Tej Kohli Biography: International Businessman & Philanthropist
Tej Kohli is an international businessman and philanthropist, with a diverse portfolio of commercial and charitable operations in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and India.
Mr Kohli is a graduate of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, where he gained his B.Tech in electrical engineering. After five years’ experience in the field, Mr Kohli identified a gap in the market for e-commerce platforms and, combining his passion for technology with a natural acumen for business, established his first company, Grafix Softech, in the late 1990s.
Grafix Softech is now one of a number of flourishing high-tech companies based in Costa Rica, and has additional offices around the world. Grafix Softech also has a significant presence in India, along with a number of other businesses owned by Mr Kohli, to take advantage of the country’s booming IT industry. Still privately owned by Mr Kohli, Grafix Softech has a turnover of several hundred million dollars, and employs just over 500 people worldwide.
Since establishing his first company, Mr Kohli has acquired significant interests in a number of growth industries. These range from real estate in the Middle East, to reconstructive and cosmetic surgery worldwide. He continues to invest in forward-looking industries through the venture capital division of his company. However, his keen personal interest in IT and technology means that this industry remains his primary focus. Mr Kohli personally follows developments and innovations in both technology and business practice to ensure that his ventures remain at the head of their chosen sectors.
Mr Kohli believes that success comes from personal hard work and discipline and remaining open to new possibilities and opportunities, as well as finding and nurturing the right people to work with. The average length of tenure for Mr Kohli’s employees is ten years, and all his companies emphasise the need to support individuals to produce their best work. Mr Kohli established his eponymous charitable foundation with this emphasis on the potential of the every individual, particularly the young, in mind.
The Tej Kohli Foundation provides services in two principal areas. In Costa Rica, the Tej Kohli Foundation provides food, support and education scholarships to under-privileged children, through local established partners and its own grass-roots organisations. The initial pilot program assisted a small group of disabled children and produced such positive results that it was extended and has now helped more than 800 individuals in total.
In India, the Tej Kohli Foundation is principally involved in the area of corneal transplants with the goal of assisting the country’s two million people who suffer from curable blindness. The Foundation has an open-ended commitment to the Nirmaya hospital in Gurgaon, Haryana. The Foundation has also launched a mobile corneal transplant unit which will operate in the National Capital Region of India. Launched in 2007, the program has already helped 1,000 people and with the infrastructure and procedures now in place, aims to help an additional 1,000 every year. In addition to funding the transplants themselves, the Corneal Transplant Program aims to raise awareness about the issues involved, facilitate transplants and popularize donation, which is currently the biggest barrier to the successful treatment of a greater number of people.