K. V. Ramani came from nowhere, built a huge Infotech empire, sold it to a foreign company at a huge valuation, invested the proceeds in the stock market, made more money out of it, and in an act of unmatched philanthropy, decided to give a part of it away to Shirdi Sai Baba.
This is the stuff that fair tales are made of. Only, this time, it is not a fairy tale. It is real.
K. V. Ramani literally came from nowhere. In 1970, as a graduate engineer, he joined IBM. This was at a time when information technology was unheard of. In the early 1980s, he had the vision that information technology was going to be a big force and he set up his own company called “Future Soft”. Intel Capital was a major PE investor in Future Soft. In 2004, Ramani sold off his stake in Future Soft to Flextronics at a huge valuation. K. V. Ramani also set up a joint venture with Hughes Software Systems which also was sold (probably to HCL Tech) at a bumper profit.
K. V. Ramani, in a very sensible decision, invested these proceeds in the stock market. In his own words, he made a “killing” on the stock market and earned Rs. 200 crores in just 3 years.
Wonder which multibagger stocks he bought. One of the stocks in which he holds a stake is Mold Tek Technologies in which he holds 85,000 shares.
In the year 2007, K. V. Ramani decided to donate Rs. 68 crores to Shirdi Sai Baba trust in Nashik to construct accommodation for Sai Baba devotees.
Well, that guesthouse/dormitory, now called “Sai Ashram”, is finally ready and will be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on 16th November 2012. “Sai Ashram” can house a whopping 14,000 devotees at one time.
The only issue is that “Sai Ashram” has cost K. V. Ramani Rs. 110 crores in place of the Rs. 68 crores originally visualized. Not that K. V. Ramani grudges that.
K. V. Ramani has a refreshing attitude to work. His motto, printed in bold letters on his blog, is “The emphasis must always be on the being the best and not on becoming the biggest … great companies are built on this focus.”. Very inspiring, indeed!
Interestingly, out of the Rs. 200 crores that K. V. Ramani earned out of the sale of Future Soft, Huges Software and from the stock market, he still has Rs. 90 crores left. Wonder what he proposes to do with that.
K. V. Ramani made it quite clear in the Mumbai Mirror article that no part of his wealth would go to his only daughter. “I am of the firm opinion that you should not leave too much wealth for the next generation. There is then no incentive for them to work hard“, he was quoted as saying.
Wonder what the daughter’s views on that are.