Ashoka University, an independent non-profit private university, established by a group of high profile new age entrepreneurs and corporate executives and specialising in liberal arts, plans to garner nearly Rs 400 crore ($67 million).
Ashish Dhawan, one of the founders of the university, is overseeing the fundraising efforts and is eyeing money from businessmen, non-resident Indians and other high net worth individuals, according to a news report by Mint.
Dhawan, founder of Indian private equity firm ChrysCapital who quit the investment firm a few years ago and is now involved with philanthropic activities, is holding discussions with executives at PE and VC funds and two batches of such people have already visited the university’s campus in Sonepat. An executive at a hedge fund in US has already pledged $500,000, he told the paper.
The university is recruiting two people to help with the fundraising efforts in the US, he added.
Ashoka University has been running a fellowship programme called the Young India Fellowship for the last three years and is looking to start its undergraduate programme by August this year. The first undergraduate batch is expected to start with 350 students, while the full capacity of the university is 4,000 students.
The university also counts backers such as Pramath Raj Sinha, who is the founding dean of Indian School of Business; Sanjeev Bikhchandani (founder and executive vice-chairman of Info Edge India Ltd); Atul Nishar (former promoter of Hexaware Technologies Ltd); Puneet Dalmia (managing director of Dalmia Cements Ltd) and Jerry Rao (chairman of Value and Budget Housing and former promoter of Mphasis Ltd), among others.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)