The information technology industry is seeing the rise of a heiress to the top.
Roshni Nadar Malhotra will take over the reins of HCL Corporation that controls two of India's leading IT companies as chairman, her father and current chairman Shiv Nadar told HT. He did not mention any date for his 31-year-old daughter taking charge. In all likelihood, the MBA graduate who has worked as a media producer would step into her father’s shoes only after Nadar, 67, retires.
HCL Corporation is the holding company of HCL Technologies and HCL Infosystems, the two publicly listed firms of the group that also has other entities. Roshni is already CEO and executive director in the holding company.
Both HCL Tech and HCL Infosystems continue to be professionally run by their respective CEOs and boards of directors. While HCL Tech is India’s fourth-largest software services firm, HCL Infosystems is primarily a hardware company that manufactures personal computers and tablets.
HCL Tech’s current market capitalisation is around Rs. 48,000 crore while HCL Infosystems is valued at at around Rs. 830 crore.
“She (Roshni) will succeed me as the chairman (at HCL Corporation). This is all well set,” said Shiv Nadar. He added that Roshni devotes 80% of her time for Shiv Nadar Foundation’s work in the education sector and in the remaining time does “treasury work for HCL.”
The company’s succession plan is slightly different from two other IT companies, which, even while being family-controlled in ownership are staying away from hands-on leadership at the top.
While Azim Premji, chairman of India’s third-largest software services firm, Wipro has said that his son Rishad Premji will not become the company’s CEO, Tata Consultancy Services, the industry leader, follows the Tata-family style, in which the CEO is a professional manager. HCL is somewhat similar but the holding company has a CEO’s post.
Infosys, the industry’s second largest player, was founded by a bunch of friends, none of whose offspring is involved in the company.
Roshni is currently involved with building strategies for the HCL brand. She is responsible for strategic decisions regarding the overall direction of the corporation.
Shiv Nadar is the founder of both HCL Tech and HCL Infosystems. Nadar and other promoter groups together hold around 62% stake in HCL Tech and close to 51% stake in HCL Infosystems.