Vinod Sekhar ranked
the 16th richest businessman in Malaysia in 2006 and 2007-
Worth $350 million
Kuala Lumpur, May 30, 2007
NRI Vinod Balachandra Sekhar is one of Malaysia's
most prominent businessmen, philanthropists, president and group
chief executive of Petra Group and Chairman of the Sekhar Foundation,
based in Kuala Lumpur, has been named by Forbes Magazine as Malaysia's
16th richest man. A name appear on Forbes top 40 richest Malaysian,
in fact he appear on the list last year (2006) as well, ranked 16
Vinod Sekhar’s father passed away last week.
Also found out that both father and son are/were self made men.
Mr Sekhar loves Cuban cigars and collects ties with Mickey Mouse
He was born August 06, 1968 and his father is the
late Tan Sri Dr B.C. Sekhar, also known as Mr Natural Rubber who
revolutionised the rubber industry in Malaysia. Mr Sekhar is married
with two children Tara and Petra, after whom his business empire
is named. He currently lives in Bukit Tunku. Shekhar through Petra
Foundation and Britain-based Green Rubber Global Ltd have signed
a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Royal Society South-East
Asia Rainforest Research Programme to fund a rainforest ecology
research programme. Among others, the fund would facilitate research,
training and environmental programme in rainforest ecology at Danum
Valley, one of the world's top five tropical forest research centres.
Mr Sekhar earned his entrepreneurial stripes while at university
in the United States. At the age of 21, he set up the Vincent Siefer
Clothing Company, which sold college embossed shirts to students
at American universities.
In 1990, he formed the STI Group with partners and was responsible
for some ground breaking businesses, such as the world’s smallest
optic engine, South East Asia’s first commercial internet
company, and a variety of other technological innovations.
The multimedia arm of the group was also responsible for the first
Malaysian joint venture to produce a movie in Disney MGM Studios
in Orlando, Florida (Tarzan, the Epic adventures). After 1997, STI
merged with other international interests and The Petra Group was
created. The Petra Group will provide RM 8mil to the eight-year
study at the Sabah Foundation-initiated Danum Valley Field Centre.
Vinod Sekhar was one of the first Malaysians to venture into the
former Soviet Union after its break up and was a part of the privatization
of the country’s second largest petrochemical plant. He was
also the first Malaysian to own a Formula 2000 and a Formula 3 Championship
Petra Group has now become a technology conglomerate that owns
international patents spanning several different industries. In
2008 Petra Group plans to bring Green Rubber Global (GRG) to the
Aim market in London. GRG owns a patented chemical formula called
DeLink. The technology is used to devulcanise rubber so it can be
recycled and used again for a wide range of applications. Investors
in the company include Forbes Vice Chairman Christopher Forbes,
Hollywood actor Mel Gibson and Kapil Dev, the Indian cricket legend.
In late 2007 Petra appointed Lord Colin Moynihan as executive chairman
of GRG to lead the company as it prepares for its IPO.
Vinod is the founder and chairman of the Petra Foundation. Mr
Sekhar has placed 60 per cent of his holdings in the Petra Group
into the foundation, which uses the stake to fund a wide range of
educational and charitable causes in Malaysia and around the world.
He sits on the board of several other Malaysian and international
Petra president Datuk Vinod Sekhar said the sponsorship was in
line with the group's long-term focus to help mitigate indiscriminate
logging practices and to promote the importance of rainforest to
humanity. Gracing the signing of the MoU was Hollywood actor and
filmmaker Mel Gibson, a staunch advocate of rainforest conservation
who is currently on a two-week holiday in Malaysia.
Petra expects to eventually expand its support to other research
centres in Sabah and Borneo, including the Maliau Basin and Imbak
Canyon Conservation Areas.
In 1991, Tuanku Ja’afar Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman,
Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan, who was then the 10th
Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia, conferred on Mr Sekhar
a “Datukship”, the equivalent of a knighthood in Malaysia,
for his contribution to society and the Malaysian nation. He was
named in 2003 by the World Economic Forum as one of 40 'New Asian
Mr Sekhar is a regular speaker at international business conferences.
He has given addresses at the World Economic Forum gatherings in
Davos, Singapore and South Korea, and in 2007 shared a stage with
former US President Bill Clinton in New York, where he launched
a biofuels initiative in the Caribbean.
Vinod is ranked the 16th richest businessman in Malaysia in 2006
and 2007. He is estimated by Forbes Asia to be worth RM 1.2 billion.
He is also the youngest on the list.
He has written several plays and a book of poetry. One of his
plays, “In the Mind’s Eye” was produced with success
in the United States, United Kingdom and Malaysia. He also hosted
Malaysia’s first English language talk show on television.
He is also an avid golfer with a 13 handicap.