When Kiran Nadar – who was then working with an advertising agency -- met Shiv Nadar, none of them probably knew they would end up being life partners. They first became friends, then bridge partners and then took the plunge to get married. Incidentally, she is also a professional bridge player and an avid sports follower.
While Shiv went on to start HCL, Kiran decided to be more than just the entrepreneur’s wife. She has been working towards educational initiatives through SSN institutions, Vidya Gyan and the Shiv Nadar University. Based in Chennai, the university is counted as one of the best in South India and Kiran is planning to open a North India campus soon.
Kiran is also closely working with the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation that sponsors the education of economically poor Muslim girls in the backward districts of Uttar Pradesh. Kiran was also on the “48 heroes of philanthropy” list of Forbes in 2010.
For all her philanthropic work, Kiran also has a keen sense of business. In fact, she was one of the founders of NIIT, along with Rajendra Pawar and Vijay Thadani and took care of all the marketing and communication initiatives of the company. But she bid it all goodbye when she had her daughter to bring her up.
But she wasn’t one to sit around for long. Gradually, what started as doing up her home became a passion. While collecting art pieces she discovered how talented some of the upcoming artists were and decided to push them in the right direction. Self-taught she buys what she likes and has a sizeable collection of art works herself. To share it all, she just opened the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art branch in Delhi, which is India’s first philanthropic museum. She had opened the museum in Noida last year.