberate through the corridors of progress and opportunity. Her commitment to these causes has not only enriched lives but also kindled a beacon of hope for those who have long aspired to attain education as a path to a brighter future.
Pioneering Inclusivity and Diversity in Corporate Culture
Roshni Nadar Malhotra’s steadfast dedication to cultivating an all-encompassing and diverse workplace has established a compelling model for businesses on a global scale. Through her fervent advocacy for gender parity and diversity within corporate settings, she has altered the chemistry of corporate culture, underscoring the fundamental importance of inclusivity in driving innovation and growth.
Her focus on nurturing an environment that cherishes diversity remains like a golden tassel on the corporate tapestry of HCL. Beyond the confines of the company, it has served as a profound source of inspiration for a generation of aspiring professionals, encouraging them to embrace inclusivity as an integral pillar of comprehensive personal and professional growth. Roshni’s visionary approach to fostering inclusivity in the workplace not only enriches the corporate landscape but also serves as a pole star for those who strive for a world where diversity is celebrated as a catalyst for progress.
Redefining Success Amidst Adversity
Roshni Nadar Malhotra’s odyssey as the Chairperson of HCL Corporation symbolises a narrative of resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity. Her unparalleled leadership style, marked by a steadfast focus on business impact, has transcended the conventional barriers of gender disparity within the tech industry. While navigating the complexities of an ever-evolving digital era, her unwavering commitment to fostering inclusivity and a collaborative work culture stands as a testament to her transformative leadership. With a keen emphasis on leading by example and cultivating a spirit of continuous learning, she has not only championed HCL’s global prominence but has also paved the way for a more dynamic future for women in leadership roles within the tech realm. As she continues to steer HCL through the winds of change, Nadar’s journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring leaders, highlighting the significance of resilience, adaptability, and a relentless pursuit of excellence in redefining success amidst challenging circumstances.
Celebrating Multifaceted Excellence
Her impactful contributions to business and philanthropy have garnered Roshni an array of prestigious honours and accolades. In 2014, she won NDTV’s Young Philanthropist of the Year Award. She was conferred the World’s Most Innovative People Award for Philanthropic Innovation by the World Summit on Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the year 2015. In the year 2017, she was Vogue India’s Philanthropist of the Year. Notably, her inclusion in Forbes’ ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ list for six consecutive years, alongside her recognition as one of the ’25 Most Powerful Businesswomen in Asia’, attests to her influential standing in the global arena.
This ace business magnate was ranked 53rd in the 2022 Forbes ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ list. Her dynamic leadership has been further acknowledged through the ‘Most Powerful Women in Business 2023’ title by Business Today and the esteemed Lewis Institute Community Changemaker Award presented by Babson College in 2017. Recognised as the ‘Indian Business Leader of the Year 2019’ by Horasis, she has also contributed significantly as an alumnus of the Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGL, 2014-19), fostering a network of emerging leaders dedicated to catalysing global change.
In tandem with her corporate achievements, Roshni has made notable strides in cultural stewardship, producing the impactful TV series ‘On The Brink’ for Animal Planet/Discovery channels since 2019. The series sheds light on India’s endangered wildlife, with the episode on bats earning the prestigious Best Indian National Film Award for Science & Technology in 2022. Additionally, her production of the poignant children’s film ‘Halkaa’ in 2018, directed by National Awardee Nila Madhab Panda, further underscores her commitment to advocating for societal change and addressing the challenges faced by marginalised communities.
Pillars of Support and Guidance
Behind Roshni Nadar Malhotra’s extraordinary journey in the world of technology and business stands a pillar of unwavering support and guidance from her family. Hailing from a family renowned for their contributions to business and philanthropy, Roshni is the only child of Shiv and Kiran Nadar. Her mother is an avid art collector, philanthropist, and trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, as well as the founder of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. Under her father’s stewardship, the company emerged as a central player in India’s ascent as an IT hub, a legacy that continues to shape Roshni’s path today. Shiv retired from his position at the age of 75, leaving behind a rich legacy of innovation and excellence. Roshni’s own diverse interests include classical music, a testament to the multifaceted influences within her family. In 2010, she married Shikhar Malhotra, CEO & vice chairman of HCL Healthcare, and together they have two sons, enriching her journey with the joys of family and parenthood alongside her professional pursuits. The support and encouragement of her family have not only nurtured her entrepreneurial spirit but have also instilled in her the values of integrity, resilience, and innovation, which have been instrumental in shaping her path as a trailblazing leader in the tech industry.
Building Bridges for Tomorrow’s Innovators
In the compelling narrative of Roshni Nadar Malhotra’s life, we find an extraordinary blend of leadership, innovation, and unwavering dedication to creating a brighter future. Her sojourn, marked by her profound influence in the realms of technology, education, and social change, serves as an inspiration to all. As we reflect on her saga, we witness the incredible impact one individual can have when driven by a deep commitment to excellence and a vision for positive transformation.
Roshni Nadar Malhotra’s legacy is not only a testament to her glorious patrimony but also a tribute to her own remarkable abilities and contributions. She has redefined the contours of leadership and demonstrated the boundless potential of technology as a force for good. Her commitment to education, inclusivity, and innovation has touched the lives of many. Her journey is a beacon of hope, urging us all to embrace the possibilities of reshaping our world for the better, one visionary step at a time.