Megha Bahree

Contributor Asia

Shiv Nadir and Roshni Nadar Malhotra
Shiv Nadir and Roshni Nadar Malhotra during a press conference in New Delhi. PRADEEP GAUR/MINT VIA GETTY IMAGES

Roshni Nadar Malhotra has taken over as chairman of HCL Technologies, India’s third-largest IT services company by revenue, from her father billionaire Shiv Nadar, the company announced Friday.

Nadar, who turned 75 last month and has a net worth of $15.8 billion, will continue as the managing director and chief strategy officer, the company said.

So far, Malhotra, 38, who is Nadar’s only child, has worn the hat of chief executive of HCL Corp., the holding company for all group entities, and was also the vice chairperson of the publicly traded HCL Technologies where she has now succeeded her father. She was ranked 54th on the Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list in 2019.

Cofounded by her father, Shiv Nadar along with five friends, in 1976, HCL became a central player in India’s rise as an IT hub. Today it has 150,000 employees across 49 countries and revenue of $9.9 billion for the 12 months ending June.

Malhotra is also the founder and trustee of The Habitats Trust, a foundation working towards protecting habitats and their indigenous species.

Prior to joining HCL, Malhotra worked as a news producer and earned her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

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This passing of the baton at HCL Technologies occurs at a time when the country’s capital markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, has instructed the country’s top 500 companies to ensure that the posts of chairman and MD aren’t held by the same person (as is quite common in India.) Businesses have till the end of the next financial year to comply.

HCL like its other IT peers is dealing with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as a temporary freeze on work visas by the U.S., a key market. The president of HCL Technologies, C. Vijaykumar, is stationed in New York.  

On Friday HCL declared its first quarter results and saw revenue dip 7.4% from the previous quarter to $2.3 billion, as expected. It also said that owing to the pandemic it has suspended wage hikes for the current financial year, joining its peers Infosys and Wipro in the move.

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