Global Indian, A hero’s journey

We are an online publication that focuses on the journeys of Indians and Indian companies abroad

Reimagining India as
a debutant novelist at 61

Alka Joshi reconnects with her Indianness and that inspires her to pen The Henna Artist, a New York Times best seller that’s soon to become a TV series.

Pullela Gopichand, the champion spotter

The Hyderabadi was an ace shuttler who attained greater glory as coach to Olympic medal winners Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu.

The man behind much of
Oman’s infrastructure

P Mohammed Ali’s Galar Engineering & Contracting Co is Oman’s largest private-sector employer. But he hasn’t forgotten his Kerala connection.

Global Indian, A hero’s journey

We are an online publication that focuses on the journeys of Indians and Indian companies abroad

Reimagining India as
a debutant novelist at 61

Alka Joshi reconnects with her Indianness and that inspires her to pen The Henna Artist, a New York Times best seller that’s soon to become a TV series.

Mama Zulekha,
The Deliverer

Meet the first Indian female doctor In the UAE credited with creating affordable healthcare and delivering 20,000 babies.

The man behind much of
Oman’s infrastructure

P Mohammed Ali’s Galar Engineering & Contracting Co is Oman’s largest private-sector employer. But he hasn’t forgotten his Kerala connection.

Global Indians Giving Back

Ideas, initiatives and projects that are making a difference

#1
Philanthropy: V Guard’s Chittilappilly sells shares worth $17.8M to fund social initiatives
Reading Time: 2 mins
#2
FUND RAISING: MacKenzie Scott doles out grants to 13 Indian non-profits
Reading Time: 4 mins
#3
COVID-19: Sundar Pichai-led Google to boost India’s rural healthcare with $15.3M grant
Reading Time: 2 mins
#4
COVID-19: Indian American co-develops ventilator sharing tech for Indian hospitals
Reading Time: 2 mins
#5
Diversity in education: Satya Nadella, wife gift $2M to US university
Reading Time: 2 mins
#6
COVID: Bahrain-based Ravi Pillai gifts $2M for Covid relief in India
Reading Time: 2 mins

Philanthropy: V Guard’s Chittilappilly sells shares worth $17.8M to fund social initiatives

(Our Bureau, June 22) Kochouseph Chittilappilly, chairman emeritus, V Guard Industries Limited, sold 50 lakh shares valued at ₹132 crore ($17.8 million) to fund his philanthropic pursuits under the aegis of K Chittilappilly Foundation (KCF). In February this year, he sold 40 lakh shares worth ₹90 crore. Some of his charity projects include medical help for the poor, meeting housing needs for those below the poverty line, supporting women-led Self-Help Groups with micro enterprises, and assisting charitable organizations with a proven track record. About a decade ago, when Chittilappilly was 60 and still at the helm of his business, he had donated his kidney to a 42-year-old truck driver. This set him apart from the CSR initiatives undertaken by other companies. Today, the company is helmed by his son Mithun, who studied Management at the University of Melbourne and proceeded to work with companies such as Deloitte and HP, before joining V Guard. Incidentally, Chittilappilly, who is a billionaire today, had started out with a small voltage stabilizer business with just two employees and a capital of ₹1,00,000 from his father back in 1977. Today, the electrical appliances company has an annual turnover of nearly ₹3,000 crore and has diversified into amusement parks and real estate as well.

“Creating wealth is not success. Success is in building an enterprise or a product, marketing it and making it tick. We work not just to create wealth, but to create more and more success stories,” he said.
This leads us to ask: How many rich Indians make a deliberate effort to give back to society like Chittilappilly? And who’s more generous: Indians here or those living abroad? RELATED READ: Bahrain-based Ravi Pillai gifts $2M for Covid relief in India    

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FUND RAISING: MacKenzie Scott doles out grants to 13 Indian non-profits

(Our Bureau, June 19) ACT Grants, The/Nudge Foundation and at least 11 more Indian non-profits have received substantial donations from American philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. This is probably the single largest grant made in a single year by a donor to Indian NGOs outside of their own foundations, Amit Chandra, a private equity investor and philanthropist, told Bloomberg Quint.

$2.7 billion giveaway program
It’s a part of Scott’s global giveaway initiative of $2.7 billion to a variety of charities. The 51-year-old is worth an estimated $60 billion after her divorce with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos left her with a 4% stake in the e-commerce behemoth. Writing in a blog post earlier this week, Scott said:

“We are governed by a humbling belief that it would be better if disproportionate wealth were not concentrated in a small number of hands, and that the solutions are best designed and implemented by others.” 

Indian recipients
Scott, her husband Dan Jewett and their team run through a rigorous process of research and impact evaluation before releasing the gifts. The Indian spread represents a mix of primarily grassroot organizations across diverse causes ranging from Covid-19 management and rural education to affordable healthcare and poverty alleviation. Here are the recipients.
  1. ACT Grants (Covid-19)
  2. Digital Green (farmer-focused)
  3. Dream a Dream (education)
  4. GiveIndia (online fundraising)
  5. GOONJ (disaster relief and humanitarian aid)
  6. Jan Sahas (anti-forced labous)
  7. Magic Bus (life skills)
  8. Mann Deshi Foundation (rural women)
  9. Piramal Swasthya (affordable healthcare)
  10. Professional Assistance for Development Action (rural communities)
  11. Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action (urban women)
  12. The Antara Foundation (child health)
  13. The/Nudge Foundation (poverty alleviation)

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COVID-19: Sundar Pichai-led Google to boost India’s rural healthcare with $15.3M grant

(Our Bureau, June 18) Sundar Pichai-led Google will invest ₹113 crore ($15.3 million) to strengthen healthcare infrastructure in India’s rural areas in their fight against COVID-19. In a statement, the company said that it will invest ₹109 crore to support healthcare facilities and a further ₹3.6 crore to help upskill frontline workers. The Mountain View, California, headquartered company has tied up with NGOs such as GiveIndia, Apollo Medskills, ARMMAN, and PATH to fulfill these commitments.

“Google is proud to be supporting our partners as they build a bigger, better-equipped healthcare system, to help India steady itself after the second wave, and lay the foundations for a sustainable and future-ready healthcare system,” Sanjay Gupta, country head and vice president, Google India told Business Line.
In the last five years, the software giant has granted funds to the tune of $57 million to India. In April this year, Pichai had announced $18 million for COVID-19 response. This included two grants to provide cash assistance to families hit hardest by the crisis, and UNICEF to help get urgent medical supplies. In April 2020, Pichai had made a personal contribution of ₹5crore to GiveIndia to help with the first wave of the pandemic.

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COVID-19: Indian American co-develops ventilator sharing tech for Indian hospitals

(Our Bureau, June 17) Dr Shriya Srinivasan, an Indian American postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has co-developed a low-cost device that provides oxygen support to two patients from a single ventilator. The splitter named iSave got approval from India’s Central Drug Standard Control Organisation and has already been deployed at some hospitals in Chennai, Bengaluru and Vishakapatnam for Covid-19 patients. iSave’s USP: It can personalize respiratory support with patient-specific oxygen volume and pressure while mitigating possibilities of cross-contamination. Also, ICU staff can monitor it outside the patient’s room and that reduces the exposure risk to doctors and nurses. Hailing from a family of Indian immigrants, Dr Srinivasan is a biomedical engineer, a non-profit entrepreneur and TedX speaker who studied at MIT and HMX – Harvard Medical School. In addition, she co-founded a Bharatnatyam-focused dance company that brings together Indian American artists from 8 cities and also conducts performances in India.

15 Reads

Diversity in education: Satya Nadella, wife gift $2M to US university

(Our Bureau, June 15) Satya Nadella and his wife Anu have donated $2 million (₹14.6 crore) to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) to help the institution recruit and retain more undergraduate and graduate students from marginalized communities. Hyderabad-born Nadella himself earned his master’s in Computer Science from UWM in 1990 and wants to encourage students to build careers in computer science, data science, and information technology.

“We know that while talent is everywhere, opportunity is not. And when people have access to education and skilling, they create new opportunity for themselves and their communities,” Satya and Anu Nadella said in a statement.
The Microsoft CEO’s donation will be directed towards a university fund that aims to promote diversity in tech education; the program will support pre-college programming to get K-12 students oriented towards the field early on. A bulk of the money will also be used for students' college scholarships and emergency grants for students at risk of dropping out due to financial constraints.

15 Reads

COVID: Bahrain-based Ravi Pillai gifts $2M for Covid relief in India

(Our Bureau, June 11) Bahrain-based Ravi Pillai, founder of the $7.8 billion RP Group, has announced that he will donate 15 crore ($2 million) towards Covid relief efforts in India. Of this, 5 crore ($684,000) will be handed over to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan for state-specific relief work and the rest will go to Covid-hit families, the Indian businessman said. Gulf News quoted Pillai, who has a net worth of $2.5 billion, as saying that the donation will also cover expatriate Keralites living in the UAEThe money will be used towards helping families facing financial crises due to the pandemic, medical expenses, wedding expenses, and also for financially strained widows.  

“I understand that this is a period of profound crisis when one is expected to take care of the needy and the underprivileged. Hence, to me, easing their pain is of utmost importance,” he said. 
Kerala-born Pillai, who received the Padma Shri in 2010, said that he wanted to give the entire relief amount before Onam in August. The RP Group has interests in construction, hospitality, steel, cement, and oil and gas industries; it also holds a stake in the Leela Hotel, Kovalam   

15 Reads

Global Indian | Good Reads

 Top reads curated from the internet 

#1
India’s tech talent diaspora critical for US-India AI partnership: Husanjot Chahal
Reading Time: 5 mins
#2
Is yoga becoming too expensive and westernized: Shrenik Avlani
Reading Time: 4 mins
#3
Satya Nadella — the man who rebuilt Microsoft: The Hindu
Reading Time: 5 mins
#4
How Flying Sikh helped other stars fulfil their potential: The Indian Express
Reading Time: 5 mins
#5
Net zero emissions – What the G7 message means for India: Manjeev Puri
Reading Time: 5 mins
#6
How India manages its interests in the US-China-Russia game will be one of its toughest challenges: ToI
Reading Time: 5 mins

India’s tech talent diaspora critical for US-India AI partnership: Husanjot Chahal

  • (Husanjot Chahal is a research analyst at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET). This article first appeared in The Diplomat on June 21, 2021)
The Biden administration’s newly established National Artificial Intelligence Initiative office prioritizes working with U.S. allies and partners as part of its agenda, reflecting a broader understanding that allies are essential to U.S. ambitions in artificial intelligence (AI). India is a key strategic partner for the United States, rooted in democratic values, committed to responsible development and use of emerging technologies, and a nation with considerable potential in AI...

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Is yoga becoming too expensive and westernized: Shrenik Avlani

(Shrenik Avlani is a writer and editor, and co-author of The Shivfit Way. This article first appeared in Mint Lounge on June 21, 2021)

  • Mood lighting, floor to ceiling mirrors, temperature control and soothing ambient music—it’s not a fine dining restaurant or a decadent spa we are talking about but your typical modern yoga studio in urban India. The yoga teacher leads the health conscious men and women wearing ‘yoga’ pants and dry-fit shirts to their yoga mats and then through various asanas in English. The session usually ends with a ‘healthy’ green smoothie...

Read the full article
15 Reads

Satya Nadella — the man who rebuilt Microsoft: The Hindu

(Sriram Srinivasan is strategy and digital editor at The Hindu. This opinion piece first appeared in The Hindu’s June 19 edition.) In the seven years since taking over, Mr. Nadella has been widely acknowledged for the revival of Microsoft’s fortunes. It is once again one of the most valuable companies in the world today. According to current prices, it is in fact No. 2 in terms of market capitalisation just behind Apple and …  

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15 Reads

How Flying Sikh helped other stars fulfil their potential: The Indian Express

(The writers of this piece – Nitin Sharma  and Andrew Amsan — are correspondents at The Indian Express. This piece first appeared in the publication’s June 20 edition.)

  • Track and field legend Milkha Singh, who passed away on Friday, was the elderly statesman of Indian sport. His gentle and charismatic persona was so infectious that any athlete, blessed with even a brief interaction (or phone call), was left with an indelible feeling of awe and admiration. His words inspired, motivated, and even comforted heartbroken athletes …

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15 Reads

Net zero emissions – What the G7 message means for India: Manjeev Puri

(Manjeev Singh Puri is a former ambassador to EU and lead climate change negotiator for India. This op-ed first appeared in the print edition of The Indian Express on June 19, 2021)

  • The Cornwall G7 summit sought to re-establish a common purpose among the richest democracies of the world. It also continued with the recent tradition among the rich to seek more than their “fair” share from the large developing countries. Climate change was a clear case in point. With Joe Biden at the helm in the US and climate champion Europe as his partner, climate leadership had to be a priority for the G7 that accounts for around 60 per cent of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere emitted over time and 25 per cent of current global GHG emissions...

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How India manages its interests in the US-China-Russia game will be one of its toughest challenges: ToI

(This editorial first appeared in Times of India's print edition dated June 17, 2021)

  • The first summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin provided a context for what is and will be one of India’s toughest foreign policy challenges. Here’s why. First, US-Russia relations are, at best, bad. Second, Russia is getting close to China, in response to West’s pushback for Moscow’s military ‘muscle flexing’ in Europe. Third, with the West anointing China as the geopolitical rival, the relationship between Washington and Beijing-Moscow may considerably worsen. That presents to India the challenge of managing its interests in a complex US-China-Russia game. A foreign policy trilemma, as it were …

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Global Indian | World in Numbers

Statistically speaking

Global Indian | Did You Know? 

Fun facts about India and Global Indians

GLOBAL INDIAN | PICTURES & VIDEOS

Your daily dose of visual media picked by our editorial team

Historical

  • 1938: BKS Iyengar, who was guru to The Beatles and The Beach Boys, demonstrating yoga asanas
    Duration: 3 mins
  • A clip from the 1960 Rome Olympics when Milkha Singh missed bagging a medal by a whisker
    Duration: 2 mins
  • “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” – Jawaharlal Nehru, 1947
    Duration: 1 min

Latest

  • MIT’s Indian-origin researcher Shriya Srinivasan talks about the next steps in human prosthesis
    Duration: 2 mins
  • When Sunil Chhetri surpassed Lionel Messi to become the world’s second highest active goal scorer
    Duration: Less than 1 min
  • Indian-origin chemist Depinder Chibber is winning hearts at MasterChef Australia
    Duration: 2 mins