Tycoon who gave away $750 million doesn’t own a mobile phone

Business World

R Thyagarajan founded multibillion dollar Shriram Group. The company was established in 1974 in Chennai. Thyagarajan built his empire by lending money to low-income borrowers that don’t get loans from banks. Despite his material success, he lives frugally. He has donated most of his money and drives a car worth $5000.

The group employs 1,08,000 people. His company is a pioneer in extending credit to the poor sector of the society for trucks, tractors and other vehicles. He told Bloomberg in an interview that he had launched the company to prove that it isn’t risky to lend money to those without credit histories.

R Thyagarajan gave away more than 750 million dollars.

He wanted to do something for the underprivileged section of the society.

He was born in an affluent farming family in Tamil Nadu. He did his graduation in mathematics. He did his master’s degree at the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata.He joined New India Assurance Company in 1961. He kept working for two decades as an employee in several finance companies.

He started entrepreneurship at an age of 37. Now the group owns 30 companies.

He drives a normal car and doesn’t own a mobile as he believes they are a distraction. He also lives in a small house.

The company has over 23 million consumers. The company is not known for being a great paymaster. He told the agency that the salaries should be enough to keep one happy, not euphoric.

He gave away all his shareholdings to a group of employees. He transferred the entire money to the Shriram Ownership Trust.