Who We Are
At Cognizant, we firmly believe that corporate actions play an important role in creating a climate of positive opinion and that giving back to Society is not only imperative to the company’s growth, but also an earnest reflection of the values it stands for.
If not us, who? If not now, when?
JOHN F. KENNEDY
Our Philosophy of Impact
Our 16 years of experience in the development space has enabled us to closely examine and understand some of the most fundamental challenges faced by underrepresented and underserved communities in India through our programmes in Healthcare, Education and Livelihood.
In the next phase of our journey, our primary focus will be promoting inclusion. Rather than a sectoral focus, we will be anchoring our programmes on inclusion while we continue to support individuals and communities through interventions in Healthcare, Education and Livelihood.
Scaling our impact by leveraging digital technology as an enabler
Enhancing our impact through collaboration and collective impact
Tamil Nadu5,91,000+ lives
West Bengal6,82,000+ lives
Pan India36,000+ lives
Our Board of Directors oversees all of the Foundation’s efforts. The Board, which consists of eminent personalities from various facets of society, meet regularly to ensure that our philanthropic efforts reach those who need it the most.
Rajesh Nambiar Chairman, Cognizant Foundation &
Chairman & Managing Director, Cognizant India
As President, Digital Business and Technology (DB&T), Rajesh Nambiar brings together the industry’s most compelling technology vision, strategy, roadmap, capabilities, solutions, partnerships, and subject matter expertise into a single integrated powerhouse that runs all of the IT services for Cognizant. As Chairman of Cognizant India, Rajesh leads the India associates and enhances relationships with the government and key policy-making bodies.
Prior to joining Cognizant in November 2020, Rajesh served as Chairman and President of Ciena India, a leading network solutions partner. He joined Ciena from IBM, where he led an $8 billion Application Services practice. He also served as IBM Global Delivery Leader and led a team of 90,000 through the company’s next generation of globally integrated delivery capability. Before IBM, Rajesh led the eastern region in the US and spent over 18 years at Tata Consultancy Services.
Rajesh serves on the Executive Council of NASSCOM, the premier trade association of Indian IT and BPO companies. He chairs the Cognizant Foundations in the US and India. He is a member of the global board of U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC).
Rajesh holds a master’s degree in Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.
K. Balaji Director, Cognizant Foundation
Kasturi Balaji has had four decades of professional experience in the news publishing and printing industry. He has served as Managing Director of Kasturi & Sons Ltd., publishers of The Hindu.
From 1977 when he joined The Hindu till 1991 he held responsibilities in the area of newspaper and magazine production. He was instrumental in setting up an ink manufacturing plant for The Hindu and its publications. He also served as Director of KSL Digital Ventures Ltd., a start-up company that runs the home-buying portal Roof and Floor.
As a consultant in print and production technology, Mr. Balaji has advised many of India’s leading publishing and printing companies.
He currently serves as a Member of the Central Committee, The Voluntary Health Services, Chennai; Member of Board of Directors, Nani Palkhivala Arbitration Center, Chennai and Member of the Board of Directors of Cognizant Foundation, Chennai.
Mr. Balaji graduated in commerce from the Loyola College, Chennai and holds a Masters in Management Studies from the University of Bombay. He is passionate about the game of Cricket and has represented the Madras University, South Zone University and Tamil Nadu state.
Keshav Desiraju IAS (Retd.)
Director, Cognizant Foundation
Keshav Desiraju has recently retired from a career with the Indian Administrative Service and in 2013 was Secretary, Health & Family Welfare to the Government of India.
He has held many positions with the Government of Uttarakhand, the Government of Uttar Pradesh, and the Government of India and retired as the Union Secretary in the Department of Consumer Affairs.
He continues to remain engaged with issues in public health, particularly mental illness and mental health, primary health care and community health, and serves on the board of several non-profit organizations in the sector. He is the Chairperson of the Governing Board of the Population Foundation of India (PFI).
Mr. Desiraju has a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Cambridge and a Masters degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
N. R. Krishnan IAS (Retd.)
Director, Cognizant Foundation
N.R. Krishnan was a member of the Indian Administrative Service and a Secretary to the Government of India.
A specialist in energy and sustainable development, Krishnan has been associated with introduction of legislation on matters relating to these subjects and in framing government policy. At the international level, he has had a longstanding association with the United Nations Environment Programme and was Chairman of UN bodies connected with the Montreal Protocol and sustainable forest management.
Krishnan was associated with the National Law School University in Bengaluru and with the Madras School of Economics in Chennai in introducing Environmental Law and Environmental Economics in their curricula.
Holder of a Master’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Delhi and a lecturer in St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, Krishnan was a Visiting Fellow at Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford and an ILO Fellow at the Harvard Institute of International Development. A regular contributor of articles to national journals on environment, climate change and issues in public policy, Krishnan is on the jury of India’s premier industry associations to recognize India’s best corporate houses for their record in sustainable development. He also serves as a Director on the boards of many companies.
Dr. Nandini Rangaswamy Director, Cognizant Foundation
Dr. Nandini Rangaswamy is the Managing Director of the Chandra Group of Companies, and Chairperson of the GRG Institutions in Coimbatore.
Her deep passion and a compassionate eye for the underprivileged and her contribution to improving the academic standards, women empowerment and philanthropic endeavours has been an inspiration to many. Besides her active role in business and education, she has been deeply involved in rendering commendable service to the society and for the promotion of human welfare as a keen social worker and philanthropist.
As the Chairperson of the 60-year old GRG Group of Educational Institutions, Dr. Nandini has been instrumental in women empowerment and providing opportunities for less privileged sections of the society. The GRG Group of Educational Institutions encompasses education for over 13,000 girl children from nursery and primary level to UG, PG and Doctoral levels.
As Chairperson of the Coimbatore Branch of the Indian Red Cross Society, she has pioneered many new initiatives to help the needy. She is the Honorary Secretary of the Guild of Service in Coimbatore focusing on providing service to underprivileged sections of the society. As the Joint District Director of the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) in Coimbatore since 2002, Dr. Nandini has helped in enlisting women volunteers to work for the progress of the poor and marginalised sections of the society. She is the Chairperson of the Coimbatore District Welfare Association, focusing on providing care for senior citizens, including a Senior Citizens Day Care Centre.
She has been closely associated with the activities of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as the Chairperson of the Tamil Nadu State Council, Chairperson of the Southern Region Education Sub-Committee and Education Task Force and Chairperson of Southern Region of CII IWN (Indian Women Network). She is currently a Member of the CII India Women Network (IWN) and Women Empowerment National Committee.
Ramaseshan Director, Cognizant Foundation &
Chief Financial Officer, Cognizant India
Ramaseshan is Chief Financial Officer, India at Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) and is responsible for the Finance operations in India. Cognizant is a Fortune 200, NASDAQ-100 and S&P 500 company.
Ramaseshan has about 27 years of experience in various leadership roles in Finance across different industries. He is a member of the company’s India Board and its subsidiaries both in India and outside India, Global Executive Leadership Team (ELT) responsible for driving the company’s strategy and operations
Prior to joining Cognizant, Ramaseshan has worked in WIPRO, IBM and Tata Elxsi.
Ramaseshan is also a member of India CFO Board, IMA India (International Market Assessment) and various other CFO Forums in India.
At Cognizant, it is firmly believed that corporate actions play a very important role in creating a climate of positive opinion and that giving back to the Society is not only imperative to the company’s growth, but also an earnest reflection of the values it stands for. This belief is what led to the establishment of Cognizant Foundation, as one of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arms. Cognizant Foundation was set up as an independent corporate entity in March 2005. It is headed by an eminent Board of Directors with experience in public and corporate affairs.
Healthcare & Education
Adopted as two pillars of development
Projects concentrated in Southern India initially, then branched out to Northern, Eastern and Western India
Adoption of four-pronged implementation strategy
- Partnerships with NGOs
- Beneficiary institutions
- Cognizant Associates
Preventing avoidable blindness and promoting women & child health
Adopted as flagship programmes under Healthcare
Promoting digital learning and STEM education
Adopted as a flagship programme under Education
Cognizant Foundation Scholarship
Our first scholarship programme launched , administered directly by the Foundation.
Adopted as a third pillar
Forged relationships with new, credible NGOs known for their impactful work in the community and also strengthened ties with existing partners
Adopted disruptive technologies
to solve pressing challenges in society, particularly for the differently-abled sections
Innovative projects supported
- e-Classroom on Wheels
- Science on Wheels – Mobile Science Laboratory
- Teachers’ Community of Learning
- Lifeline Express – Hospital on a Train
Inclusivity and skilling
adopted as a cross-cutting theme across the three pillars
witnessed substantial growth in all the three pillars
Rebuilding communities programme
launched in the wake of Chennai floods with interventions in the areas of women empowerment, livelihood restoration, education, healthcare, skills building, housing and environment
Promoting vocational technical education
adopted as a flagship programme under Education
Expansion of scholarship schemes
to include lesser patronised areas such as scholarships for visually challenged, social sciences and special education
Partnerships within Cognizant
Strong linkages with Cognizant Outreach and volunteering programme
Making education accessible and affordable
We helped develop vibrant learning environments that foster a passion for learning, kindle scientific curiosity and nurture creativity. Persons with disabilities were provided technology aids, enabling inclusive education.
With its interventions in Healthcare, the Foundation was able to make significant contribution to reduce the burden of blindness in India through its various programmes and improve access to quality and timely healthcare for underserved women and children
With its interventions in Livelihood, the Foundation empowered and enabled disadvantaged youth, women and persons with disabilities for gainful employment
The Foundation’s activities were expanded to states where Cognizant does not have a physical presence
Completes 15 years of empowering social change
With a view to sharpen our focus and amplify our impact, we now wish to adopt inclusion as the cornerstone of our impact roadmap going forward.
With Inclusion as our key anchor, we will continue our commitment to empower vulnerable sections of the society and enable equitable and inclusive growth