Sabse Bada Daanveer: This Business Tycoon Donated His Entire Wealth Of Rs 6210 Crore To His Employees, Lives In A Small House And Drives A Modest Car

NEW DELHI: In a world often dominated by the pursuit of wealth, there emerges an extraordinary narrative that challenges conventional notions of success. This is the story of R Thyagarajan, a visionary Indian business tycoon whose journey from humble beginnings to astonishing heights is not only marked by his empire’s financial triumphs but by his exceptional commitment to humanity. A man who shattered barriers in the financial industry, Thyagarajan’s tale offers a profound insight into the power of empathy, inclusivity, and philanthropy, ultimately redefining the very essence of business achievement.

Early Ventures


R Thyagarajan, the founder of Shriram Group, traces his origins to a prosperous farming family in Tamil Nadu. He embarked on his journey by co-founding Shriram Chits with relatives and friends at the age of 37. Before that, he spent twenty years working as an employee in various finance companies, having joined the New India Assurance Company in 1961.

Inclusivity In Financial Services


Thyagarajan’s approach to business is marked by his commitment to inclusivity in financial services. Rooted in an analytical mindset with egalitarian principles, he challenged the conventional belief that lending to individuals without credit histories or stable incomes is too risky. He aimed to disprove this notion by offering loans at affordable rates and demonstrating that such lending can indeed be secure and lucrative.

Building An Empire On Empathy


In 1974, Thyagarajan founded the Shriram Group in Chennai, initially focusing on lending money to low-income borrowers overlooked by traditional banks. His belief in helping the underserved drove the growth of the group, which now boasts a valuation exceeding USD 750 million (Rs 6210 crore) and comprises 30 companies with over 23 million consumers. 

Challenging Perceptions And Success


Thyagarajan’s unconventional approach yielded remarkable results. By offering loans in areas like truck financing where interest rates were soaring due to traditional banks’ hesitancy, he demonstrated the viability of his strategy. Shriram Finance Ltd, the flagship company under the group, experienced significant share price growth, surging over 35% in a single year.

A Philanthropic Legacy


Despite his business success, Thyagarajan’s focus was not solely on accumulating wealth. A self-proclaimed proponent of leftist beliefs, he aimed to improve the lives of those facing challenges and difficulties. Notably, he made headlines by donating almost his entire wealth of Rs 6210 crore (USD 750 million) to his employees, reflecting his commitment to the well-being of those who contributed to his empire’s success.

A Modest Life


Thyagarajan’s personal choices mirror his philanthropic endeavours. Content with a modest lifestyle, he resides in a small house and drives a simple car. Remarkably, he doesn’t even own a mobile phone, showcasing his detachment from material extravagance.

Aligning Business Success With Social Responsibility


Thyagarajan’s journey serves as an inspiring example of how business success can align with social responsibility. By providing accessible financial services while maintaining profitability, he shattered perceptions about lending to the underserved. His legacy in the industry demonstrates that empathy and innovation can lead to transformative impact.

Shriram Group’s Enduring Legacy


Today, the Shriram Group stands as a testament to Thyagarajan’s vision. With a workforce of 108,000 individuals, the group’s current valuation surpasses USD 750 million (Rs 6210 crore). The flagship company, Shriram Finance Limited, commands a market value of about 8.5 billion dollars and reported a profit of approximately 200 million dollars in the June quarter.

R Thyagarajan: A Visionary For Change


R Thyagarajan’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming an Indian business tycoon with a heart of gold showcases that business success can be a vehicle for positive societal change. His dedication to inclusivity, empathy, and philanthropy has not only reshaped the financial landscape but also left an indelible mark on the lives of countless individuals.

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