Community Leaders Pay Homage To VASU CHANCHLANI
Mr. Vasu Chanchlani (Born July 1, 1952 – Sept 7, 2014) a serial entrepreneur and a visionary philanthropist supporting projects having transformational impact. He is one of founding members of Canada India Foundation.
Mr. Chanchlani’s philanthropic initiatives are numerous and include the CIF Chanchlani Global Indian Award, Chanchlani India Policy Centre at University of Waterloo, Chanchlani Research Centre at University of McMaster to understand causes of heart disease and diabetes among South Asians, Chanchlani Global Health Research Award and the Chanchlani Global Vision Research Award with CNIB.
Mr. Chanchlani has received numerous awards and was most recently presented with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award, the highest award from the Government of India to a member of the Indian Diaspora.
His professional career began with Tata Consultancy Services followed by senior roles at the Nortel Networks before starting his high-tech entrepreneurial journey that resulted in successful exits from six technology ventures. His technology ventures attracted world class strategic investor likes of Cisco Systems and venture capitalists likes of Kleiner Perkins.
Vasu completed his B.E. (Mechanical Engineering) and subsequently M. Tech. (Industrial & Management Engineering) from IIT Kanpur as well as M.B.A. from RotmanBusinessSchool, University of Toronto.
Vasu was actively engaged with his philanthropic projects and besides committing his millions of dollars; he ensures that his support is planned, sustainable and impactful. He co-founded Canada India Foundation (CIF) for deepening engagement between Canada and India using public policy advocacy platform by engaging highly successful group of Indo-Canadians and friends of Canada India corridor. To support his goal in giving India and Indians a global recognition for their achievements, Vasu created endowment of one million dollar to set-up fund for the “CIF Chanchlani Global Indian Award” that gives $50,000 every year to the award recipient. The award recognizes global leadership, professional excellence and exemplary achievements of leaders who have done India and Indian Diaspora proud. The past recipients of this award have been Ratan Tata, Deepak Chopra, Tulsi Tanti, and Sam Pitroda.
Vasu also donated another million dollar towards $10 Million endowment for starting a “Chanchlani India Public Policy Center” at the University of Waterloo, exclusively focused on the Canada-India corridor and its contemporary politics, society and economics.
He has donated $1 Million towards $10 Million fund for Chanchlani Research Centre, McMaster University to support in understanding role of genetic and environmental causes of common chronic disease of heart and diabetes among South Asians; develop new strategies for their diagnosis, treatment and prevention; provide a productive and innovative training environment. He has further donated to McMaster University additional $500,000 for a $25,000 annual Chanchlani Global Health Research Award.
Vasu has further made a gift of $2 million towards $5 Million endowment to create the Centre for South Asian Civilization at the University of Toronto; which will engage the South Asian Diaspora and enhance understanding of mainstream Canadians to advance Canada’s strategic interest in a globalized world.
Vasu’s visionary philanthropy was again at its best on October 2, 2010 at the unveiling of Monument for the Fallen Soldiers of Canada. This mainstream Canadian project is getting major boost with formation of the Canadian Fallen Soldier Foundation with initial contribution of $1 million under leadership of Vasu Chanchlani. The mandate of this foundation is unique as it will provide financial and mentoring support for higher education of the families of the Fallen Soldiers as well venture capital for their entrepreneurial ventures. Vasu, through philanthropic entrepreneurialism, is quietly leading others to take mainstream social causes or he is finding opportunities to actively engage and financially support the root issues for the philanthropic projects such as his recent endowment to institute annual CNIB Chanchlani Global Vision Research Award of $25,000 with the Canadian National Institute for Blind through endowment fund of $500,000.
Vasu has also funded: Smt. Jamnabai Chanchlani, AIM for Seva Student Home, Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh in India for the marginalized children. Apart from above said initiatives, there are several other projects that Vasu has supported such as Hospitals, UNICEF, Community organizations, temples and many more. Through his philanthropic vision, Vasu has inspired a wide array of professionals and entrepreneurs of the Indian Diaspora to take up issues and causes that would mutually benefit India and Canada. In doing so, he is creating an ecosystem that nurtures and promotes philanthropy for trans-national initiatives. His entrepreneurial philanthropy is slowly evolving into a model that would help build mutually beneficial relationships between nations supported by the Diaspora of various nations.
Presently, Vasu is actively invested and involved in about dozen businesses including two ventures in India.
Awards and accolades for Vasu have followed recognizing his professional, entrepreneurial and philanthropic successes:
- Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award, the highest award from the Government of India to a member of the Indian Diaspora 2014
- UN WOMEN Contribution to Philanthropy Award 2013
- Community Service Award 2013 GOPIO
- Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012
- Distinguished Alumnus Award (DAA), 2011-12 IIT Kanpur
- Life Time Achievement Award 2011 Global Indian Origin
- IIFA Global Business Leadership Award, 2011
- South Asian Person of the Year award, 2011 Midweek Southasian Awards,Canada
- Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2011, The Weekly Voice
- President Award 2011, Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce
- 30 most influential Indo-Canadians, India Abroad Power List, 2010
- Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award, 2010
- Grant’s Community Achievement Award 2009
- Dharam Rakshak Award from Voice Of Vedas, 2009
- Technology Achievement Award 2003, Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce
- Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist Award, 2001
All this would not have been possible without the unwavering support of his family members- his wife Dr. Jaya Chanchlani, two daughters and son, all are medical doctors.
“It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of my friend Vasu Chanchlani, a distinguished philanthropist, a successful entrepreneur, and a great Canadian.
“Vasu gave generously to many causes, providing crucial support to several university research programs and to young leaders in the Indo-Canadian community. As a founding member of the Canada India Foundation, he was a prominent advocate for promoting bilateral relations between Canada and India. Through his support of education and leadership in both Canada and India, he improved peoples’ lives across the world.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to Vasu’s wife, Jaya, and his family in this time of loss. His great generosity and his contributions to strengthening the relationship between Canada and India will not be forgotten.”
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister for Multiculturalism
I was deeply shocked to learn about the sudden demise of Vasu Chanchalani. In the Indian community in Ontario, he was synonymous with philanthropy and charity. He was widely adored and admired for his generosity, kindness, compassion and helpful nature. He was an important part of all major initiatives for strengthening India-Canada relations through trade, business, education, research, culture and community engagement and political outreach. His services were recognized earlier this year with the award of Pavasi Bhartiya Samman by the President of India.
I was privileged to have known Vasu Chachalani for the past one year and had developed deep respect and admiration for his humility and human virtues. My wife and I share the Indian community’s sense of personal loss and void.
Consul General of India, Toronto
Vasu’s sudden passing came as a great shock to me, as it did, no doubt, to his many, many friends and admirers. The quality that struck me the most about Vasu was his simplicity. In his interactions with others, regardless of who they were, he was always humble and extremely courteous. Behind that simplicity, there was a person who cared and who had a big heart. Vasu’s generosity in support of so many worthwhile causes was limitless.
One of Vasu’s most important contributions was in the promotion of knowledge and learning. Vasu was a man of tremendous intellectual curiosity. He loved ideas, and he did more than his share to promote the pursuit of cutting edge ideas through his support of research in several prestigious institutions of higher learning, such as McMaster and Waterloo. From medical research to research related to policy and governance, the breadth of Vasu’s intellectual interests was impressive.
Like so many others, I share in the grief that Jaya and the rest of Vasu’s family are experiencing. And I pray that the memory of their life with such a unique person as Vasu will give them strength to cope with this irreparable loss.
Alok Mukherjee, Chair
Toronto Police Services Board
“On behalf of the people of Brampton, I join with all residents to mourn the passing of Vasu Chanchlani, and to celebrate Mr. Chanchlani’s life, and his accomplishments. Mr. Chanchlani gave his time, talent and generosity toward post-secondary education and elevating relations between Canada and India, among other worthy causes.The people of Brampton, and residents in communities throughout Canada and India, have lost a giant.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Vasu Chanchlani’s family.”
Mayor Of Brampton
“On behalf of CIBC, I would like to extend my condolences on the loss of a great Canadian and an inspiring leader in the Indo-Canadian community,” says Raza Hasan, Senior Vice-President, CIBC and Executive Sponsor of the CIBC South Asian Employee Network. “Vasu Chanchlani‘s significant contributions to both the business community and the community at large through his entrepreneurial endeavours and his generous spirit will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.”
Mr. Chanchlani or Vasu, as he liked to be called – was an icon, a great community leader, a visionary and an inspiration to all of us. He led the way and encouraged all around him to do better, setting high goals for himself, his friends and the community at large. What a success his life has been! Unfortunately, too short – we are all shocked and we will miss him dearly! Our deepest condolences to Jaya and the Chanchlani family.
Venki Raman , MBA, CFP, CSWP, FCSI.
Vice-President, Calgary North District, CIBC.
“I had the privilege to know Vasu ! During the organization of IIFA Buzz Brampton he always gave phenomenal suggestions and encouraged me to go the extra step ! His angelic smile when he called me the Karta dharta of Brampton will be sorely missed. I remember as Panorama Chair he always said that he will attend my events only to show his respect for the great community work I have been doing. His humility was paramount and was always willing to support all community initiatives.
Vasu was a mentor, brother and friend ! We will miss him incredibly and this is a big loss to the society at large !”
Panorama Chair & Organizer of IIFA Buzz Brampton
“What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes part of us “- quote. This was the greatness of Mr Vasu Chanchlani who has become a part of fond memory of each and every Indo Canadian and many others who are deeply saddened to hear about his sudden loss. Mr Chanchlani will always be remembered as an extraordinary man who has left behind an incredible positive influence on the lives of many. He did a lot for the community and his dedication and tirelessness will be cherished by each one for the years to come. In his pursuit of supporting various organizations he was a key person to the ICCC whereby he was on the advisory board and also played a pivotal role in acquiring the chambers building. The chamber nominated him for the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman award and he became the proud recipient of the award, the highest accolade showered to any non-resident Indian. He was recognized for his outstanding accomplishments as a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist. He also generously sponsored the ICCC Chanchlani Global cinema awardf Indian Cinema to mark the 100 years o thus showing his interest in all walks of life. A friend, a philosopher and a mentor to me, he has motivated to steer in different directions which has helped me a lot to serve the community. We all pray in this difficult time to Almighty to grant strength to his family to withstand during this time and may his soul rest in eternal peace.
Chair Centre of Excellence for Entrepreneurship – ICCC
Chair India Mission
Immediate Past President Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce
” We will remember and cherish Vasu ‘ s accomplishments and selfless service to causes of public good. He inspired many lives and will always live in the hearts of his friends & loved ones!”
Satish Thakkar, President Excelsior Financial Group Inc.
Past President ICCC
“Vasu has left behind such a void that no one will be able to fill it. I always called him a man with a golden heart. He helped so many that I lost count,his generosity to the Temples ,to the Universities and Charities knew no bounds. What touched me most that even in death he didn’t forget his goodness as he donated his body to research.
May his soul rest in Peace.
Past President ICCC
Mississauga has lost a great citizen with the passing of Vasu Chanchlani. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. Vasu was a dear friend to me and so many others. He was well-respected and held in high regard by all those who knew him. While we mourn his loss, let us also celebrate his life and all that he accomplished. Aside from his many accolades, I will remember him as a kind and generous man who was always available to help when asked. He has set an example of a community leader, which I believe we should all strive to meet. I am sad to lose such a good friend. He was taken from us far too soon. My sincere condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time. May he rest in peace.
Candidate for Mayor
City of Mississauga