Vinay Rai

A philosopher. A philanthropist. A visionary. An educationist. A businessman. These are a few adjectives often used with his name. He is Vinay Rai - the creator of a business empire, a mover and shaker in the business world, and once an active member of this community. He is a great exponent of creative capitalism who believes in generating wealth and giving back to society for creating a just and equitable order. Vinay Rai's leading role in whatever field he chose - whether it was business or anything else - rests upon his sound academic background. Having completed his Bachelor's of Science in Physics, with Honors, from the University of Delhi he joined MIT to earn a second Bachelor's and Master's degrees, both in engineering. At MIT he became an elected member of Eta Kappa Nu and Sigma Xi, two of the most prestigious honorary societies for engineers. While at MIT, he also took courses at the Harvard Business School. He returned from the U.S. to India as an engineer and scientist with new dreams and aspirations. He envisioned taking his family business to newer heights; and he had that vigor to bring his dreams to fruition. When he joined the business set up by his father, it was already a million-dollar enterprise. He followed his dreams. He expanded and diversified it into steel production, computers and IT, mobile telecommunications, and engineering. It grew leaps and bounds, and within a few years turned into a billion-dollar behemoth. All through this period, he was an active business leader, being elected by his peers as president of the Cellular Operators Association of India, the Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers' Association, and the Electronics Components Industries Association, as well as serving as Chairman or Executive Committee member of important national trade and commerce organizations - FICCI, CII & ASSOCHAM. All his successes in business throughout this period could not give him the happiness and joy he was looking for. Widespread poverty and the misery of the people kept him anxious and urged him to do something for the underprivileged especially women who have always remained marginalized whether it is education or health or development. He finds value-based education as a solution to poverty and plight of the people since a knowledge based society can make a significant difference to an individual's life. With the encouragement of his wife, he has created a unique effort to improve the education of young women through a program called "Girl Genius and Gifted Girl," wherein any number of orphan girls and 500 girls from the poorest families are accepted every year to receive totally free higher education, including housing and food, and an ample clothing allowance, continuing, for those qualified, to a PhD. "These are the potential stars of tomorrow," he says, "and to see them flower is pure joy." Vinay Rai has also immensely contributed to empowering rural women, promoting ancient arts and culture, promoting applied research for rural areas, supporting health-related issues, and encouraging the aspirations of young people. Vinay Rai has written two books. The first one "Rethinking India" was published in 2006 in India and second "Think India-The Rise of The World's Next Super Power and What It Means for Every American" was published by Penguin Dutton in the United States in 2007 Co-authored with William L. Simon. Vinay Rai's journey has taken from being a scientist and an engineer, to business leader, academician, philanthropist and philosopher, and finally, he says, "to an understanding of self".