IIT Delhi rolls out $1B endowment fund; gets contributions from Binny and Sachin Bansal

IIT Delhi has already garnered Rs 250 crore with contribution from its alumni, including Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal, and Udaan co-founder Sujeet Kumar.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, the premier educational institute in the country, has set an ambitious roadmap as it plans to create an endowment fund to the tune of $1 billion by 2025.

This has already been set in motion with the institute already raising around Rs 250 crore of which Rs 125 crore has been committed by its famous alumni, Flipkart foundersSachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. Binny has reportedly donated Rs 100 crore, Sachin Rs 25 crore, and Udaan co-founder Sujeet Kumar has donated Rs 10 crore.

This endowment fund will be driven by alumni of IIT Delhi and was formally inaugurated by President of India Ram Nath Kovind.

This Endowment Fund, planned by IIT Delhi, is on the similar lines of global premier educational institutes like Harvard and Stanford in the US. In fact, the endowment fund of these two universities run into multi-billion dollars with Harvard’s size being around $39 billion and Stanford at $27 billion.

Endowment funds typically are a big source of income for top global universities that use it for developmental activities and student scholarships.

The target of $1 billion set by IIT Delhi should not be a big challenge. According to the institute, of the 30-plus unicorns founded by Indian entrepreneurs, more than 15 have IIT Delhi alumni.

Flipkart founders: Sachin Bansal (left) and Binny Bansal

These include some of the very well-known names like Flipkart, Udaan, PolicyBazaar, Delhivery, Zomato, and Quikr, to name a few. In fact, IIT Delhi alumni have also been founders of investment banking entities and venture capital firms.

Prof Sanjeev Sanghi, Dean, Alumni Affairs and International Programmes, said, "The beauty of this initiative is that it is being spearheaded by the IIT-D alumni themselves. Instead of the institute administration reaching out to the alumni for contributions, it is the alumni who are making it into a movement.”

In a statement, the institute said that the initial major contributors, who are founders of this Endowment and have committed to contribute more than Rs 10 crore, each have come from across the batches of IIT starting from Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal of Flipkart, Sandeep Singhal and Kavita Iyer, Co-founder of WestBridge Capital and Sequoia Capital India, and trustees of SIFF respectively; Arun Duggal, Director of ICRA  and Vikram Gupta, Founder and Managing Partner, IvyCap Ventures.

The other founders are: Amarjit Bakshi, Founder and Managing Director, Central Park; Saurabh Mittal, Founder and Chairman, Mission Holdings; Neeraj Arora, ex-CBO of WhatsApp, Sashi Reddi, Founder, SRI Capital; Dr Amar Sawhney, President and CEO of I-Therapeutix Inc; Jassi Chadha, Founder, Axtria and marketRx; Ranu Vohra, Co-founder, Avendus; Sujeet Kumar, Co-founder, Udaan.

The other significant contributors who have committed to more than Rs 5 crore are SK Jain, Co-founder of WestBridge Capital and Gaurav Kushwaha, Founder and CEO, BlueStone.

According to IIT Delhi, its alumni manage and run companies with a cumulative value of over $100 billion. The direct and indirect employment created by IIT Delhi graduates is over 30 million.

In fact, over 600 startups founded by IIT Delhi students have raised over $15 billion in funding so far.

IITs are prestigious institutes of India that have always been a big draw for corporates and well-funded startups across the world.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)