Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
December 31, 2010
Philanthropist Par Excellence
Aserial entrepreneur and a philanthropist, Vasu Chanchlani firmly believes in supporting projects having transformational impact.
His professional career began with the Tata Consultancy
Services, followed by senior roles at Nortel Networks
before starting his own high tech ventures, with flagship
being the Sigma Group of Companies.
Chanchlani is actively engaged with philanthropic proj-
ects where he ensures that his support is planned, sustain-
able and impactful. He co-founded Canada-India
Foundation for deepening engagement between Canada
To achieve his goal in giving India and the Indians a glob-
al recognition for their achievements, Chanchlani donated
a million dollar to establish the 'CIF Chanchlani Global
Indian Award' that gives $50,000 every year to the award
recipient. The main objective behind this initiative is to
recognize global leadership, professional excellence and
exemplary achievements of leaders who have done the
Indian Diaspora proud.
Chanchlani is a realist and so he has no hesitation in con-
ceding $50,000 is not a huge amount to "attract credible
people, people of international repute" and so he's aiming
high to one day take this award to the level of the Ramon
Magsaysay Award. He muses. "Why not even Nobel Prize"
as he believes "It's all doable and there's the commitment
and you put your heart and soul into it, for that matter in
Chanchlani has donated a million dollar each to create
two other ten million dollar funds - one of which is
'Chanchlani India Public Policy Center' at the University of
Waterloo, which's focused on Canada India corridor and its
contemporary politics, society and economics.
The other is the 'Chanchlani Research Center' at
McMaster University to support in understanding the role
of genetic and environmental causes of common chronic
diseases of heart and diabetes among South Asians.
This philanthropist is like the copper tone battery that
goes on and on and never stops. So in the series comes his
additional commitment for $250,000 for a $25,000 annu-
al 'Chanchlani Global Health research Award", also at
In passing Chanchlani discusses dozens of other projects
to which he's devoting his philanthropic resources, the
global research award endowment for research in area of
vision and causes of blindness; a memorial built in Toronto
to honor the Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in peace-
keeping efforts the world over, etc. The UNICEF has also
benefitted at Chanchlani's generous hands, as also some
Through such initiatives, Chanchlani is creating an
ecosystem that nurtures and promotes philanthropy for
Besides co-founding the Sigma Group of Companies,
Chanchlani also co-founded and has successfully exited
from six other technology ventures: "The funding for these
ventures came from ventures funding from the best of the
best venture capitalists like Kleiner Perkins and strategic
investments from companies like Cisco."
His success in high tech companies is all attributed to the
three Ts "Team, Timing and Talent."
Honors and recognitions have come Chanchlani's way as
well: Chanchlani is the recipient of the 'Technology
Achievement Award' from the Indo-Canada Chamber of
Commerce for his significant contribution to the field of
technology in Canada; the 'Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of
the Year' Finalist Award; the South Asian Person of the Year
Award 2010; Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award 2010;
India Abroad's 'Power List' of top 30 Indo-Canadians
2009 and Grant's Community Achievement award, etc.
Chanchlani has B.E. (Mechanical Engineering) from the
Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal
and M.Tech (Industrial and Management Engineering)
from IIT Kanpur and the MBA from Rotman Business
School, University of Toronto.
From left: Prof. David Johnston, Governor-General of Canada, Dr. Jaya Chanchlani, and Vasu Chanchlani.
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