SINGAPORE: Malaysians Brahmal Vasudevan (pic) and Shanthi Kandiah joined the ranks of Forbes Asia’s 2022 Heroes of Philanthropy list along with 14 luminaries, which included India’s richest person, Gautam Adani, along with Hong Kong-based private equity billionaire Jean Salata.
Forbes Asia said the 16th edition of its annual Heroes of Philanthropy list highlights leading altruists in the Asia-Pacific region who demonstrated strong personal commitment to philanthropic causes such as education and the environment, among others.
“The unranked list highlights philanthropists who are donating from their own fortunes and giving personal time and attention to their select causes,” it said.
Vasudevan, 54, founder and chief executive of Kuala Lumpur-based private equity firm Creador, and his lawyer wife, Shanthi, 53, support local communities in Malaysia and India through the Creador Foundation, a non-profit organisation they co-founded in 2018.
In May this year, they pledged to donate RM50mil to help build a teaching hospital at the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Kampar campus in Perak.
The couple stepped in to help bridge a funding gap after learning that UTAR had only raised half the amount needed to build the non-profit facility, which, once completed in 2023, will also provide affordable healthcare.
“We are delighted that this has spurred others to join this cause, and it appears the project is now fully funded,” said Vasudevan.
Also in May, the couple donated £25mil to Imperial College London, one of the largest gifts in its history, to create the eponymous Brahmal Vasudevan Institute for Sustainable Aviation, which will pioneer technologies to help the aviation industry transition to zero pollution.
“We felt that the creation of this institute could hopefully make a meaningful impact on studying ways of reducing, if not achieving, zero pollution one day,” said Vasudevan, who earned a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the college in 1990.
According to Forbes Asia, the list does not include corporate philanthropy, except for privately held companies where the individual is a majority owner.
The list is kept to a select group of 15, with nine new entrants on this year’s list.
Previous honorees are considered if they have made recent significant contributions that justify a relisting, it said.
The full list can be found at www.forbes.com/altruists and in the December issue of Forbes Asia. — Bernama