October 15, 2010


[Two Indian big business houses, Tata Groups and Mahindra  Groups have  given $ 60 million gift in total to Harvard University, one of the best learning centers in the world. Stating yesterday at a function, “I owe a great deal to Harvard Business School” Mr. Ratan Tata, the Chairman of  India's  Tata Groups donated $ 50 million, to Harvard University’s Business School, where he had studied in 1975.   The gift is the largest  in the school’s history  from an international donor and will fund a new academic and residential building on the business school’s Allston campus.  
Similarly, to honor his mother Indira Mahindra, Mr. Anand Mahindra, head of Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group, has  also given  $10 million to support the Humanities Center at Harvard University, which will be renamed the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard.]


Harvard Business School
WASHINGTON: India's Tata Group has announced a $ 50 million (Rs 220 crores) gift to Harvard Business School, the largest donation from an international donor in the school's history. 

Besides cementing an already significant relationship between India and the world's premier business school, the grant also sends out a strong message of Indian academic and economic involvement in the US ahead of the visit to India of President Obama, who is also a Harvard (law school) alumnus. 

The gift, disclosed in Boston on Thursday by Chairman Ratan Tata, will fund a new academic and residential building on the HBS campus for participants in the School's broad portfolio of Executive Education programs. The School hopes to break ground for the building, which will be named Tata Hall, next spring. 

Incidentally, Ratan Tata attended the School's Advanced Management Program -- one of three comprehensive leadership programs offered by HBS Executive Education -- in 1975. He received the School's highest honor, the Alumni Achievement Award, in 1995. 

On top of this, Harvard Business School's current (and 10th) Dean is Rajasthan-born Nitin Nohria. 

Clearly, the gift is not without some political undertones, coming on the eve of the visit to India of President Obama, who has lately railed about the flight of American jobs to India. 

Boston's Democratic Mayor Thomas Menino, who joined Tata and Dean Nohria for the announcement on the HBS campus, said the Indian company's generosity would have both a local and global impact. "Mr. Tata's gift will create jobs right here in Boston, and the executives who study at HBS will go out into the world as ambassadors of our truly world-class city," he said. 

In fact, President Obama himself is expected to stay at the Tata Group's flagship property, the Taj Hotel, site of the deadly 9/11 terrorist strike by Pakistan, during his visit to Mumbai next month, also as a gesture of solidarity with the Indian group which lost several employees in the attack. 

Ahead of the presidential visit, Larry Summers, one of his key economic advisors, who is also a past president of Harvard University, is already in Mumbai. 

All these factors appeared to have played a role in the big Tata gift, although there has been criticism in some quarters regarding Indian business lavishing grants on American schools that are already wealthy beyond compare. 

Harvard University has an endowment of over $ 25 billion, the world's largest, and HBS' endowments alone top $ 2 billion. Last week, India's Mahindra Group announced a $ 10 million gift to support Harvard's Humanities Center. 

But the hoary university, which has many distinguished Indian alumni including two cabinet ministers (P Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal), and several business leaders (Rahul Bajaj, Y C Deveshwar besides Tata and Mahindra among them), evidently has a special place in Indian hearts and minds. 

"The Harvard Business School is the preeminent place to be exposed to the world's best thinking on management and leadership, and we are pleased that this gift will support the School's educational mission to mold the next generation of global business leaders," Ratan Tata said, in explaining the gift. 

Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria expressed deep appreciation for the Tata Group's "extraordinary generosity" saying, "This is an historic gift from a renowned organization revered for its significant economic, civic, and philanthropic impact." 

Nohria, who is an alumnus of IIT Mumbai, reminded Americans that Tata Group is widely respected for integrity and innovation, not just in India -- where it produced both the first indigenous car and the $2,000 Tata Nano automobile -- but in a variety of business lines across several continents, from cars to hotels and from tea to information technology. 

Tatas own three premier hotel properties in the US in New York (The Pierre), Boston (Ritz) and San Francisco (Campton). Together with its IT operations, its enterprises have created thousands of jobs in recession hit US, a fact that is seldom recognized in America. 



[The Mahindra money will be used to promote interdisciplinary exchanges though scholarships, panel discussions, conferences and workshops at Harvard. The subjects of seminars from the center this year range from "Modernism" and "Italian Studies" to "Music, Sensory Ecologies and the Body" and "Cross-Cultural Poetics and Rhetoric."]



Mr. Anand Mahindra, head of Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group, has given $10 million to Harvard University, the U.S. school were he earned his undergraduate and master's degrees.
To honor his mother Indira Mahindra, the vice chairman and managing director of flagship Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. has given the money to support the Humanities Center at Harvard, which will be renamed the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard.
"To address complex problems in an interdependent world, it is vital to encourage the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary exchange of ideas in an international setting," Mr. Mahindra said in a statement. "I am convinced of the need for incorporating social and humanistic concerns into the core values that inform the world of business and have sought to do so with tremendous support from my peers and colleagues at work and beyond."
Mr. Mahindra studied film at Harvard and graduated in 1977 and returned to get his business master's in 1981.
Mahindra Group is one of India's largest conglomerates. It has more than 100,000 employees and annual sales of more than $7 billion selling everything from utility vehicles and tractors to investment banking and software outsourcing services.
Mr. Mahindra is the latest Indian to make a splash at the Ivy League university this year. Harvard Business School's new dean, Nitin Nohria, was born in India, as was Gita Gopinath, who in April became the first Indian woman to get tenure at Harvard's economics department.
He is also the latest Indian business leader to give back to his alma mater. The billionaire Ambani brothers—Mukesh is chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd., India's biggest company by market value, while Anil heads Reliance ADA Group, with interests ranging from media to energy—each gave to their old schools in the name of their father Dhirubhai Ambani, founder of the Reliance group. That is why there is a Reliance Dhirubhai India Education Fund at Stanford Graduate School of Business and a Dhirubhai Ambani Auditorium at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mukesh attended Stanford, while Anil studied at Wharton.
The Mahindra money will be used to promote interdisciplinary exchanges though scholarships, panel discussions, conferences and workshops at Harvard. The subjects of seminars from the center this year range from "Modernism" and "Italian Studies" to "Music, Sensory Ecologies and the Body" and "Cross-Cultural Poetics and Rhetoric."
"The humanities teach us the careful arts of interpretation and extend our understanding of the lives, works, and histories of others," said Homi Bhabha, director of the Humanities Center. "Anand Mahindra's gift will enhance the Humanities Center's presence as the crossroads of the Harvard community, encouraging the traffic of ideas across the campus and beyond."
Write to Eric Bellman at eric.bellman@wsj.com

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 9:59 AM
Subject: Letter to Editor on Radia  and  Ratan Tata's role
To:  The Himalayan Voice
Rattan Tata's Double Standards on Corruption

Mr. Rattan Tata must understand that being the biggest international  gift maker to a richest  school in the world, on the eve of US President's visit to India is something understandable obviously. He must also understand that majority of Niira Radia tapes relates to money transactions, deal makings and influencing elected and appointed government officials; which could be termed as a conspiracy to commit an offense and should be probed and be allowed to make public.

On one hand Rattan Tata speaks of high moral and ethical standard and on the other hand he wants to deny the right of the Indian public for transparency in Radia matters just because she is handling PR work for Tata Group of Companies. Can Tata answer a simple question when he has best of the MBA’s, engineers and media professionals on his pay roll in his group companies why he hired Niira Radia to do PR work for his companies? May be to handle bribe money and cut deals with government departments on behalf of Tata Group of Companies!

As India is run by unionized gangsters posing as politicians, bureaucrats, judiciary, big businesses, religious leaders and media so it is more important for the general public to know more about how a woman with practically no professional degrees can make deals in billions as well as how she can manipulate central, state ministers, top bureaucrats and prominent Journalist belonging to or having loyalties to various political parties; on behalf of Top Industrial Houses of India.

Mr Tata, democracy demands transparency and accountability. If you have nothing to hide please disclose the terms of your and your group companies contracts with Niira Radia and her companies.

Dave Makkar 
Springfield, NJ 07081
973 416 1600 D
973 760 6006 C

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