Vineet Nayar, vice-chairman of HCL Technologies, has decided to retreat from executive life in the company in favour of philanthropic activities in children’s education. In his new role in the company, which came into effect on August 1, Nayar has given up all executive functions, while remaining non-executive vice-chairman and a member of the HCL Tech board.
“There comes a time when you have to let go and if you do not let go then you become obsolete,” Nayar said. “It is very important that when a management team has been established then that team runs the company.”
Nayar had passed on the CEO’s chair at HCL Tech to Anant Gupta last year, but remained involved in the company’s functioning as executive vice-chairman. This will now change.
He clarified that this was not a severing of ties, and he would remain available for anything the company needs from him. “HCL is in my blood,” he said.
Nayar is also set to take up the role of an independent director in the board of a global company.
He said that he now wants to devote his time to social transformation initiatives through Sampark Foundation, an NGO that he set up in 2004. “We have already signed an MoU with the state government of Punjab to drive educational intervention programmes across government schools in the state, which will cover close to 250,000 children,” Nayar said. The Foundation is also working on similar transformation initiatives for farmers in drought-hit areas, and for social entrepreneurs, he said.
Several entrepreneurs have in recent times taken up social work after retiring from their professional life — such as Bill Gates, Ratan Tata and ex-CFO of Infosys, Mohandas Pai.