MR Rangaswami: Mobilising philanthropic efforts from the Indian-American community through Indiaspora


(March 11, 2024) M.R. Rangaswami, the founder of Indiaspora, began his entrepreneurship journey back in 1997, when he co-founded Sand Hill Group, one of the first angel investor firms during the height of the dot-com bubble in Silicon Valley. He became an important cog in rise of Silicon Valley, and was profiled on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, named to the Forbes ‘Midas’ list of investors, and recognized by CRN as one of the Top 25 Tech Executives.

One of the most prominent Indian-American philanthropists, MR founded the Corporate Eco Forum in 2007, an invite-only organisation for Global 500 companies that have a serious environmental commitment as a business strategy. Five years later, he founded Indiaspora, a non profit community of powerful global Indian leaders. Indiaspora hosts an Annual Leadership Forum, a Philanthropy Summit and the Global Connect Initiative, as well as engaging in community issues. “Our community tends to be very low profile. But we need to be more high profile because all Americans need to know that we are generous and we help,” Rangaswami said in an interview.

MR Rangaswami with US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti. Photo: LinkedIn

In 2012, Indians were among the one percent of the population in the US, with Indian Americans making up 7 percent of the country’s doctors and 10 percent of the IT workforce. “But what we lacked at the time was any influence in politics,” he told Business Standard. And Indiaspora aspired to extend the Indian community to be one percent of the political force as well. “We have accomplished that pretty quickly. In three election cycles between 2012 an 2016, we were now on epercent of the Congress,” he said. This included Vice President Kamala Harris, and five members in the house of Representatives including Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Pramila Jayapal.

Between 2020 and 2021, Indiaspora and its partners mobilised $15 million in funding to support Covid relief efforts in India and in the US. In 2022, Indaspora formed a long-term, strategic partnership with Sunil Wadhwani’s GiveIndia, an philanthropic organisation with a focus on India. “Leveraging Indiaspora’s network of prominent Indian diaspora leaders and GiveIndia’s network of on the ground nonprofit partners, we look forward to accelerating global philanthropic giving to India,” Rangaswami told the Times of India.



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