- June 15, 2013:
- Why is philanthropy important to you, Mr. Kilachand?
Philanthropy is an indulgence to my soul. Every single time I see the difference I’ve made to the lives of the people I’ve helped, the communities I’ve nurtured and built, and the achievements of the initiatives I have encouraged, I feel joy unlike any that my corporate achievements have been able to manifest.
Besides, it is a genetic seed. My family has always been known for philanthropy, and it was something we talked about around the dining table. Meals were always a great social time―3 hours over dinner talking and sharing experiences; no TV and no other diversions, just talking and sharing. There would be 12, 14, 16 children at the table, and our mother and grandmother always talked to us about the importance of philanthropy.
My great grandfather’s son gave his entire fortune to his village, and the British gave him the highest award for philanthropy they could possibly give to a non-British citizen. He was only 32 years old when he was given this award.
What many forget is that India did not exist as a nation at that time; rather, the clans extended from Kandahar to Burma. In 1860 to 1870, my clan was on the border of Rajistan and Gujarat, where it is very barren. And, while they subsequently moved to a more dense region―to Bombay―their ties to their village remained strong.
In 1900, my grandfather’s son gave the village resources that were very valuable―water supply, hospitals, and an animal hospital, long before people thought about animal hospitals. Ten years before he died, he moved back to the village from Bombay and used his skills and fortune to help elevate people’s lives.
In 1950, the village honored my grand-uncle by building a mini Arc de Triomphe with a clock in it that is named after my family. Between the 1970s and 90s, my late father and his brothers built a temple there, and also a school for training teachers. India does not have enough teachers for its population of 1.2 billion. The college is still there, as are the temple and the arch. In 2012, I received a message from the mayor that they wanted to honor me on behalf of the family legacy, and I went there for a fete in March of that year. I have now established a maintenance fund for the village assets.
In the past 30 years, our businesses have taken a big jump in wealth and success. I took the family enterprises to a new, global level, and I moved the headquarters to Dubai in 2003.......READ MORE
PHILANTHROPIST & VISIONARY BUSINESS LEADER RAJEN KILACHAND PLEDGES $25 MILLION TO BU
Largest donation in school’s history to support BU’s liberal arts education
Boston University, Sep. 26, 2011
Tom Testa// Gary Singh, LA
Rajen Kilachand, a Dubai-based global entrepreneur, has pledged $25 million to Boston University, announced BU President Robert A. Brown. Kilachand’s contribution, the largest in school history, will support and rename the University’s Honors College in honor of his parents, whose full name will become the Arvind and Chandan Nandlal Kilachand Honors College.
Kilachand, who earned an MBA from the Boston University Graduate School of Management in 1974 and is a member of BU’s Board of Trustees, is chair and president of the Dodsal Group, a multinational conglomerate that holds interests in engineering, mining, trading, and hospitality businesses.
“Rajen Kilachand is a person of extraordinary foresight and rare generosity. I am deeply grateful for his vision and his commitment to our Honors College, which serves our highest achieving students,” said Brown. “His magnificent gift will create an endowment for the Kilachand Honors College that will increase the quality of this innovative program and the range of opportunities it offers for all future generations of Boston University students. Equally as important as his gift, is his insightful understanding of the enduring importance of undergraduate education, both to him and to the University.”
“In this age of professional specialization, academic interest in the humanities is waning,” said Kilachand. “People don’t want to go into liberal arts, but I think for people to be future leaders you need a focused approach to humanities, the fine arts, so that you have a well-rounded personality. Now, I’m ready to do my little bit.”
Led by Charles Dellheim, also a professor of history in the College of Arts & Sciences, the Honors College offers students the opportunity at an interdisciplinary perspective in the liberal arts while maintaining focus on one of BU’s 16 existing schools and colleges. The curriculum brings together students in all existing liberal arts and professional programs, allowing them to work on interdisciplinary, collaborative research.”
“Rajen’s appreciation of the college’s mission makes him the perfect donor,” said Dellheim. “He once said that when he started in business, he had no idea that he would have to be a bit of an engineer and a bit of an anthropologist and a bit of a political scientist and a bit of a psychologist, but that is what he had to be. And here at the Honors College, what we do is try to prepare students for the very complex world they will be entering by exposing them to the same diverse branches of knowledge.”
A longtime philanthropist, Kilachand serves on the board of Pathfinder International, a global nonprofit that focuses on reproductive health, family planning, and HIV/AIDS prevention and care. He also supports Dubai Cares, an initiative of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates. The only foreign sponsor of the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Kilachand has made a personal commitment of more than $50 million to philanthropic initiatives in health care and vocational training and education, including building libraries and teacher training institutions.
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 16 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school's research and teaching mission
Rajen A. Kilachand earned MBA from the Boston University Graduate School of Management in 1974
- Rajen A. Kilachand serves as the Chairman and President of Dodsal Group BVI, serves as Trustee and on the Board of Management of The Bhatia General Hospital in Mumbai.
- He serves as Director of Pathfinder International. Mr. Kilachand serves as the Chairman of the Board of Dodsal Corporation Pvt. Ltd.
- He serves as a Director of Dodsal Pte. Limited, Dodsal Pvt. Ltd. and Dodsal Corporation Pvt. Ltd.
- He is Trustee of a temple in the state ...
- Founded in 1948 by the Nandlal Kilachand family in partnership with a British trading company, the Dodsal Group now has more than 25,000 employees in 22 countries and has received numerous awards for safety and exemplary project execution. Mr. Kilachand received the Global Business Achievement Award at the Masala Awards in 2011.