Roshni Nadar Becomes HCL Tech Chairperson, First Woman to Chair Listed Indian IT Firm

The country’s richest woman Roshni Nadar Malhotra on Friday became the first woman to head a listed Indian IT company as she took over as the Chairperson of USD 8.9 billion HCL Technologies from her father and billionaire Shiv Nadar.

Roshni, also a trained classical musician, came on the board of HCL Technologies in 2013 and was Vice Chairperson. She will continue as CEO of HCL Corporation, the holding company for all the group entities.

On Friday, HCL Technologies announced that its founder and chairman Shiv Nadar stepped down from the role and the company’s Board of Directors has appointed his daughter, Roshni, as the new chairperson with immediate effect.

Shiv Nadar, however, would continue to be the Managing Director of the company with designation as Chief Strategy Officer, the company said in a statement.

HCL Technologies CEO C Vijayakumar said this was part of the company’s succession planning exercise.

Roshni studied at Vasant Valley School, Delhi and graduated in communication with a focus in radio/TV/film from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. She also pursued MBA from Kellogg School of Management.

She worked with Sky News UK and CNN America as a news producer before joining HCL Corp in 2009, and within a year was made executive director and then CEO at the age of 27.

According to the company website, Shiv Nadar is the chairman of the USD 9.9 billion HCL Corp. HCL Group includes HCL Technologies, HCL Infosystem, and HCL Healthcare.

Former HCL Technologies CEO Vineet Nayar, who is a close friend of the Nadar family, described Shiv Nadar as his mentor.

“He (Shiv) is an institution in himself who has built many other great institutions which is so fascinating to watch and applaud. This took guts, intellect, passion and perseverance. There is only one of his kind that is why I call him the Shahenshah of the tech world. I wish him the best as he begins a new innings,” Nayar said.

Nayar further said: “I am sure HCL will fly high under Roshni who leads with purpose, passion and pride. Exciting times ahead”.

Roshni married Shikhar Malhotra, Vice Chairman of HCL Healthcare, in 2010 and the couple has two sons — Armaan and Jahaan.

According to the latest Hurun Rich List, Roshni is India’s richest woman with a net worth of Rs 36,800 crore. In 2019, she ranked 54th on the Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list.

A passionate environmentalist, Roshni established The Habitats Trust in 2018 that works towards protecting India’s natural habitats and its indigenous species. She has driven transformational efforts in the area of education as a trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation.

Industry body Nasscom tweeted a congratulatory message to Roshni. “Congratulations #RoshniNadarMalhotra on your new role as Chief of @hcltech. Excited to see another #WomanInTech take charge at the workplace! We are sure HCL will achieve even greater heights in the future under your leadership,” it said.

Roshni has received several honours and accolades in recognition of her work both in business and in philanthropy.

She featured in ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ list compiled and released by Forbes in 2017, 2018, and 2019, consecutively. She was also conferred with the Lewis Institute Community Changemaker Award by Babson College in 2017 and was recognized by Horasis, an internationally renowned think tank, as the Indian Business Leader of the Year 2019.

Roshni is also an alumnus of the Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGL, 2014-19), a unique and diverse community of the world’s most outstanding, next-generation leaders, an initiative of the World Economic Forum.