Who We Are
At Cognizant, we firmly believe that corporate actions play a very 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 Focus Areas
At Cognizant Foundation, we are building a sustainable ecosystem at the intersections of inclusion, technology and collaboration. Together, Better.
Empowering people with disability
Promoting gender equality
Enabling holistic child development
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 Chairman and Managing Director of Cognizant India, Rajesh leads over 250,000 India associates and enhances relationships with government, key policy-making bodies, media and clients visiting India.
He was President, Digital Business & Technology at Cognizant, until recently. Prior to joining Cognizant in November 2020, Rajesh served as Chairman & 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. He is a member of the global board of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).
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.
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.
Ranganath N. Krishna Director, Cognizant Foundation
Mr. Ranganath N K is currently an Independent Director and Consultant. He was Managing Director of Grundfos Pumps India Pvt. Ltd. for 22 years, from its inception in 1998 till 2020.
He is from the 1980 batch of XLRI (Business Management) post a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy and has worked in manufacturing and projects both in India and abroad.
He has been the Past President of the Madras Management Association (MMA), past Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Council of CII and past Chairman of AEEE (Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy). He has been on the national committees of CII for skill development, manufacturing, CSR and water etc. and has also been on the FICCI water committee.
Currently he is a member of the CII National Committee on Water, the CII National Committee on Skills and the executive committee of the IGBC.
He is an Independent Director on a few listed and non-listed companies and on the advisory boards of a couple of NGOs.
Shantanu Jha Director, Cognizant Foundation
Shantanu Jha leads the Transformation Office at Cognizant, established in July 2022. He works closely with the CEO and the EC to detail the next level of design for the service lines including the engagement model with Cognizant's Market Units; establish roles, responsibilities and KPIs for associates; and drive change management efforts for successful implementation of organizational change.
Shantanu completed two years with Cognizant in June 2022, and till recently was leading all aspects of People Management across Global Delivery and Digital Business, which includes developing a world-class, diverse and a future-ready workforce for the Global Delivery & DBO organizations, along with leading HR for India and Philippines.
Shantanu joined Cognizant following a 17-year career with IBM, where he most recently served as Global Vice President of HR, responsible for Talent Transformation, HR and Tech Operations. Prior to that, he was the Global Head of HR for IBM’s 11 Bn $ Application business with 134,000 employees, and his responsibilities included Talent Management, Workforce Planning, Employee Relations, Diversity and Inclusion, Performance Management, Leadership Development, Succession Planning and deployment for a multi-cultural workforce.
Shantanu has had the opportunity to live in lndia and the United States, and work extensively across Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe and Latin America. His global experience spans Recruitment, Onboarding, Process Transformation, offboarding and HR M&A. He strongly champions Intelligent and Robotic Process Automation and has also led and executed multiple enterprise-wide transformation initiatives at IBM and at Wipro before that. He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Manipal Institute of Technology and began his career as a Production Engineer in the Manufacturing division of Eicher Tractors.
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
Cognizant Foundation’s ‘Preventing Childhood Blindness’ initiative selected as the winner in the ‘Healthcare (Large)’ category of the 7th CSR Impact Awards
Launch of Tech4All
Skilling persons with disabilities and women for jobs in technology and technology-enabled services